E Burnside, Sandy & 12th, 1948

E. Burnside where Sandy Blvd. and 12th Avenue cross has always been an interesting intersection. The recent couplet may have reduced some confusion here but it’s still a bustling intersection.

(City of Portland Archives)

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19 Responses to “E Burnside, Sandy & 12th, 1948”

  1. NativePDX Says:

    I think the old signage was great, it is too bad the new sign codes restrict the creative signs and make everything look alike.

    I love all the Richfield signage, especially the eagle on the tower.

    The 7up sign is also pretty neat and it and reminds me of the one that use to be around 37th and Sandy off the Banfield and would look like it was spinning, as the neon lights rotated.

  2. Todd Says:

    If you look to your left you see the billboard that says “Vote” and “President. My guess it’s in regards to Minnesota Governor Harold Stassen’s and the famous debate he had here in Oregon against Dewey during the Republican primary. Since the debate and primary were in May, my guess this was in early Spring, 1948.

  3. Mike Slama Says:

    A couple of observations: The car under the Richfield sign is a Graham “Shark nose” sedan. Quite a modern looking car when it came out. Also, is that smoke you see over the Richfield station? I know there are clouds in the sky, but that looks like smoke to me. Possibly Franz burned a batch of bread? Or, is it drifting down from the Hyster plant off 28th? A chemistry “oops” at Benson??

  4. Roberto Says:

    Thanks so much for sharing. What a remarkable photo!
    That is my bus stop today. The couplet has made an absolute mess of this area. PDC and urban planning at it’s worst!

  5. NativePDX Says:

    I was told one time, that Sandy blv was built on a old trail, that was there long before we had modern roads or the highway. And that is why it doesn’t match the grid and has caused problems ever sense.

  6. Joan Lyon Says:

    View the Portlandonline auditor site. http://www.portlandonline.com/auditor/index.cfm?a=291650&c=51815 Hope I’m not exposing your next project….

  7. oldwxwatcher Says:

    That smoke in the background could be from a Union Pacific locomotive in Sullivan’s Gulch. They were still using steamers at that time and they burned oil, not coal,

  8. stiefve Says:


    I’ve heard similar things, that Sandy was a game trail utilized first by Native Americans and later by white settlers. Trying to find the citation.

  9. rod taylor Says:

    That is a 47′ Lincoln V12 coupe.

    Didn’t Scotties re-purpose the Richfield sign when they took over that corner.

    What a great scene. I must of caught a thousand buses at that corner while attending Benson class of 56′.

  10. Tad Says:

    Great photo.

    That has got to be a “Radke’s” sign above/behind the big Richfield sign, right?

    @NativePDX: I love the old signs too and while it’s true that codes restrict what can be done, I think another part to that story is that creative/interesting signs are just too expensive. Signs are smaller due to code restrictions but the reason we have nothing but boring plastic panels in front of fluorescent tubes is because it is *cheap*. Neon, for example, is permitted but spendy.

    Sandy and Foster have similar stories – Foster Rd was originally the road to the old Foster place, near what is now Damascus. “Foster’s Farm” was a landmark on the Oregon Trail/Barlow Road, and Foster Rd was where you turned off if you were headed to Portland rather than Oregon City.

  11. nativePDX Says:

    Tad, I know if you have a sign, that hangs out off a building, you don’t dare to take it down, because if you get caught repairing it on the ground or send it out for repair. You will not be allowed to put it back up. Signs are expensive, but the code is so difficult and the taxes and fees to put one up, are also a hurtle. Probably pretty much unheard of, during this photo.

    Unless you are IKEA by the airport, that revived treatment for their sign. I’m sure that sign was not cheap.

    I think we lost something that was really nice by regulating them and making them all look pretty much alike.

  12. Dave Johnson Says:

    You can date this photo by the Tulips blooming behind the lady. April or May.

  13. Dave Johnson Says:

    Also what is that hanging at the top of the telephone pole to the right of the Richfield sign?

  14. salmon Says:

    The box is on a ornate scroll bracket, so I’m guessing a bird house.

  15. MF Says:

    Hey stiefve,

    I’m really interested in the history of Sandy Blvd. and I’ve searched up and down the internet. What other resources out there could have this history?

  16. frugalportland (@frugalportland) Says:

    I love the lady in the hat. What she would think about the people standing on that corner today!

  17. Aaron Says:

    The tulip garden: what a nice dose of beauty in a frenetic transit area! Is that on private property or was the city responsible for it?

  18. Portland, Oregon, 1948 - Resurrectedrestorations.com Says:

    [...] Avenue in Portland, Oregon come together. Reader Don Erikson pointed out this spring 1948 shot on Vintage Portland, which ultimately got the photo from the City of Portland’s archives. What do you see [...]

  19. Don Covert Says:

    Reader “Don Erikson”… of old Sandy’s Camera fame???

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