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)

19 thoughts on “E Burnside, Sandy & 12th, 1948

  1. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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,

  7. NativePDX,

    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.

  8. 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′.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

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

  12. 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?

  13. 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?

  14. Pingback: Portland, Oregon, 1948 - Resurrectedrestorations.com

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