SW 4th Avenue, 1946

This 1946 photo looks north on SW 4th Avenue through Oak Street, the first intersection visible. The east side of the street is pretty intact today, while the west side is completely different north of Oak. The 1883 Sinnott House at NW 3rd & Couch can be seen in the far distance.

A2005-001.1106 traffic signal SW 4th north from Oak 1946(City of Portland Archives)

11 thoughts on “SW 4th Avenue, 1946

  1. That tower was the first thing I noticed. It looks dangerous.

    Is the Multnomah sign hanging by wires or on top of the building? I wonder what it was for? I think I should know but it isn’t coming to me.

    The photographer couldn’t have timed the light better!

  2. Has anyone noticed the men working on the Multnomah sign? Not a job I would like to do for sure. Perhaps that is the reason for the photo?

  3. Actually, the building on the NW corner of Oak and 4th (brick building with the roman arches at the cornice) is still *technically* intact. It’s the 1895 Lincoln Building. It was “modernized” with a new skin of flat panels. I believe the remodeled outer skin was installed sometime in the late forties (but I could be wrong). Today it is offices for Multnomah County as well as other tenants.

    I had initially heard that the Lincoln Building was built as a warehouse for the Henry Weindhard brewery. The Unico web profile for the building claims it was a Weinhard brewery in itself. I’m not sure which is correct, since Henry Weinhard purchased an existing brewery on the West Burnside property in 1864. Perhaps it was a temporary brewery used while the oldest current West Burnside complex was being constructed (it was completed in 1908).

    The Multnomah banner is advertising for the Multnomah Hotel (today’s Embassy Suites).

    P.S.: Does anyone know the correct spelling for Weinhard? I want to type Weinhardt with a “t” but the Google search engine results are in disagreement.

  4. By the way, the photographer was either quite brave or quite foolhardy. He’s taking the photo from in traffic lane with the traffic coming from behind him on a yellow light (which we all know means “drive very,very fast”).

  5. The Gas holder tank was on the site of the current ODOT HQ ( Old gas company HQ building) on NW 2nd and NW Flanders.

  6. “Modernized Traffic Lights Installed in Downtown Area”

    “First of the new traffic-light installations in downtown Portland is this one at SW4th and Alder street…the lights will not break down as do the preset signals”

    “Portland can rest assured that nothing short of a major disaster can knock out the new system which is being installed on S.W. 4th…from S.W. Morrison to S.W. Oak street within the next 30 days…”

    The Sunday Oregonian, 02/17/1946, Page 10, with a big picture of 4th and Alder.

  7. What a wealth of information to be gotten here!! Good catch Dave Smith! I wouldn’t want that job at all!

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