Sidebar: The Eugene Community Through the Years

“If you think you’ve seen big birthday cakes before, come to the corner of Broadway and Willamette in downtown Eugene next Saturday morning and feast your eyes on a r-e-a-l-ly big one. The cake will be Eugene’s version of Oregon’s 100th birthday cake.”

February 8, 1959, “Huge Cake to be Served In Downtown Eugene,” Register-Guard


“Eugene urban renewal officials are aiming at a fall of 1974 construction start for a downtown bus transit terminal, Renewal Director David Hunt said Wednesday. The terminal is one of the key elements of an urban design plan for the renewal area north of Eighth Avenue, approved Wednesday by the Eugene Renewal Agency Board.”

December 20, 1973, “ERA planning fall start for downtown bus terminal,”  Register-Guard


“Downtown Eugene’s character has changed dramatically in the five years since construction began on the mall. Pioneer-aged buildings have been replaced by the likes of the 10-story Citizens Building at 10th and Oak…Downtown, once threatened by the construction of Valley River Center, appears to be recovering.  Urban renewal officials like to say that success has retuned to downtown because of the promises they made and kept. The big promise was to ‘improve the project area through redevelopment and rehabilitation of substandard buildings, to eliminate blighting influences, to modify street system and to provide pedestrian amenities.”

October 12, 1975, “Urban Renewal: a step toward the future,” Register-Guard


“Thousands who have moved here since the early ‘70s have no memory of what downtown Eugene was like before dozens of substandard, semi-vacant buildings were torn down or refurbished and traffic-clogged Willamette Street was transformed into an eight block pedestrian mall with extensions east and west on Broadway.”

May 25, 1980, “Downtown’s grand plan shaping,” Register-Guard


“It’s a one-time-only opportunity to save $7 million on a new library. Because of an unexpected legal wrinkle mandated by Measures 47 and 50, the Eugene City Council now has the chance to build a large new library downtown and simultaneously cut taxes. Even with an additional levy to operate the larger building and fund branch libraries, the annual tab comes to a mere $12 increase for the average taxpayer. That’s far less expensive than the 1994 library proposal, which would have raised the average tax bill $34 and wouldn’t have funded branches at all.”

April 10, 1998, “Bargain funds available for new library,” Register-Guard


“Eugene’s Valley River Center opened in 1969, giving residents throughout the region an indoor alternative to downtown…The [walking] mall opened on Broadway and Willamette streets on Feb. 13, 1971. It was welcomed with a three-day celebration of dancing, concerts and fireworks… But a larger problem began to dawn on the community. Just six months after it opened, some retailers began to wonder if the promise of a panacea was a pipe dream. Critics complained of a shortage of parking, confusing traffic circulation, competing shopping centers and “hippies” hanging out on the mall.”

March 25, 2001, “Downtown malls see changes over years,” Register-Guard


“In a related proposal, the Oregon Festival of American Music, which operates The Shedd, wants to strike a deal with the city that could lead to the construction of a parking garage that would serve the new federal courthouse district, Whole Foods, The Shedd and other draws on the east side of downtown. OFAM plans eventually to construct a music school and retail building behind The Shedd for its fast-growing music instruction program.”

February 25, 2005 , “Developers buzz about downtown,” Register-Guard

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