Chamber of Commerce Illustration, 1890

This illustration was a competitive design for the Chamber of Commerce building by architects Parkinson & Hamme; its final shape and scale would be similar but the details would be considerably less Gothic. Completed in 1892, the building would eventually dominate the north side of SW Stark between 3rd and 4th Avenues.

chamber of commerce competition 1890(American Architect and Building News: 1890, Volume 29)

10 thoughts on “Chamber of Commerce Illustration, 1890

  1. I believe that the final design for the Chamber of Commerce building was from Isaac Hodgson Jr. Parkinson & Hamme were from Seattle – not sure if they designed anything else in Portland. Hodgson designed a few houses in Portland and has been attributed with the Sherlock bldg., but that attribution is only someone’s guess. A more likely suspect for that building is F. Manson White.

  2. The electrification of downtown Portland, with hydropower from Willamette Falls, began in 1889. Perhaps the architects included the poles and overhead lines in the drawing to show they were abreast of the city’s future.

  3. Ian, the irony of your statement is that the church(actually St. Mary’s Cathedral)across the street was in the process of being demolished as the Chamber of Commerce building was being constructed when this picture was taken.
    I often wondered why the Catholic diocese demolished such a substantial building after such a short life-span. The Cathedral, the diocese offices and the Bishop’s residence were all on the same bock and were built in 1878-’79. The Cathedral was completely gone by 1894. The Bishop’s “house” is the only building that remains to this day and houses a restaurant.
    The answer seems to be found in the 1889 Portland Sanborn map of the blocks surrounding the Cathedral. Nearly every building houses a Chinese business of some sort. Perhaps it was the anti-Chinese backlash of that time that caused the diocese to relocate in the “Nineteeth St.”, or Knob hill area.

  4. Based on the panorama photo linked by Ian, it would appear that the buildings surrounding the proposed design were also fanciful.
    The historical buildings in the 1892 panorama don’t match the artist’s conceptual drawing.

  5. Here is a postcard that shows the Chamber of Commerce buidling in its final form (but before a later fire and remodel of 1910).

  6. A retraction: the poles and overhead wires in the drawing would be for telephone lines, which were well-established here in the 1880s.

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