SW Madison St., 1915

Before Cole McElroy’s Spanish Ballroom was built on the lot north of Portland City Hall (see yesterday’s post), a group of ramshackle homes and businesses covered the block. Probably not many people outside of the residents mourned the loss of these structures. McElroy’s would rise where the boarding house is at the upper right.

(City of Portland Archives)

4 thoughts on “SW Madison St., 1915

  1. I dare say, even many of the residents may not have mourned the passing of their some of these “homes”. The boarding house looks like it was pretty cool at one time though.

    Given the garden plots in the properties to the right and the apparent lumber yard to the left. The neighbors appear to have been pretty self-sufficient.

    Eerie effect in the open door of the house to the lower right. It looks like the resident is sitting inside with his “pet” at his side. I’m guessing it’s a dog that was in motion at the time the photo was snapped. Hence the weird elongation from the from door to the inside.

    The picture appears to have been taken sometime around Christmas. The person in the house (if it’s a person) may be listening to his radio.
    WW1 was in full swing in Europe. The Lusitania had been sunk but the U.S. had not yet joined the conflict.

  2. “Heinz Tomato Ketchup – Contains no Benezoate of Soda!”

    Wow, those ad guys really knew how to sell stuff back then. 🙂

  3. Minor correction to my previous post. The guy or ghost or whatever is seen in the doorway probably isn’t listening to a radio (according to Wikipedia) because widespread commercial availability of radios didn’t come around until the 1920s.

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