Tuesday, January 20, 2015

SE 45th & Henderson

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One of the more dubious ongoing projects here at this humble blog involves tracking down places on a weird list I ran across in the city archives. Some of these places are obscure city parks, while others are various landscaped bits that the parks bureau had a hand in designing or maintaining at one time. And then there are a few that I can't quite figure out, like today's installment. We're on SE Henderson St. at 45th Avenue, on a hillside a bit east of the swanky Eastmoreland neighborhood. The city's official neighborhood map says we're in a long, skinny part of the Woodstock neighborhood, between Eastmoreland and the far less upscale Brentwood-Darlington area. I'm describing this at length because this whole area was a blank spot on my mental map of the city, and I'm fairly sure I'd never been here before I came looking for the subject of this post.

The aforementioned hillside is the reason we're here, as it turns out; when the houses along this stretch of Henderson were built, the developers put a divider down the middle of the street such that the westbound lane is maybe 3-5 feet above the eastbound lane. I suppose this way yards and driveways on either side of the street don't have to be as steep. As far as I can tell, the divider is the reason this street is on the list. The divider is just solid concrete, without any landscaping or anything decorative, so I'm not sure what the Parks Bureau would have had to do with the place, but the list says they were involved somehow, so I went to take a look. An imaginative and unsupervised child could probably find something fun to do here, but calling it a park would be a real stretch. Maybe the bureau shrugged and said they couldn't work with this place, or they came back with a budget-busting landscaping plan that wasn't adopted, or something like that. I suppose that would still count as "involvement", if you defined the word broadly enough.

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