Ambiguous Loss: Designing to Advance Racial Healing at Portland's Lone Fir Cemetery
Date & Time
Friday, October 13, 2023, 1:15 PM - 2:15 PM
Thea von Geldern Michael Yun Anita Yap Karen Vitkay Helen Ying

This course assembles a group of engagement specialists, agency partners, architects, landscape architects and community members to discuss the process surrounding the design of a memorial at the site of the historic Chinese Burial Grounds in Portland's Lone Fir Cemetery. Lone Fir Cemetery’s Block 14 was used by Portland's Chinese community for the burial of their dead and the practice of funerary traditions from 1872 through 1927. There were permanent grave markers, an altar, a funerary burner and a structure that was used to prepare disinterred remains for their journey back to China. In 1927, Multnomah County took ownership of the site and halted burials with an eye towards future development. After forcing the Chinese community to disinter the remaining graves, the County built a road maintenance building on the site in 1952. In 2005, the County decided to demolish the building, and was seeking to sell the property to a private developer when the Chinese American community stepped in. They successfully asserted that the site still had cultural significance to the community and were able to initiate the process of memorialization to disrupt the cycle of trauma.

Location Name
Broadway III/IV
Full Address
Hilton Portland Downtown
921 SW 6th Ave
Portland, OR 97204
United States
Course Credit
Number of Credits
1 Learning Unit (60 min.)