SW Morrison & 5th, 1907

Portland appeared to be a busy, progressive and prosperous city in this 1907 street scene looking west on SW Morrison at 5th Avenue. Pioneer Courthouse is on the immediate left and the Portland Hotel, site of today’s Pioneer Courthouse Square, looms in the distance beyond that. Meier & Frank would build their flagship store on the block to the immediate right.

(City of Portland Archives)

13 thoughts on “SW Morrison & 5th, 1907

  1. Apparently crosswalks weren’t invented yet. The stylish young woman standing at the conjunction of the two buildings that were to become Meier & Frank has discovered a way to keep her skirts from being soiled by road berries. Simply wear them higher. Scandalous!

  2. She could be a tall teenager, too. Younger girls were able to wear shorter skirts. I know my grandmother – who was 15 when this photo was taken – said she loved when the 20s came around and skirts got a lot shorter. Hey, maybe that’s my grandmother in the photo!
    I love all of the old buildings. Great structures. At least the Pioneer courthouse is still standing.

  3. we can see the both the portland hotel which was torn down in the late 40’s (I think) and the marquam hotel, which I guess was torn down after a structural failure.

  4. Did Meier & Frank tear down those buildings to build their store?

    Odd question – does anyone know what happened to the 12 days of Christmas window display and the mono-rail before Macy’s took over?

  5. Alyson – The Portland Hotel was torn down (in 1951) for… wait for it…

    A parking lot. For Meier & Frank.

  6. I remember going to a meeting in City Hall in the late 60s to protest against M&F’s plans to build an even bigger parking lot on that site. We wanted them to put in a zocalo-type park that would be Portland’s ‘living room’. And we prevailed!

  7. Thanks for that link, Jim. It was a beautiful building. I’m surprised they didn’t use steel in the original construction of the foundation. And I’m sure Sandra Bernhardt would be fascinated to know she was performing way back in the 1890’s. He obviously meant Sarah Bernhardt.

  8. Love the Portland Hotel building. Someone on another blog compared it to Victoria BC’s Empress Hotel. Apparently it had 326 rooms and was the largest hotel in terms of room count in the state at the time of its completion. Eleven different US presidents stayed there.

    What’s the building on the right with the pyramidal capped towers? And how do I access the City of Portland Archives? I want to see more photos of the hotel!

  9. such beauitful buildings then un like today ! they build the most cold and heartless buildings ever seen buildings now a days are not warm and cozy like they where A 100 years ago so ornate and such class buildings now are to sharp loud wild crazy clean lined cold and abnormal Atrocious Architectural madness of 21 century seeing this style of building
    is A disgrace to this country all the Architects that design this Architectural Stupidity Architects today have lack of intelligence, understanding, reason, wit or common sense to build something
    with 19 th century beauty all aways love beautiful old architecture like renaissance art deco victorian italianate and much more happy new year !!! 2019

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