Portland Panorama, 1912

There’s just so much to love about this 1912 photo taken of Portland and Mt. Hood from the west hills, maybe Pittock Mansion. St. Francis Catholic Church (from Wednesday’s post) is unmistakeable at upper left, while the old Washington High School sits just to its south. The old Blitz Weinhard brewery is on Burnside, Portland High School is visible on SW Morrison, and a pre-PGE Park athletic field is in the foreground. You can see the steel frame of the Benson Hotel under construction too. Fabulous detail for a photo of this vintage.

(City of Portland Archives)

19 thoughts on “Portland Panorama, 1912

  1. What a fantastic photo, Dan. Portland as it was becoming a modern city of the 20th century. Wasn’t 1912 also the year that Jackson Tower was built? It looks like it’s completed but there are no clocks on the tower. Very fascinating photo, Dan.

  2. Wow! Thanks for this Dan. As you said, “Fabulous detail”! In the far left foreground I can see the Trinity Episcopal Cathedral(built in 1906) which helped me triangulate and identify several houses in the Nineteenth St.(now Ave.) neighborhood. The Cathedral replaced the Bishop Scott Academy. I can see the prominent corner tower of the Philip Lowengart house and just in front of that, gables of the David Tuthill residence. Above the tower of the Cathedral I can make out the conical tower and distinctive roofline of the Knapp Mansion just peeking out of a sea of trees. Unfortunately all these fine houses have been reduced to dust, but it sure is fun to see them again. Thanks for the treat. Cheers, Edmund

  3. Wonderful photograph. Question: the Hotel Carlton; was it done in by the freeway? I’d seen other photos and assumed that it was replace by the Alma Hotel, but it appears that the Alma and attendant former Key Radio Station on the current Burnside triangle are extant in this photo.

  4. The Stelwyn – an apartment building I lived in on St. Claire & Burnside – is in the photo. It was owned by a woman named Stella who was from one of Portland’s founding families. I think it was the Failing family but it could’ve been another family. She was in her 90’s when I lived there in 1970-71. It burned to the ground about a year after I moved out. Governor Tom McCall’s mother lived in the apartment below mine.

  5. @Jim – The Carlton Hotel was at 1405 SW Washington, a definite freeway victim. The brick building just beyond the Carlton is the Taft-Owen Hotel, now the low income housing next to the Crystal Ballroom.

  6. What is the castle like bldg along the top line of the lower 3rd of the photo in about the center? Old Portland High School?

  7. Hi Roxanne, You’re correct. That’s definitely the old Portland High school. What a monumental edifice to demonstrate Portland’s commitment to higher education. Buildings like that helped to put Portland on the Map as a viable and growing “modern” city in the late 19th century.

  8. I am assuming the hill dead center in the background is Mt. Taobr, on the left side of it, I think the white bldg in the middle of the empty space must be the Josselyn home, a bldg that was formerly the Massachusetts bldg at the Lewis & Clark exposition. It was purchased by him and moved to Mt. Tabor along Belmont about 61st to 63rd.

  9. Alas, according to a notation on a picture of the house from the Benjamin A. Gifford photograph collection- “6/47 Residences–Benage S. Josselyn family, 1910 Colonial Revival style house constructed as Massachusetts Building for Lewis and Clark Centennial Exposition in 1905, then moved to 6650 SE Scott Drive. Burned circa 1938-1939”. Guide to the Gifford Photographs Collection
    circa 1890-1947

  10. I have a photo that shows (it says) the Belmont Street car line with the house in the background. I understand that it was first Josselyn’s house, then an asylum. My dad thinks the property (and I think he is right) became the 1st Portland Adventist Hospital which was on the corner of 60th/Belmont and is now Marquis Care at Belmont. He says a photo of the original bldg is displayed in the foyer. I understood it was around until about 1950. I’ll have to recheck.

  11. Roxanne,

    Google provides some seeming conflicting information on Josselyn Hall. One account states that the building burned in the thirties, another says the house was demolished in the 40s (though both could technically be correct as with the burned out hotel that was on the east side of the Burnside Bridge for years).

    Here’s an account from the Mt. Scott Neighborhood newsletter that seems accurate. A Googlemaps search of Scott Drive and 66th Place shows the last vestiges of the property (planters) mentioned in the newsletter. The terrain also seems more accurate, as 60th and Belmont seems to have a flatter topography than shown in the old photos.


  12. Yes, there’s a lot of conflicting information out there as to its location. I’ve uploaded a bit of the Sanborn map:

    I don’t think this house is visible on the panorama photograph above. I believe the white spot on the clearing is SE Yamhill as it curves up the side of Mt. Tabor.

  13. I’m trying to locate The Fabian Hotel. (rooms) It should be here as I have newspaper clips as late as 1924. It was at 489 and a half Washington Street. I think the Hotel Carlson was the old Heillig Theatre. Am I correct. The Fabian Hotel was next to the Theatre and maybe the Carlson for a few years. Someone mentioned “just beyond the Carlton was the Taft-Owen. Since it was a low income residence….could this be the Fabian Hotel. Does anyone have information?

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  15. I have this same photo sitting in my office I wonder how many of them were printed? Hmmm thanks for sharing.

  16. The house immediately above the word “Oregon” in the bottom left is still there (at 2670 NW Beuhla Vista) – if it’s the one I’m thinking of. That home has that very roof-line but Portlandmaps.com come shows it built in 1913. The shot would surely have been taken up near Pittock’s place.

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