Jefferson West Apartments, 1940

The Jefferson West Apartment building has stood on SW Jefferson between SW 11th and 12th since 1923. I believe it’s been empty for several years as owner Portland Development Commission decides what to do with it, but in 1940 it was a busy center of commerce and entertainment.

(City of Portland Archives)

8 thoughts on “Jefferson West Apartments, 1940

  1. I hate to be the guy who says that the city’s records are wrong, but the city’s records are wrong. The addition—past the cleaners and including the theater in this photo—was in fact a product of that time. The building in the foreground, though, dates to 1911 and was built by Reed College as a home for their first year of classes.

  2. Two former coworkers of mine shared a two bedroom (third floor?) apartment on the corner over the Save-Right Market. At that time it was a combination pizza and jazz venue. I can’t remember the name right off the top of my head, but I believe the pizza parlor had a pizza-bar before Izzy’s.

    If the old fashioned X-Walk sign had survived, it would have had an entirely different meaning in the approach to Jefferson Theater. 😉

  3. Interesting how the Safeway has slowly moved locations farther east. When we lived near there a few years ago before its last move, most people in the area referred to it as “Psycho Safeway”. Believe me, on a few of my late night trips to the store it lived up to it’s name.

  4. The Jazz Quarry. That was the name of the venue in the ground floor of the Jefferson West. The Pizza Quarry was the attached restaurant if I’m not mistaken.

  5. I have come to the conclusion the photographer responsible for many of these pics drove that gray, 1934 Ford, five window coupe which is still my dream car.

  6. The Jefferson Theater…I’d almost forgotten about that place!

    THE MORTAL STORM: a 1940 film starring Margaret Sullivan, James Stewart and Robert Young.

    THOSE WERE THE DAYS: a 1940 film starring William Holden, Bonita Granville and Ezra Stone.

    Originally, The Jefferson Theater was considered just another regular movie theater in town. It opened just prior to 1940 and continued well in the 50’s and 60’s. Its original address was 1129 SW Jefferson Street. Later, it became an adult theater which operated for over 30 some odd years. From what I’ve found, the original entrance was later sealed off and a new entrance created around the corner, on SW 12th Avenue, using a former exit. It closed in the summer of 2007.

    I knew someone who lived in the Jefferson West at one time. They later moved because the pedestrian traffic changed a little and it was beginning to make them a bit nervous, especially coming home after working a swing shift!

    The Jazz Quarry…The Hobbit…and a place called The West Bank…and THAT brings up a sudden old memory…it reminded me of Jeannie Hoffman, or Jean Hoffman Bork, whatever…her parents, Ed & Mary Bork, lived just up the street from us…I got to hear her play, all the time, back in the late 50’s and early 60’s…and I just got a chill…WOW! I also remember…her parents had a great powder blue and white, brand new ’56 Lincoln Premiere! I was always so glad when they left it out of the garage and in their driveway…I could see it, not only from my front yard but from my bedroom window as well! That’s around the time fell in love with cars!

    And, hearing the name of Jeannie/Jean Hoffman, if my mind serves me correctly, that’s right around the time when I first heard the term “beatnik”!

    Jim K

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