Up Sucker Creek

Up Sucker Creek
Photo Courtesy of the Lake Oswego Library

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Preserve the best of our past

Can our history be preserved? 
What is "Progress" if we lose our past?

Sometimes this city seems more intent on preserving trees, a renewable resource that will eventually die, over a piece of irreplaceable artwork. I would like to add my voice to others to save a piece or our collective history and save a piece of important artwork at the same time.  This would be a great addition to a public building using the 1% for art budget required to be spent.

    Photo courtesy of the Lake Oswego Library

The Arvid Orbeck mural, lying in wait for rediscovery and preservation behind an exterior wall of the downtown Safeway.  Note the Free-form, artistc shape of Oswego Lake.

Photo courtesy of the Lake Oswego Library

The downtown Safeway, with its ubiquitous design seen around the country in the 60s, is a mid-century icon in itself,   Stripped of its signage, cars in front and newspaper and plant displays, one
can see the graceful gull-wing shape of the roof that displays the era's interest in modern art and space exploration.  Here is the building during construction in 1965 - the mural is being installed
    on right side under the eaves.

As part of the East End Redevelopment Plan, the building will probably be destroyed someday. Before this happens is the time to plan for the extraction, preservation and installation of the mural in a new place.  It is the responsibility of the entire community to see these pieces of art are saved or risk losing another piece of our identity.

Read these Citizen Views from the LO Review that give a better description of the artist and his artwork than I could do.
                                                                                                                                                           Photo courtesy of the Lake Oswego Library

Let the rock mural at Safeway be seen again
Lake Oswego Review, February 28, 2013 By Evie Proctor

Perhaps Safeway can find a way to bring the mural back
Lake Oswego Review, March 21, 2013  By Shirley Graves Orbec

Shirley Graves Orbeck, Dunthorpe, is a former Lake Oswego resident. She assisted her late husband, Arvid Orbeck, in creating the decorative mural on the downtown Lake Oswego Safeway store that was covered up in a remodel in 2003.

While some things need to change over time, we have learned from our past, that our cultural identity is written in out past - in our history.  We pay a huge price if we forget who we are and what makes us unique.  Those qualities are in jeopardy.

Here is a challenge to each citizen of Lake Oswego, AND to the developers and businesses that hope to prosper in our unique community:  Go out and find the gems and curiosities that make this town what it is.  Let the Historical Society (or library for photos) know about your finds and let them decide if these things they or someone else can help save.  Don't wait to let someone else do this for you.

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