Archive for the ‘Union Avenue’ Category

The Number Man

July 21, 2014

We don’t know the “Number Man’s” name, but after some digging we do now know what he was doing and what the numbers mean. As many have suggested on this site, the numbers are related to City public works projects. In the photograph below you can see the “Number Man” holding a sign with number 234 which corresponds to NE Beech and Union. Below that is a portion of the Public Works map for the street widening project. You’ll notice his number corresponds to the map’s number for the lot at the northeast corner of the intersection. The lengthy project records for the widening of Union (MLK) from NE Going to SE Lincoln include a text description and a number for each property affected by the widening project. For major projects such as street widening, the Department of Public Works created maps showing the affected properties and gave numbers to the corresponding locations. Public Works also created many records that describe the value of each property and how the owners would be compensated for their losses.

3708 NE MLK (at Beech), 1929 : A2009-009.1014

3708 NE MLK (at Beech), 1929 : A2009-009.1014

Partial map (3708 NE MLK), 1929 : C 4331

Partial map (3708 NE MLK), 1929 : C 4331


View this image on Efiles by clicking here.

Nick’s Flower Home, 1929

July 1, 2014

Here we see the “number man” standing outside Nick’s Flower Home in 1929. This building was located at 4040 NE Union Avenue between NE Mason Street and Shaver Street. As most of you know, Union Ave. became Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. These building are no longer standing.

Nick's Flowers at 4040 NE Union between Shaver and Mason 1929 :  A2009-009.1013

Nick’s Flowers at 4040 NE Union between Shaver and Mason 1929 : A2009-009.1013

View this image in Efiles by clicking here.

NE Union Avenue, 1929

May 21, 2014

It’s hard to believe anything on this bit of NE Union Avenue could still be standing but the little shop on the right, with the distinctive facade, is still on the east side of Martin Luther King Blvd., just south of Shaver Street.

A2009-009.1006 3962-3970 NE Union 1929(City of Portland Archives)

NE Union & Graham, 1929

May 13, 2014

This old building on the northwest corner of NE Union at Graham Street had quite a distinctive look. The photographer managed to capture a few of the neighborhood denizens, including the two children watching from the second floor window.

A2009-009.1039 NE Union & Graham 1929(City of Portland Archives)

NE Union Avenue, 1929

April 29, 2014

The building just to the right of the two featured yesterday also did not fare well during its street-widening makeover. Today’s look is a far cry from this handsome 1929 facade. At least that little space (a stairway) between buildings is still there.

A2009-009.1808 NE Union between Russell & Knott 1929(City of Portland Archives)

NE Union Ave & Russell, 1929

April 28, 2014

Today we find our Number Man standing on the west side of NE Union Avenue just north of Russell Street in 1929. The buildings still stand but look a bit different today. I suspect they lost a few feet of their fronts when Union was widened, the reason they were being documented here in the first place.

A2009-009.1034 2611-2629 NE Union 1929(City of Portland Archives)

NE Union & Knott, 1929

March 31, 2014

At first glance you’d think these two imposing homes on NE Union Avenue at Knott Street are long gone. Surprisingly, they both still stand today, as does the third home in the background. It appears both have had the elevated ground excavated and the basements removed so the first floors sit at street level today.

A2009-009.1053 NE Union & Knott 1929(City of Portland Archives)


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