Saving Portland historic McDonald’s

by BARBARA BADER and ANDREW WILKINS

Unfortunately, the restaurant was demolished on Thursday. Barbara Bader went to the site moments after the demolition and made this report:

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At the Lents Neighborhood Association meeting Tuesday, March 28th, local historian Eriks Zarins gave a presentation on his efforts to prevent one of the last classic “golden arches” style McDonald’s restaurant from being destroyed.

The restaurant is located on SE Powell Blvd near I-205, and is being replaced by a new McDonald’s that is going to feature self-serve touch screen kiosks.

After Zarins’ presentation, Lents activist and neighbor Barbara Bader wanted to interview him to help raise awareness. It’s interesting to note that both the Eater story and the Willamette Week story assume the demolition is a done deal.

Eater PDX has a pretty good, succinct summary of the situation published at the end of January.

But as Zarins said in the interview above, neighbors in one town managed to save a historic McDonald’s restaurant by pressuring the global corporation. That’s one thing we are doing differently at Village Portland: we want to give folks the opportunity to help make things happen, not just learn about what has already happened.

Zarins still thinks there’s a chance for the restaurant to be saved, even though the building has been fenced and he thinks the demolition is happening Friday, March 30th. He encourages East Portland neighbors and anyone interested in historical preservation to reach out to McDonald’s and the building’s owners.

With nearly 37,000 restaurants worldwide, it’d be a shame to lose one of the last physical reminders of McDonald’s humble beginnings as a hamburger stand run by two brothers driven by a passion for quality and efficiency.

I can’t understand why McDonald’s would just let it go…

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Here’s a list of contacts he provided:

At McDonald’s

 Joe Collins, Sr. Director, Architecture / Construction

McDonald’s Corporation

(972) 998-1318

joe.collins@us.mcd.com

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Rob Lancaster, VP, US Restaurant Development

(630) 623-2223

rob.lancaster@us.mcd.com

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David Shammas

McDonald’s Corporation

(925) 519-6867

david.shammas@us.mcd.com

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Property owners

William Frank Bitar and Associates

9828 E Burnside St #200, Portland, OR 97216

(503) 254-3080

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