Questionable Location, c1932

This circa 1932 photo is labeled as “SE 50th, Foster & Powell” but it doesn’t seem to match any previous photos we’ve seen of that location. We need some VP sleuths to confirm this location or to identify the real location. Good luck!

Update: This location is correct. The view is looking west on SE Powell with 50th (and the Foster Road trolley tracks) crossing in front of us. Trees up ahead indicate Creston Park. Good work everyone!

A2009-009.900 SE 50th, Foster & Powell c1932(City of Portland Archives)

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20 Responses to “Questionable Location, c1932”

  1. Elliott Says:

    The angled service station building on the SW corner looks the same and in the same spot as in this aerial post of the intersection.

    Not much else is the same on quick glance.

  2. Chris Tyle Says:

    According to the 1933 City Directory, the Creston Grocery, which seems to be the business on the right, was at 3423 50th SE.

  3. Jim Says:

    Comparing this photo with Eliott’s link to the earlier VP post, I wonder if this is actually SE 49th and Powell.

  4. Brian Says:

    Seems legit to me. There is a street sign on the pole in front of Creston Grocery that says 50th ST S.E. On the far side of the intersection, the curb on the left looks decidedly further away than the curb on the right. Note also the traffic signal pointing south but turned toward the viewer a little; just as one would expect at this intersection.

    Given the widening and modifications to this intersection, especially post freeway abandonment, I would say this is correct. Current view:


  5. Brian Says:

    This photo matches this earlier VP post dated 1937.

    The white two-story building on the right just behind the billboard and in front of the Shell sign are all the same in both photos. The grocery is gone by 1937 but the angled traffic signal facing Foster is still there. So yes, this is 50th, Foster and Powell.

  6. Dennis Says:

    @ Chris are you accessing a City Directory online? the only ones I have found are in the historical society Library

  7. Peter Pimentel Says:

    My 1940 polk’s Directory lists creston grocery at 4904 SE Powell Blvd.

  8. Brian Says:

    @Peter: as you can see from the photo I linked, the grocery in the c1932 photo was demolished by 1937.

  9. Norm Says:

    If that is Powell, then nearly all of the buildings and trees were wiped-out when it was widened. A Taco Bell is now located where the market is in the photo.Parking lots and large commercial buildings now occupy the left side of the photo.

    What’s up with the lights embedded in the street? The light in the middle of the street is labeled “stop”, but what does the light at the far right indicate? Was that just a stop/go light?

  10. Mike Says:

    I’d concur with 50th and Powell, if you look at the lower left tire marks on the roadway angling toward the Foster pattern, as well as the radius of the curb at the Shell. Perhaps the lights in the road on the right curb are an early version of Max signals for the street car?

  11. Jim Says:

    I’m going to amend my answer and concur with Mike and Brian. I was originally assuming the view was looking East. It isn’t; it’s looking West from 50th towards 49th.

  12. betsy cameron Says:

    Does that grocery store say Creston, and is that neighborhood called Creston?

  13. Paul Says:

    The old Creston School on the left, you can just see the roof above the smaller Shell sign.

  14. Jill-O Says:

    Betsy, the Creston-Kenilworth neighborhood is roughly SE 26th to Foster E/W and Powell to Holgate N/S.

  15. Tom Jones Says:

    Remember the 1960′s ground mounted rubber STOP signs that stuck out of the pavement like mud flaps?

  16. kjpinportland Says:

    Those little red Stop flaps were cool. I think there are still 3 or 4 around Portland. At least 10 years ago there were a couple left that I saw.

    An aside…Kenilworth never wanted a pairing with Creston. The city forced it down Kenilworth’s throat without a vote. Geez, sorta like the CEC Blvd. fiasco.

    The CEC thing is going to still sting for the next 50 years. I, and about 10,000 others hope we live long enough to see it changed back to 39th. Everyone, and I mean everyone, I ever mention it to, is in 100% agreement that we ‘got railroaded’ with CEC, yet that’s what we expect from City Hall and it will take hell freezing over to change the way they usurp common law in Portland.

    Why not 122nd, 148th, 162nd? 39th is an historical street for multiple generations of native Portlanders.

  17. Chris Tyle Says:

    @ Dennis – to answer your question, I have a subscription to and accessed the Polk Directory there.

  18. Ellen Dittebrandt Says:,Foster+-+Powell,+Portland,+OR&ei=5PQGU_fLGsSIogSnwIDoAQ&ved=0CJkBELYD

  19. Tom Jones Says:

    It may a bit late or a bit premature, but either way I’m with you-Bring Back 39th!

  20. Dan Packard Says:

    Nice grove of trees along Powell which now is replaced mainly by concrete and parking lots.

    The old Creston school back there on the left looks huge! And so many telephone poles and wires.

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