The Last Dance
On Saturday, Nov. 9, a farewell skate session was planned at the Brooklyn Street Skate Spot in Portland, Ore. The 3-year-old DIY skatepark had to be torn down due to the building of the TriMet Light Rail Transit Project. Unlike most DIY skateparks, the city and community were supportive of the park and came out to celebrate in droves during the last days. Here's a look at how Brooklyn Street was constructed and the good times that were had over the years.
In the Beginning
Over the course of three years, numerous areas of the lot were cleaned up and new sections of the skate zone were formed and poured. Through the hard work and drive of Colin Sharp and Jesse McDowell, combined with help from city officials like Tom Miller and numerous skaters and volunteers, Brooklyn Street Skate Spot began to take shape.
Chris Klich displays a dose of his Brooklyn Street localism with this mighty frontside ollie.
There were discussions with the community's neighbors, the local police bureau, and the parents of the younger skaters who began to frequent the skatepark. Once Teresa Boyle from the City of Portland's Land Use Department issued an official permit, the build continued and the skate sessions grew. Soon enough, more fundraisers were organized and money was donated. All funds were recorded and went directly toward materials and needed rental equipment. However, the caveat to the issued permit was that the skatepark would most likely have to come down with the construction of the city's new TriMet Light Rail Transit Project. The heart of this matter involved the aging pedestrian stairway and overpass that would need to be decommissioned.
Visiting Frenchman Julien Benoliel floats a backside ollie in the pool pocket on a warm summer night.
A support pillar for the pedestrian bridge becomes a functional form for Kevin Kowalski's crail-to-fakie.
The beginnings of Portland's Brooklyn Street Skate Spot originated during a searing summer afternoon in 2010 with an ample pour of concrete onto a lone Jersey barrier. The resulting skate sessions back then were fun and entertaining and showed promise for what could become of the vacant region of land beside the Union Pacific railway tracks. Johnny Turgesen crailtaps upon the cornerstone Jersey barrier that started it all in 2010.
Johnny Turgesen utilizes the stairway railing to boost a bean plant out of the park.
Once the pool pocket's tile and coping had set, Northwest skate vet Ben Krahn wasted no time in handling this blunt-to-fakie.
When the unfortunate news came this past summer that adjacent buildings were being torn out and the area was being prepped for the new transit tracks, the locals knew there was only a short time left for this little slice of skateboarding utopia. On Saturday, Nov. 9, a farewell skate session was planned and brought together many of the regulars and enthusiasts who helped make Brooklyn Street Skate Spot what it was over the past three years. The community's DIY skatepark was properly celebrated with a day of great skating, a sizable barbeque and a mix of emotions.