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‘Friends of Alpenrose’ hope to preserve historic property

<i>KPTV</i><br/>A group hopes to preserve the historic Alpenrose Diary which has been operating since 1916 in Portland
A group hopes to preserve the historic Alpenrose Diary which has been operating since 1916 in Portland

By Drew Marine

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    PORTLAND, Oregon (KPTV) — Alpenrose Dairy has been operating since 1916 and for many, it holds place close to their heart. Marita Ingalsbe grew up in the neighborhood and remembers going to the dairy every Sunday. “The actual full dairy was open to families and you could go to the barns and see all the animals they had. What really struck me the most, what I remember the most as a little girl, was these giant cowbells that came from Switzerland,” Ingalsbe, also the Chair of Hayhurst’s neighborhood association, said. She’s not the only one who has fond memories there. “My son played at Alpenrose when he played little league. It’s just been an important part of the community for a long time,” Claire Carder, Chair of the Maplewood Neighborhood Association, said. The 52-acre property is home to two ball fields, Oregon’s only velodrome and a quarter midget sprint racing track. “I could hear the ball fields calling the games there, the velodrome, I could hear that too. I was drawn to this place,” Francene Grewe, who lives behind the property, said. It was originally owned by the Cadonau family before it was bought by a Washington family in 2019, when the public areas, like the baseball fields, were closed.

In 2021, Lenar Corporation and Westlake Consultants filed a proposal with the Portland Bureau of Development Services that could turn Alpenrose into a 193-lot residential subdivision. The proposal also said it would include recreational areas and it would connect the Pendleton Street Corridor with a public trail. “Certainly, I understand the need for housing, but it breaks my heart because I’m also, you know, I have over the years been involved in historic preservation,” Grewe said. So, Grewe, Carder and Ingalsbe joined together to create Friends of Alpenrose, a newly formed group eager to save the property’s character if the development moves forward. “I think we would just love it if somehow the ball fields and the velodrome would remain for the community to use. Of course, we want the environmental areas to be protected, which they have to be,” Ingalsbe said. “We would like to have something of the Alpenrose legacy remaining so people know this was the longest operating dairy in Oregon.” They hope more people from the surrounding community join them in their efforts. “We would just like to have as many people involved as possible. Obviously, Alpenrose means different things to different people,” Ingalsbe said.

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