Altamont Apartment Building, 1904-2010

The Altamont Apartment Building graced the southwest corner of SW 5th Avenue and College Street for over 100 years. Probably not architecturally noteworthy, and certainly not historically significant, it was nonetheless one of the few remaining early 20th century buildings of any size left in this part of town. It was demolished this month, the site destined to become a 16-story housing unit for the Portland State University campus. The home to its right on College street, built in 1880, is gone too.

(Both photos – personal collection)

13 thoughts on “Altamont Apartment Building, 1904-2010

  1. So sad, I hate it when the few buildings like this in SW/Downtown are torn down. I was most sad when the apartments on Jefferson and Broadway with the flower shop were replaced by that ugly new apartment high rise.

  2. Alyson,

    I’m guessing you’re talking about the Rose Friend apartment building. If so, not only was is a shame that the building was replaced with a new highrise, but it was short-sighted since there is a surface level parking lot kitty corner to the former site that would have sufficed for the new building. Of course, I don’t believe the church that owns the block on which the Rose Friend was located also owns the parking lot across the way, but still…

    Oh well, at least they saved the Ladd Carriage house.

  3. I have a friend who lived in the Altamont back in the mid-1970s while he was going to PSU. In exchange for reduced rent, he did some rehab work inside his unit and I helped a bit. It looked pretty decent by the time he was done. I believe it was the middle above-ground floor just to the right of the entry.

  4. Horrible. I knew this day was coming for a long time, but I still don’t understand why. A solid, beautiful building. More than I can say for what’s going to take its place.

    Dozens of these buildings make great neighborhoods. Built on a human scale, they relate well to the street and create a rich, pleasant classically urban environment that in the end is much greater than the sum of its parts.

    Let’s get ready for another bland, soulless, generic, pedestrian-snubbing glass box in the heart of our city…

  5. Jim – Yes! that is the apartment building I was talking about. I loved the bay windows. I am very happy that they saved the Ladd Carriage house as well. Though when I go by it at night, it kind of looks as though it is made out of plastic now. Not sure if that is the odd lighting or the fact that the paint and everything is so fresh.

  6. yeah and the replacement building (complete with trendy ugly random windows like every other new building in town) is going to be an overscaled monstrosity that will engulf that victorian house.

    its a sad commentary on the state of contemporary architecture when an old ordinary building is much more appreciated than a brand new building.

  7. I think the “plastic” look of the Ladd carriage house is due in part to the new paint and the fact they had to replace much more of the siding and trim than they first anticipated. It looks a little too perfect to those of us who were used to the 120 year old look of the structure before its restoration.

  8. Hey there, You have done a fantastic job. I should surely stumbleupon it and I’ll suggest to my local freinds. I know they’ll be took advantage of this blog.

  9. Hi I use to live in the Altamont Apartments from 2003-2005. My landlord was Sing. I had a friend named Daniel Pirtle who I am looking for, so I was wondering if anyone remembered him? He lived in the basement and was a screenwriter.

    This was the most beautiful apartment and one of the spookiest I lived in. I had some very strange experiences in it. I miss it.

    If anyone knows who and or where Daniel is please let me know. Or give him my information.


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