Some good news from Around the O, for once:
Members of the campus and community can learn more about the University of Oregon’s proposed redevelopment of the former Joe Romania car dealership on Franklin Boulevard at an open house at 4 p.m. April 5.
1/8/2019 update: UO cutting deal to save historic showroom, and make some money
No, I’m not talking about the historically ugly money pit that is Collier House. Around the O has a speculative rendering of the new plan to redevelop the fabulous Lew Williams car showroom and the Romania lot. Looks pretty good to me. And some money for the academic side to boot.
2/2/2018: UO wants to redevelop historic “Googie” building and Romania lot
The Lew Williams / Joe Romania car dealership on Franklin at Walnut was the Jock Box of its day – but with tail fins:
I’m not sure how UO ended up owning this priceless architectural treasure, but we’ve certainly let things slide:
Photos and much more in the National Park Service report granting the building historic landmark status here.
My first experience with this exemplar of Googie architecture was in 1995, when as a newly hired assistant professor I was shown my office in PLC. I asked if it might be possible for me to have a desk and a chair. The department manager told me to go down to the “Old Romania Lot” and pick out whatever I wanted from the surplus pile in the back. I’m still using that desk.
UO would like to generate some money from this property. Would that we could do the same with Knight Arena. Last year we got city permission to use it for Matt Court parking, but lets face it – nobody wants to watch Dana Altman coach basketball.
So now they’ve got an RFQ out, looking for qualified developers: