As optimistic as the concept “The sky’s the limit” is, in Portland it is an Achilles’ heel: i.e., “a weakness in spite of overall strength, which can actually lead to downfall.”

I grew up with a panoramic view of the New York skyline from the cliffs of Weehawken, New Jersey, before moving to New York, where I had the opposite view of the towering Palisades, both views totally unobstructed.

Later on, in San Francisco, I enjoyed a view of the iconic Golden Gate Bridge. Fourteen years ago, my wife and I left the City by the Bay for Portland, a beautiful historic seaport, where we enjoy another compelling view – the Fore River – from a house that was built by a sea captain.

What if these views were suddenly taken from us? What would be the appeal for residents and tourists? Think of our poor Captain Nathaniel Dyer’s wife if she couldn’t look out over what is now Commercial Street to see if her long-absent husband was on his way home in time for dinner!

We need to engage in serious thought to Americold’s plan to build a 70-foot-high white box cold storage building at the International Marine Terminal, on the western end of Commercial Street’s “waterfront.” Ostensibly, Americold’s plans for this facility are beneficial, nurturing and geographically suitable to Portland’s economy – if they think 45 feet, not 70 feet.

This area has been developing rapidly, with the Gulf of Marine Research Center and Courtyard Marriott fast becoming an attraction for the lucrative tourist trade and new business, including the highly appreciated Eimskip, from India Street along the picturesque waterfront out to the Gateway to Portland.

Let’s continue to enhance our waterfront, not destroy it by changing our slogan from “The sky’s the limit” to “Our waterfront is the limit.”

Frank E. Reilly