NE 39th & Sandy, 1958

The iconic Pagoda Chinese restaurant and lounge opened on the northwest corner of NE 39th and Broadway in 1940. It closed on the last day of 2008 and has been remodeled into a Key Bank. The Pagoda was one of Portland’s first Chinese restaurants outside of downtown. Later patrons were unimpressed with the food but had high praise for the lounge. The Rankin Building would become Poor Richard’s restaurant in 1959. NE Sandy passes on a diagonal just beyond the barricades.

(City of Portland Archives)

Cambridge Block, 1955

The Cambridge Block was built in 1884 by Henry W. Corbett for $75,000. Architect Warren H. Williams incorporated many cast-iron design features from other Portland buildings, including Cooks’ Block. The Cambridge Block stood on the southwest corner of SW 3rd and Morrison until its demolition in 1962. You can find Pioneer Place there now.
(University of Oregon Libraries)

Ainsworth Block, 1955

When Portland businessman John C. Ainsworth constructed his bank building in 1881, it was the most expensive, at $100,000, to date. It stood on the northwest corner of SW 3rd and Oak until 1955 when it was demolished for the surface parking lot that is still there. Read more about this fine building on Dan Haneckow’s Cafe Unknown.

(University of Oregon Libraries)

Spaulding Building, 1953

The Spaulding Building was one of Portland’s more distinctive designs. It was built for owner William Wallace Spaulding for $30,000 in 1883. It stood on SW 1st Avenue between Columbia and Clay Streets until 1967 when it was demolished as part of the South Auditorium Urban Renewal District project. A white concrete slab wall at the back of the Marriott Hotel is all you see there now.

(University of Oregon Libraries)

SW Washington at 6th, circa¬†1950

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

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)