The Curtis

Between the One Way sign and The Curtis is the excavated I-405 freeway in southwest Portland. Beyond The Curtis is the KGW studios on SW Jefferson and the West Hills in the distance. The Curtis was eventually demolished. Photo is from the mid- to late-1960s.

(University of Oregon Libraries)

15 thoughts on “The Curtis

  1. Love it! So sad to think what the 405 took out. Do you by chance have any photos of what was removed on W. Burnside between 14th and 16th? I used to live on the building on 16th and always wonder if it was lonely all alone, since it seemed to have at once time had a neighbor.

  2. So what was the Curtis, and what was it’s actual address? James Beard’s book, ‘Delights and Prejudices’ talks about a Curtis Hotel on the corner of 12th and Morrison in the late 1800s–is this somehow related to the Curtis in the photo above?

  3. So the Curtis was located on 14th, huh? Well, dang, I’ve been desperate to find some decent shots (not distant aerial views) of around SW 14th and Columbia, where my apartment building is located. Right around the Imperial Arms and the Grandview apartments (build in the early 1900s) in particular. At least this is close! If you ever run across decent shots of the area prior to the building of I-405, please post ’em!

  4. I remember that building. And if memory serves me correctly, the Curtis was either an apartment building or hotel for women only. There used to be a sign in front stating so. I did a lot of exploring of downtown Portland when I was a teenager in the ’60’s & the more I think about it the more sure I am that was the buidling. I thought it was a really cool-looking old mansion.

  5. In 1952 I lived in this building as a young 18-yr old single woman when it was called Jeanne D’Arc Hotel. It was for women only. I had come to Portland from Silverton to attend Portland Art Museum & get a job, after having graduated from Mt.Angel Academy, a private all-girls school operated by the Benedictine Sisters. Jeanne D’Arc was a safe haven for young inexperienced girls trying to get a foothold in the surely evil ‘big city’ of Portland. I believe the place was run by a Catholic Order. There was a strict curfew (10:00pm I believe), which was rigidly enforced. I remember sitting in front of the entrance one Saturday evening in a car with a nice young guy. When the curfew hour struck, someone in the hotel flicked the outside lights on & off several times alerting any of us girls still outside to get inside fast or we’d be locked out. I lingered with my fella for about 15 minutes. Yes, I was locked out.
    Jeanne D’Arc had lovely rooms, a friendly warm ambience, good meals
    and advice (now called counselling) if you needed it. Quite a lovely place – but very strict. Remember, this was the 1950’s.

  6. Ha very cool! I am currently living in this building…everything is still original which means it has a lot of issues but also that early 1900’s charm. They just don’t make things the way they used to. I mean the hardware, wood work and the clawfoot tubs are just so beautiful, not to mention the amazing view of the city. This is really neat to see this photo. I wish the street still looked the exact same. Thankyou!

  7. Jeff, I suspect you meant that comment to go with a different post because that building hasn’t existed in over 40 years. 🙂

  8. This is a very cool picture. I currently live in the Imperial Arms and have a lot of questions about its history and the buildings surrounding it from the past. Nice to start piecing the puzzle together.

  9. I used to live in this building when it was student housing for PSU in the 70s. It was called Marabba West then. It was also called The Princess and the Hill Top. Mark Twain stayed there.

  10. I also lived at the Marabba West while a student at PSU.. The students shared the kitchen facilities on the main floor and I can still almost smell the combining aromas. I have no photos of the interior of Marabba West…I can only see the main floor and my room in vague memories and in my dreams..

  11. The Jeanne d’Arc was at 1215 SW 14th St. It was demolished in 1977 for the KGW parking lot. And yes, it was a hotel for women run by the nuns. But, a better hotel for women was the Martha Washington at `10th & Montgomery which later became a part of the Portland State housing. But, it was really a good safe place for women to live – and not as up straight and strict as the Jeanne d’Arc..

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