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New park could come with nod to noted architect

by: VERN UYETAKE, Lakefront Park sits adjacent to the Lake Twin Cinemas – a building designed by Richard Sundeleaf.

New designs for a future park on Lakewood Bay will give a nod to the late architect Richard Sundeleaf, if the public approves.

Once constructed, Lakefront Park will open views of Lakewood Bay from South State Street.

It will also sit adjacent to a unique downtown building, a nonresidential design by Sundeleaf.

Best known for his imaginative work with industrial buildings in Portland - such as the original Oregon Museum of Science and Industry building - Sundeleaf also designed homes, including several residences in Lake Oswego.

His commercial design on South State Street closely resembles his residential style with its Tudor influences, brick material and gables.

The building is owned by local developer Drew Prell, partner in Prell and Morton Development. It is currently occupied by the Lake Twin Cinema and the Oswego Lake House Restaurant.

The Lake Oswego Redevelopment Agency has long had plans to convert a neighboring city-owned lot into a waterfront park.

The lot used to house a US Bank branch but has been vacant since summer when the city demolished it to make way for the park.

As designs on the park - called Lakefront Park - move forward, a shift in the city's original vision reflects a growing interest in emphasizing Sundeleaf's downtown contribution. Sundeleaf, who was born in 1900, died in March 1987.

The Lake Oswego Redevelopment Agency approved a public contract for design of Lakefront Park last month. The $488,510 contract pays for design work and supervision of the park's construction.

The contract went to Northwest design firm MacLeod Reckord, creators of nearby Millennium Plaza Park and Foothills Parks on the Willamette River.

That firm recently removed a pergola from design plans. The pergola was planned to anchor a corner of Lakefront Park near the Lake Twin Cinema.

Instead, the view of Sundeleaf's building will be cleared and steps leading from a courtyard in Lakefront Park will ascend to the Sundeleaf building, charting a path for pedestrian traffic.

'Even though it is not listed as a historic building, it certainly is a historic building in Lake Oswego in its design by Richard Sundeleaf,' said Bob Galante, director of the Lake Oswego Redevelopment Agency.

Park plans also include an extended rain garden to screen out street noise from South State Street plus a low basalt wall with a granite cap along the garden. A pavilion with restrooms and storage is planned for the lake side of the park.

According to Galante, an adjacent pathway would ideally link the park with North Shore Road near its intersection at South State Street in the future.

Residents can get a view of the proposed park design - and an opportunity to comment - in summer 2009 when the Lake Oswego Development Review Commission considers it.

Lakefront Park is scheduled to be built within a year. Those plans hinge on whether the Lake Oswego Interceptor Sewer construction, a portion of which is now being staged on the lot, moves forward as anticipated.