Eisenhower in Portland

President Dwight D. Eisenhower is riding down SW Broadway in this undated LIFE magazine photo. I believe this is 1956, as he made a west coast swing in October of that year during the presidential campaign. He’s riding in the “bubbletop” 1950 Lincoln Cosmopolitan limousine which I don’t think would have been available to Ike in 1952.

The cross street immediately behind him is Washington Street. The Plaza Hotel is now Hotel Vintage Plaza and the Bank of California building replaced the Union Pacific and Liberty Theater block on the left.


SW 18th & Morrison, 1939

This sunny day in 1939 finds us looking north from SW 18th & Morrison towards West Burnside. Today, 18th is one-way off to the right and 19th (seen here on the left) is one-way towards our vantage point. On the far side of Burnside, a McDonald’s and its parking lot replace that whole row of buildings. Note the Willamette Heights streetcar on 19th and another streetcar headed up Burnside.

The island in the center is the Campbell Memorial, named for Fire Chief David Campbell, who lost his life fighting the Union Oil Fire on June 26, 1911. This memorial is in sad shape and is in danger of being demolished, with a new memorial being constructed elsewhere. Read more about the memorial here.

Thanks to alert Vintage Portland reader Tanya for suggesting this.

(City of Portland Archives)

Pacific Coast Biscuit Co.

Surprisingly, the Pacific Coast Biscuit Co. building looks today pretty much like it did in 1917. The biggest difference is that the top floor of the building at the far left has been removed. The soldiers are probably members of the Oregon National Guard, attached to the Portland Armory building, which is just at the photographer’s back. We’re looking northwest at the corner of NW 11th and Davis.

(City of Portland Archives)

Front Avenue Sewer Construction, Part 2

This 1927 photo, taken from the Burnside Bridge, shows Bates Dock, just south of the Bridge. This construction was part of the sewer and seawall construction. The work in the immediate foreground will become the pumping station, and the buildings just beyond line Front Street; what you see here is the backs of the buildings. The pumping station and buildings can be seen in this aerial photo. Also see this photo of the same construction project.

The Spalding Building at SW 3rd and Washington can be seen in the distance at left (behind the water tank), and the Multnomah Hotel can be seen in the distance on the right.

(City of Portland Archives)

Eastbank Freeway Construction, 1962

It was at this point that Portland lost its eastbank river frontage to pedestrian-friendly use, perhaps forever. Directly below is the east end of the Morrison Bridge with new ramps that will connect to what will become I-5 through Portland. Industrial property had been cleared and the freeway path is visible heading north, curving around the new Memorial Coliseum partially visible in upper left.

(City of Portland Archives)

McBreen Building, 1970

The 1883 McBreen Building stood on SW Morrison between 3rd and 4th Avenues. It was demolished (along with all its block neighbors) in 1978 and the “fish garage” built in its place. The Yeon Building can be seen in the distance.

(University of Oregon Libraries)