CURB – Common Unity Resource Building
Livermore A&E is working with the Raiford family and a dedicated group of community activists to rehabilitate the Gray Building in NE Portland. This 1902 structure is one of the first documented locations of African American settlement east of the Willamette River in Portland. Home for many years to the locally famous Katherine Gray, an African American suffragist, the Gray Building later became the Burger Barn restaurant, which operated from the late 1960’s for forty years. More recently it has housed a variety of other restaurant ventures, but now it is empty and quickly falling into disrepair.
After being approached in the Summer 2014 by family member and activist Teressa Raiford, historian Tanya March and others, Livermore A&E joined in to develop a schematic design that supports their vision of transforming it into a community meeting space and local repository for African American cultural artifacts. Once completed, the transformed Common Unity Resource Building (CURB) will serve to tell the story of African Americans in NE Portland over the past century while also projecting forward as a hub for ongoing community collaboration and unity.
Learn more about the broader efforts of the protection of the Gray Building here.