SE Powell & 13th, 1934

This quaint little Handy Grocery building once occupied the northeast corner of SE 13th and Powell (here looking east on Powell). I doubt that a single item in this photo still exists.

(City of Portland Archives)

7 thoughts on “SE Powell & 13th, 1934

  1. At this corner of the intersection is now SE Grind, the 24-hour coffee shop, and a roofing company warehouse (and a bunch of parking lots) is just beyond. This is right before you’d today go under the 17th Avenue interchange thing and the UP freight tracks, which must have crossed at-grade then?

    Edelweiss Sausage and a Subway are across the street. Along with another bunch of parking lots and a strip mall. I’m gonna agree with Dan, I’m pretty sure nothing in that picture still exists.

    I’m really interested in what that building in the foreground on the right side of the street (the one that looks like it’s covered in ivy or something) was?

  2. I’m fairly certain that the camera is looking west in this photo, not east. That would put the grocery on the southwest corner of 13th and Powell. The biggest clue is the line of hills in the distance, which look an awful lot like the west hills. There’s nothing equivalent to that looking east, unless it’s a trick of the camera. Also, if we were looking east, I’m pretty sure we’d be able to see the train tracks.

    Sanborn maps of the era (Sheet 791) seem to bear this out, although I’m having a hard time reconciling the map with the Richfield gas station on the right. There is a funny-shaped triangular lot on the SW corner that seems to be the exact shape of the grocery store. On the map, the ivy-covered building is labeled “Public Library Brooklyn Branch.”

  3. Dan – I’ve come around to your way of thinking; this is a view west, not east.

    Here’s my theory of the view, and I’ve added a modified 1924-1950 Sanborn map to illustrate (link below).

    On the left side of the photo, the wedge-shaped Fruits and Vegetable store takes up the east end of block 1293 on the south side of Powell at 13th. The next group of buildings we see (hardware store, bakery) is on block 1290, ending in the two-story brick drug store that we can just see the top face of.

    On the right side of the street, the ivy-covered building is the two-story brick Portland Machine Shops, not the library. The intersection we see just past there is Milwaukee Ave. Beyond that we see the Richfield station on block 1231-1/2 and the two-story reinforced concrete laundry on block 1230-1/2. Way in the distance where we see the Signal Gasoline sign is the “greasing/gas & oil” station on block 1247 between 10th and 9th Avenues, and where Powell takes a slight left to go across the bridge. The houses are on block 1248 between 9th and 8th.

  4. Yep. That all makes sense. I think you’re right about the brick building being the machine shops. I wonder what the sign says on the cornice of that building?

    And I found two more confirming clues on the Sanborn map: There’s a triple fire hydrant (T.H.) mapped in front of 1236 Powell, and you can see that same hydrant in the photo. Also, the map says that 1146 Powell was a bakery, which seems to line up with the bakery sign in the photo.

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