In the wake of the rapid gentrification of North Portland, the communities in this area have undergone dramatic physical, cultural, and demographic changes forcing an exodus of many long-time black residents, and the displacement of a once tight-knit community from the inner city to the now incorporated outskirts.

A Place to Be is a space for engaging the African-American community in the exploration of its own history and for celebrating and preserving the heritage that is being lost through displacement. It serves as a venue for expressing that history through a variety of art, storytelling, making, and education projects and programs.

Designed and built by Portland State University's School of Architecture with community participation, a temporary (pop-up) porch was built in the summer of 2016 and remained in place through the fall.