BRING BACK THE FUNK! WE WANT THE FUNK!
First, on the personal. I spent 7 hours last night moving bookshelves from one end of the store to the other. Tripping over tons of books littering the floor. At the end, I gained....one measly bookshelf, or roughly 12 linear feet of room. But every square inch of space is gold, anymore. I really need a space about 3 times bigger than I have, but now that the downtown has matured around me, and I have an affordable lease for a few more years, I want to stay and take advantage.
The funk. Downtown Bend has had a mix of old and new, nice and junky, ever since I can remember. As far as I'm concerned, the mix gave the area character. The first wave of investors downtown after the Reagan Recession, in the mid-1980's, actually made the effort to RESTORE the look of the buildings they bought. The Old Postoffice, the O'Kane building, were brought back to life looking like their old selves.
What are we getting now? One faux 'craftsman' building after another. There is something really monstrous about turning an architecture style that was meant for bungalows into giant edifaces. And when every building downtown looks like the St. Clair building, or Franklin Crossing, than how are we any different than Old Mill? It's fake, and boring. The Firestation kept a few bricks in front, but is essentially a different building. I suspect when they are done with the building across from me (and one benefit to this slowdown is maybe they won't get to it during my current lease) and the building next the the Brewery on Bond, and that awful building that is being planned for Brooks Street, but which is so far a pile of rubble, we'll have a nice uniform style that will look dated in 20 years and we'll have to start all over.