Archive for the ‘1950s’ Category

SW Washington at 6th, circa 1950

May 11, 2010

The corner of SW 6th & Washington isn’t so different today than it was 60 years ago. Despite some obvious changes, some buildings still exist. The Equitable Building (now Commonwealth Building) and Plaza Hotel (now Hotel Vintage Plaza) are still to be found on the right, and the Morgan Building is still a block up on Broadway. Can anybody make out what movie is playing at the United Artists theater?

(City of Portland Archives)

Harbor Drive, 1954

May 10, 2010

What’s now the grassy Tom McCall Waterfront Park was in 1954 the traffic-intense Harbor Drive. The Journal building (originally Portland Public Market building) came down in 1969 and the Morrison Bridge in the background was replaced in 1958. The 1949 Portland Visitors Information Center building (in front of the Journal building) still stands. This photo was taken from the Hawthorne Bridge.

(City of Portland Archives)

Cooks’ Block, 1959

April 29, 2010

This nice brick and cast-iron building was erected on the southeast corner of SW 2nd and Oak in 1884 at a cost of $20,000. This photo dates to 1959; the building was demolished in 1965.

(University of Oregon Libraries)

Ladd Block, circa 1955

April 23, 2010

The 1881 Ladd Block, on the northwest corner of  SW 1st and Columbia, survived until 1965 when it was demolished almost overnight and replaced with a paved parking lot. When the Benjamin Franklin Plaza building (now Umpqua Bank Plaza) was built across SW 1st Avenue, some of the cast-iron pieces from the Ladd Block were installed on the 19th floor.

(University of Oregon Libraries)

Guild’s Lake, circa 1952

April 16, 2010

This aerial photo shows Northwest Portland’s Guild’s Lake area around 1952. The Forestry Building, a remnant of the 1905 Lewis & Clark Exposition, and the huge Montgomery Ward building, are clearly visible in the foreground. On the left, the Guild’s Lake housing project, built for WWII shipyard workers, was sited generally between NW 31st and 35th Avenues, and NW Industrial Street and Yeon Avenue. It would be demolished within the next couple of years.

(City of Portland Archives)

Smith’s Block, circa 1955

April 14, 2010

If you’ve been to the Saturday Market area and seen the small parking lot at the southeast corner of SW 1st and Ash, this is what once filled that space. Built in 1872, Smith’s Block was originally a half-block on Ash between Front and 1st Avenue. Both Front and 1st Avenue sides were constructed of four 25-foot sections, as you see here on 1st. The left two sections seen here were demolished in 1955 to make way for the parking lot. Fortunately, the right two sections and all four sections on the Front Avenue side remain today and are nicely restored.

The cast-iron pattern used on this building was used on a number of other Portland buildings. You can see the same pattern across Ash street on the Lewis & Flanders block.

(University of Oregon Libraries)

Here’s how it looks now:

(Personal Collection)

Broadway Theater, 1959

April 9, 2010

The art deco Broadway Theater stood on SW Broadway between Salmon and Main from 1926 until its demolition in 1988. The 1000 Broadway building (which includes the Broadway Metro 4 theaters) was constructed on the theater’s former site. The Hilton Hotel replaced the one-story soda fountain on the left in 1962.

(University of Oregon Libraries)


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