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Oregon Main Street Highlight – Astoria

May 11, 2017

This post is part of a series celebrating Oregon Main Street’s ten years of downtown revitalization. Throughout the year we will be highlighting some of our Main Street network communities and the great work they are doing. You can learn more about Oregon Main Street here. Main Street efforts in Astoria are being carried out by Astoria Downtown Historic District Association and here is a snapshot into the work they are doing.

Collaboration and Craft Brewing Enliven a Once Abandoned Streetscape

Astoria has been rebuilding since the great fire of 1922. In our lifetimes, the transformation began in the late 90’s and took off in earnest about 2010.

Commercial Street and Marine Drive, long the major thoroughfares, are bustling centers of activities in good weather. Now, the work on the Duane Street corridor is being undertaken by enterprising individuals and non-profits alike.

The catalyst for the redevelopment of Duane Street is Astoria Station, the dream of the late Warren Williams Warren, owner of the Astoria Station building sitting at the unconventional intersection of 13th Street, between Duane and Exchange. It should be noted that 13th Street doesn’t exist on our main streets, but appears off the thoroughfare, due to a dispute amongst our earliest city planners.

Originally an auto-repair shop and later an illegal marijuana operation, a new vision was needed for this site and Warren knew just the thing for Astoria’s new economy. Mr. Williams dreamt of a multi-use space promoting craft brewing, local food, and areas for Astorians to come together to enjoy it all.

Now, after years of planning, Astoria Station is the proud home of Reach Break Brewing, Sasquatch Sausage, and The Hot Box BBQ. A micro-cidery, additional food cart, and barbershop are also in the works. Today, wine barrels for drinks and custom picnic tables for food and gathering are loosely pulled together with nautical ropes. On sunny days the garage doors at Reach Break roll up and folks spill into the light, meeting friends and neighbors. On a recent Saturday I spied a historic home rehab specialist, a local café owner, our community college president, and several Thai exchange students all gathered together enjoying artisan sausage, craft brewed beer, and our notoriously fickle sun on a Saturday afternoon.

Come see what’s new in Astoria!

Astoria recently received two grants for Main Street improvement projects. To learn more about the Main Street Revitalization Grant and those that received awards, visit here.

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