History has an interesting way of popping up – it may be out of sight and out of mind but, during cleanup of our legacy properties, the earth inevitably gives up her ghosts.
Astoria’s plan was simple – clean up a long-unused commercial site in a dangerous state of disrepair, then rebuild the site as a multi-use gathering place. But in historical cities like Astoria, sometimes cleanup projects become complicated.
When cleanup began in 2016, city planners quickly discovered a much more in-depth ecological cleanup lingered below a long-empty building and parking lot. Lack of infrastructure integrity caused schedule changes. Buried automobile parts from old repair businesses required archaeological reports. And installation and monitoring of a groundwater well became mandatory. Initial project budgets proved insufficient to complete the work and remove a collection of downtown Astoria refuse described by many as a “blight” and an “eyesore.”
A Business Oregon award of $82,000 in Oregon Lottery Dollars helped get the project on track and pave the way for Astoria’s beautiful Heritage Square.