SE Powell & 39th, 1935

There’s still a gas station on the northeast corner of SE Powell & 39th but that’s about all this scene shares with today’s view. We’re looking east on Powell here. The trees in the center distance, south side of the road, are at Creston City Park.

(City of Portland Archives)

14 thoughts on “SE Powell & 39th, 1935

  1. Used to buy gas from that gas station, and cigarettes. The gas was 27 cents a gallon and the cigarettes were 27 cents a pack…..can you imagine?

  2. I like the reflection of the man in the doorway glass. Is he crossing the street off-camera to the right? Is he carrying something or is that an illusion? What does the sign behind his head say?

  3. Dan, I don’t see the man as a reflection. I initially thought he was inside the station looking out towards the camera. It looks like he is holding his hat (a fedora?). You could be right though, the image may be a reflection.

    The larger version of the image puts me in mind of certain scary movies. The ghostly visage of a long-dead human being making personal eye contact across the mists of time.

  4. I think he’s wearing a fedora, but it’s hard to tell. My impression is he’s crossing the street in front of a car and the headlight or hubcap is reflecting too. But I can also see him inside behind the glass too. Spooky indeed!

  5. Id say the man is a reflection for 2 reasons. One, if he is inside the store looking out he is VERY short and two, the overlay of something inside the store over his face. The sign behind him is inside the store as the letters are the right way round. . I do wonder where he is standing to show up that size reflection in the window. About where the photographer must be, I would think.

  6. Also, the guy (?) sitting on the bench next to the station kinda looks like a manequin, which takes the creepiness to a whole new level. My guess is the reflected guy is the photographers assistant, but why or how his face is totally obscured is hard to understand.

  7. I think the guy in the window is inside the shop. What partially obscures his face is a reflection of the street signs that are behind the telephone pole (you can see the shadow of the sign post on the sidewalk). With the angle of the door, it would not be reflecting anything near the photographer, it would reflect something that should be within the field of the photo.

  8. I’m beginning to think the man is inside the shop also. The sun is coming from the south, directly across Powell and it’s hitting the man at exactly that same angle, even his lapel is casting a shadow on his right chest area. If he was crossing the street, his whole front would be in shadow. The sign, probably inside also as Roxanne pointed out, might say “Hudson for 1940″ or some such.

  9. I believe Douge is right, closer reflection says it isn’t a reflection except for the street sign. I also think Dan is right that the sign inside does say Hudson, after having run the photo thru several photo programs that alter edges and colors, but I could not make out the lower 1.2 of the sign. Did you notice the spiffy shoes the guy sitting on the bench is wearing?

  10. Right down the street, nice! Wondering if there are any shots of Gladstone & 39th-ish around this time or maybe a little later, when the trolley coach was running? In particular, the old grocery store building at the SW corner of the intersection whose great ghost signs were removed from the rear a few months back and which now sports an absolutely hideous mural on its Chavez Blvd. side…

  11. My grandmother grew up near 20th & Division, and would walk to Creston Park up Powell when she was a youth. I’m sure she probably stopped in the market a time or two. Very nice to get a sense of what she remembers.

  12. In 1941, a Safeway store would be built here at this intersection. The Safeway is still here to this day but it is much bigger (and taller) than it used to be. The store was previously razed and rebuilt in 1974.

  13. Who remembers the REGAL gas station that stood here, until at least the early ’80s. They used to have all the blow up toys in the window.

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