General Pants Co., 1971

It was probably hard to miss the General Pants Co. store while driving past. But the top floors showed the classic style and fine detailing of Portland’s cast iron building inventory. The 1883 Council building, at SW 3rd and Washington, fell to the wrecker’s ball sometime in the 1970s (this photo is from 1971). The site remains a surface parking lot today. The light-colored building to the right, the Waldo Block, remains; for years home to Elephant & Castle pub, it now hosts Mama Mia Trattoria.

By the way, the “Vines” on the clock was a department store. Anybody have any information on it?

(University of Oregon Libraries)

7 thoughts on “General Pants Co., 1971

  1. Vines was a jewelry store located within this old building on Washington Street. My husband purchased my engagement/wedding ring set from Vines in 1962.

  2. My husband also says his Dad took him to Vines and they picked out his 8th grade graduation watch from Vines as well. That would have been in 1955!

  3. We shopped here in the 70’s it was so hip! Incrediable merchadisers! Does anyone know where the owners of this went after it closed?

  4. Interesting similarities between the Council building and Waldo buildings, though they look quite different here. The style of the second and third floor window casements appear to be the same, but reversed. The third floor pediment missing from the Waldo building in this picture has since been restored.

  5. Jim not only the pediment but the entire cornice has been restored. I wonder if is a replication or if the original was preserved all those years. Also the cast iron columns on the first floor have been exposed since this photo. Excellent restoration. See it today:

  6. My Grandfather Jacob Vines owned a pawn shop in Portland during the depression and then a jewelry store. I remember this clock when I would visit him as a child. I will check with my Aunt who still lives in Seattle.

  7. I bought some brown bell bottom cords at General Pants in that Portland store in either 1966 or 1967. I remember them well.
    Loved the place!

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