Location: Historic Mississippi Business District

Scribe: RussellSenior

This is the second draft of a report of the April 23, 2005 reconnaissance. Thanks for the email'd corrections to the first draft. Further corrections and brutal editing can go here. Don Park asked me to post a summary, instead we get my expanded personal narrative. Sorry. ;-) See ReconGroup for the summary!

At about 11am, a group aggregated at the Fresh Pot coffee shop at N Mississippi and Shaver. Present there were:

Matt brought a nicely stitched-together, several-foot-long, laminated 6-inch resolution aerial photograph of the Mississippi strip that he had screen-scraped from PortlandMaps.

4008 N. Mississippi

A little after 11, we headed across the street in a light rain where a representative (??) of the building let us into 4008 N. Mississippi, and we tromped inside past some remodellers. The outside door opens directly onto a staircase to the second floor, at the top of which a short hallway leads south, then a longer hallway leads east to a door outside.

We had a quick peek inside a combination wiring-closet/laundry room halfway down the E-W hallway. A washer-dryer pair was present, a telephone cabinet, some kind of digital comm device marked NAYA was screwed to the wall, and a DSL modem sat on a nearby shelf. There was a brief discussion of the server that was to be housed there, that it weighed 60-lbs, and would need a sturdy shelf up out of the way. There was a discussion of humidity associated with the washer/dryer, and the building representative indicated the washer/dryer weren't working and would probably be removed. A sink would remain though, and I recall hearing that residents have common access to the room.

From there, we continued out the door at the east side of the building. A tiled walkway traversed the east side of the building next to a low wall. A steel, rusting fire-escape attached to the outside of the building was north of the door this walkway. We noted that the fire-escape to the ground consisted of an aluminum extension ladder that was prevented from extending to the ground by means of a single twisted wire.

Access to the roof was by way of a steel ladder, also north of the door, standing off from the side of the building, not entirely attached to the building at the bottom. Members of the group began to ascend the ladder. I started up the ladder, but at the top of the vertical section, it kinked to about a 45-degree angle from vertical and continued up over the tiled section of sloped roof about an equal distance to the top. I sheepishly decided that maybe we needed someone to stay on the ground and volunteered. Everyone else climbed all the way (some muttering explicatives). Don came back down the wet ladder to get my GPS and climbed back up.

A little later JonFromTheCouv and his young lady companion Nissa Thompson arrived, and both climbed up the ladder to the roof. Hey, I "got over" peer pressure a long time ago! GPS wayponts were recorded (ReconGroup). Photos were taken. For further details of roof activities, consult someone who had the nerve to climb.

A while later, the group descended the harrowing ladder one at a time, Jon gallantly carrying Nissa's attractive handbag (a "Dooney and Bourke" I am told).

We reviewed the wiring closet. Someone climbed a short step ladder and poked their head through a trapdoor into the ceiling and more photos were taken.

3606 N. Mississippi

From 4008, we walked south, eventually reaching the previously "Undisclosed Location" of the tentative "Third Roof". This is 3606 N. Mississippi, a house near the south end of the Mississippi Strip. We were greeted near the door by the owner Brian Wannamaker and his attractive companion carrying boxes of files, and led inside. The house was being remodelled, a front room was setup as an office. We climbed the stairs to the attic (I recall this was the third floor??) and peered out windows on the east and west side. Access to the sloped roof appeared to be through a window on the front (west) side of the attic. No one volunteered to check it out.

932 N. Fremont

We returned to the ground floor and were accompanied by owner Brian Wannamaker to 932 N. Fremont a short distance away. This is a masonry apartment building, two occupied floors above a kind of half-basement (??). Access to the roof was through a trapdoor in the ceiling of an occupied apartment. Wannamaker knocked several times at the apartment door and discovered it was temporarily vacated, and we went inside. He returned with a ladder, a rickety wooden one (for which he was somewhat embarrassed) and proceeded to uncap the roof access. A small plywood trapdoor covered the ceiling, exposing a 2-3 foot ceiling space to the roof. The cap on the roof-access was something haphazard-looking covered by a blue tarp. It was still raining lightly as several members of the team ascended to the roof. Not everyone felt compelled to climb this time, though personally this one appeared less frightening than 4008, as any fall was limited to the cozy entryway of the apartment and not off the east escarpment of the 4008 building. Wannamaker, MichaelWeinberg, MatthewWest and RobertPetersen climbed. The GPS was handed up. More photographs were taken, and the climbers climbed back down and Wannamaker secured the roof.

There were some discussion of plans (see Oregonian article, specifically the WinklerProject) to build a 10-story (??) apartment building in the vacant lot east of 932. This would not seem to pose a line-of-sight issue back to 4008, but might provide future opportunity to improve coverage considerably.


From there, we hiked back to the Fresh Pot and a call was placed to AaronBaer (who had not arrived), discovering that he was sleeping off some kind of hangover from the night before. Finding nothing else compelling to do, and having exhausted my scheduled availability, we broke up and went our variously separate ways. --RussellSenior


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