Residents envision coliseum scenarios


Portlanders respond to the question: What do you think should become of the Memorial Coliseum?

Jill Eiland, a government relations executive who lives in Northwest Portland: 'The Memorial Coliseum is an established cultural resource with historic importance. Because it originally was intended to honor military veterans while providing a much-needed entertainment and conference venue, I'd vote to retain the coliseum and redevelop it into a regional sports complex open to the public.'

Michelle Detwiler, an energy industry specialist who lives in Northeast Portland: 'If the city is so keen on an ice skating rink, wouldn't it make sense to remove the walls and the roof of Memorial Coliseum and make this Portland's outdoor ice skating rink?'

Suzi Helmlinger, downtown business owner and resident of Southeast Portland: 'Since it is considered a 'historic' building to many Portlanders, why don't we gut the interior and create a mixed-use building of restaurants, retail shops and offices?'

Paddy Tillett, an architect who lives in Northwest Portland: 'We are not very good at recognizing treasures in our midst. The American Institute of Architects bestowed a coveted 25-year award on Memorial Coliseum, recognizing it as one of the foremost examples of modern architecture in the nation. It is certainly adaptable to other uses, but the integrity of Memorial Coliseum as valuable architecture and a remembrance of fallen heroes must be maintained.'

Rachel Gerber, a legal secretary in Portland who resides in Beaverton: 'Redo it, keeping the athletic theme intact:Êsports-aquatic-amusement center.ÊClose-in Portland needs such a facility. É It would offer great activities before and after Rose Garden events. Combine these prototypes:Êthe Hoop (a basketball-oriented athletic club in Beaverton), Southwest Portland's swim center, and Minnesota's 'Mall of America' entertainment complex.'Ê

Harvey Fink, a downtown Portland business consultant from Vancouver, Wash.: 'It was approved by the voters to be a memorial to our veterans, and any changes should be discussed and again put to an approval of the voters.'