On this day in 1919, when Tom Moyer was born in an upstairs bedroom of this unassuming building in Sellwood, his father, who had boxed as "Silk Hat" Harry Moyer, might have imagined that Tom would himself become a boxer some day, and so Tom did, being for a while the second-best amateur boxer in the United States. Harry Moyer might not have envisioned, however, that his son would go on to success in the business world as the founder of the Luxury Theatres chain, which grew to 190 screens before being acquired by Norman Lear's company Act III in 1988. (It's now part of the Regal Cinemas chain.) Nor would Harry Moyer have pictured his son becoming a Portland real estate tycoon, and then a quiet philanthropist who gave millions of dollars back to the city in which he lived and prospered, and donated the land and part of the construction cost for Director Park.
Late in Mr. Moyer's life, the city recognized his civic contributions, and some awards followed -- not many, for he disliked talking in public, even in the form of the words of gratitude that audiences expect honorees to utter from the stage. "Thank you very much" was one of his longer speeches.
In 2014, on the gray November morning on which he died in his downtown apartment, the city had one final farewell gift for Mr. Moyer: it ticketed his hearse.