Astoria, Oregon ~ January 25, 2011
I went out without my good camera today, so I bring you phone pictures of the burned-out remains of 6th Street Pier and a corner of the adjacent Number 10 Sixth Street building. They're behind a chain link fence, and for a good reason. Naturally, people want to explore, but it's dangerous. With parts of the floor missing and structures occasionally still crashing down inside the buildings, it's not a safe place to be.
I have not been close to the buildings often since they burned, but one day I saw a crane barge pulled up next to the pier, and I assume they dismantled parts that could easily be hauled away. I don't know if anyone is sure at this time whether there will be rebuilding or demolition, but when buildings are this old, there are additional aspects to consider, such as heating systems that may be so out of date that "not up to code" is a totally inadequate term. Word on the street is that it will be awhile before much can be done, and there is still investigating and planning before significant changes can be made. Speaking of investigating, once again, the word on the street is that the cause of the fire is still not certain. The most likely scenario is that an accidental electrical fire in the Cannery Cafe (above) spread quickly across the pier to Number 10.
There were many, many people and businesses affected by this fire more than I was affected, but I wanted to mention again how sad it feels to me personally to see this mess. This pier has been a destination on many of my walks over the years, and I enjoyed coming here for other reasons. Pictures of this pier encouraged me to choose Astoria over several other locations when I moved here in 2001. Important buildings, and indeed the entire downtown area, have been taken out by fires over the years. It is an aspect of Astoria's history that seems doomed to be repeated in a town where we love our antique Victorian wood buildings, but it is always devastating to someone. We will see what the future brings to 6th Street and Number 10. I'll keep you posted. I will also post some pictures from better days when I come across them.
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