The Failing Building, on the northwest corner of SW 1st and Oak Street, looks much the same here in the 1950s as it did when constructed in 1886. Besides paint and signage, it’s still largely intact today, a fine example of 19th Century architecture with cast-iron details.
Archive for the ‘Downtown’ Category
Here’s a pretty aerial view of Southwest and Southeast Portland along the Willamette in 1963. The Marquam Bridge was still under construction and both banks of the river were generally much more industrialized than they are now. Lots of good detail to soak up in this beauty.
We’ve seen this view before but different vehicles make the scene unique. Looking south on SW Park Avenue from SW Yamhill, a Meier & Frank delivery truck is seen at center with a Rose City Pies delivery van parked at the curb. The car on the left curb has a “Walker’s” logo on the spare tire and it looks like a Jantzen girl figure in the center of the spare. The Admiral Hotel is visible across SW Taylor and beyond is the Old Heathman Hotel.
The people enjoying our spectacular autumn weather along Tom McCall Waterfront Park would little recognize the same scene 90-some years ago. The dock at the foot of SW Jefferson Street then held barrels of tar for paving projects; the waterfront still has this physical configuration at the south end of the pavement and seawall. Riverplace Hotel and marina now replace Northwestern Electric’s Lincoln Plant in the distance.
While quite a few of the downtown buildings in this 1949 photo from Portland Heights can still be identified today, many of the smaller buildings, particularly houses, are gone from the foreground area. Compare with this photo from some 30 years later, from roughly the same spot, after US-26 and I-405 were cut through the area.