Annual “Friends” Meeting Informative; Bath Houses of East End Beach Contest Winner Introduced

Rob Whitten, One of the Judges in the Bath Houses of East End Beach Contest

Rob Whitten, One of the Judges in the Bath Houses of East End Beach Contest

By Carol McCracken (Post # 465)

Information was the agenda for last night’s annual membership meeting of the Friends of the Eastern Promenade. For the many who attended the membership drive at the East End Community School on the Hill, it was an opportunity to learn the latest Prom happenings. Diane Davison, president of the three year old non-profit hosted the meeting.

The centerpiece of the meeting was the introduction of Kevin Moquin. He was the first place winner in an AIA sponsored contest for design ideas. Moquin’s design for bath houses at the East End Beach focused on the conflict between cars and people that exists there. His design had a community center, a food concession area and shade trees for a parking area in addition to bath houses. His goal was to “claim back some of the space for the people.” The design was done in partnership with Tony Cowles, a landscape atchitect, who works for Carroll Associates Landscape Architects, Portland. Moquin currently works for Taggart Construction which is a design/build company specializing in energy efficient environment friendly homes. The two are looking for the next competition to enter.

Well-known architect, Rob Whitten, and Hill resident was one of three judges in the contest. The eight submissions were “blind” submissions; that is their identity was unknown to any of the three judges. According to Whitten, who attended last night’s meeting, the decision had been made that Moquin’s design was the winner, before Whitten learned his identity. Moquin had worked for Whitten previously. Whitten said that it’s fun judging contests like this. He gets to see lots of good ideas. It’s also a way for this successful architect to give back to his community on the Hill.

Following the meeting, Crandall Toothaker, Portland landlord and Friends board member, said what he liked about the Moquin design: it looked out to the water and emphasized people over parking. He went on to suggest a lucrative source of income for the city of Portland. Why doesn’t the city consider renting out space at the East End Beach for a “destination” restaurant?

Sounds like another winning idea!