The Fall Of Troy
At the end of this month — March 2021 — Troy Studios in Portland’s Central Eastside district will be no more.
The spirit of the place left the building a few years ago with the sale of the former laundry factory, prompting mass eviction of 20-plus artists and their dead-cheap studios to make way for individual (and very nicely gentrified) offices. Up until that point Troy Studios had been a creative swamp in Portland for decades, offering a stubbornly basic and barely-heated fertile ground that allowed artists to create, make a living or just mess around, undisturbed under natural light and 14-foot ceilings.
Now the building itself is succumbing to the inevitable pressures of money and speculation that have transformed our once-lovable and not-quite-big city over the past 20 years in a grinding cycle of rebuilding and rebranding. The worn artist collective space will now be a bro-tel, featuring a six-story tower that dwarfs the historic building, catering to distracted travelers who want to party and work out while on a business trip. The leaky roof above our heads that dripped every Oregon winter will be a swimming pool.
Bryan stumbled into Troy in 1994 — fresh from quitting his gig at Willamette Week — looking for an upgrade from his bedroom office, and ended up with over 2000 square feet with no heat, no lights, and room to grow. The story of Bryan Potter Design is intimately entangled with the place where it happened — from the raw space that provided so much room for meetings, presentations, ping pong and parties, to the proximity to beloved and reliable vendors that similarly have moved out of the neighborhood over the years. We have picked up the tattered Troy Studios standard in the last few years, and carried it proudly as the last remnant, knowing that the end was certain.
Most of all, we will miss the space. The empty corners that took years to fill up. The mysterious back stairways that led to basements and roofs. The tall windows that filled so much air with light. Without knowing it we have fed off the potential and peace that comes with working in such an environment every day. To us it is a great artistic resource, and it’s been a great run. Bryan Potter Design will continue on, but it is with sadness that we say farewell to Troy.