Local history and architecture blog Portland Preservation pointed out today that one of Portland's funniest looking buildings is scheduled for the wrecking ball. The Galaxy lounge and restaurant on East Burnside and Ninth Ave will soon become a bland brick-faced restaurant Trio, according to permit paperwork (pdf) filed by the building owners.
It turns out the ol' Galaxy is actually the first Denny's in Portland and Portland Preservation asks whether the building's unique architecture makes it worth saving:
Unless there are irreversible structural issues, why demolish a building only to replace it with something that will serve the same essential purpose and will do nothing to add housing density or other social benefits to the community?... After a little research, it appears that this location was indeed Portland’s first Denny’s Restaurant, opening in June 1963. It was used to promote franchise possibilities for the Denny’s chain, and was modeled after the prototype Denny’s Restaurants founded in Southern California a decade earlier. The “check mark” design is one of those trademark patterns from the era of “Googie” architecture — something that we don’t have a lot of (remaining and intact) here in Portland.I have to admit I've never actually had a drink inside the Galaxy—its got a cool roofline, but a dim, shabby interior. I bet its some peoples' favorite karaoke dive, though.
Trio will be a restaurant, karaoke lounge, and bar with "dance music, you know, like disco disco," says building owner Foo-Hong Foong, who adds that the new one-story building will be split into three big rooms and have a menu featuring three foods served on one plate (because, see, it's a trio!). Asked why it was necessary to tear down the current building, Foong said that the place was old. "We need a new face, a new face will draw more people in," he says.
Check out the opening day ad for Portland's first Denny's below the cut.
Portland Preservation dug up this cool ad for the Denny's that opened in what's now the Galaxy:
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