Associated Service Station, 1938

Here’s a spectacular professional photo of what is probably the grand opening of the Associated service station downtown. This business replaced the Scott Hotel at SW Broadway and W Burnside; our view looks north from Pine Street. This photo comes to us courtesy of VP fan Mike Slama whose friend found a stash of negatives in the old Photo Art lab building. Score!

(Mike Slama)

18 thoughts on “Associated Service Station, 1938

  1. Wow! I’m certain the building to the right of the Broadway Hotel (today’s Helen M. Swindell building), is still there in the form of the current St. Vincent De Paul’s. Comparing the vertical columns and patterns between the wide columns and narrow ones, it appears someone thought that covering windows and removing architectural details was a good idea. IMO, they were wrong.

    Was Associated Service Stations related to Signal? There are some similarities in building design.

  2. Jim, Associated was a separate company from Signal. Associated became Flying A Gasoline (see the sign recently uncovered on McLaughlin/Tacoma). I do see the similarities to the buildings. Both styles were built locally by the Becker Co. which is still in business today. There are two surviving Associated stations in Portland, one on Sandy Blvd. across from the old Alexander Chrysler and one on Interstate. There are two Signal stations also, one on 3rd that has had some modification and one that has been restored to original on N. Lombard in St. Johns. See this link:

  3. Spectacular shot, indeed! Hope to see more from this archive. I looked on Portland Maps and the building next to the B-way hotel is indeed still standing. I agree with you Jim; terrible what they did to it. For a building that houses a ministry that welcomes people off the street for food and comfort, the architecture doesn’t convey that message.

  4. Thanks Mike,

    I live in the St. Johns area so I’m familiar with the restored Signal Gas station (now Signal Pizza – good stuff). There is another abandoned Signal Gas station building along the Max yellow line. At least there was recently. It’s been awhile since I’ve paid attention while taking that train. I’m usually reading.

  5. Interesting that there are three visible theatrical (movie?) lights on stands in the parking lot, illuminating the building. Presumably they would have been painted out (or airbrushed?) in the final use of the photo.

  6. If I understand where we are in this photo, the Downtown Chapel (where I sometimes attend Mass when visiting Portland) is just out of the picture to the left. That building has also been scrubbed of pleasing architectural features, however, and looks, frankly, forbidding. Re: the Jesus Light of the World sign: a friend at PSU (PSC back then) in the 60s married a Danish woman while traveling abroad. When she arrived in Portland he took her to introduce her to the then-not-so-cosmopolitan life of downtown. When she saw that sign he said she burst out sobbing…and not from religious sentiment. The eventual removal of that sign, which was visible from far south on Broadway and from the hills, was a major improvement. I miss, though, the neon sign of the big goose on the roof of Gevurtz furniture which bore the pun: “A little down on a big bill.”

  7. Why would anybody use this forum to attack the Union Gospel Mission? Founded in 1927, they’re dedicated to feeding the hungry, restoring the addict and loving thy neighbor. Brian: How many people did you help in 2011? How many will you help in 2012?

  8. rumblefish: Nobody is attacking the Union Gospel Mission. The large lighted sign was atop the building that is now known as the Roseland Theater (prior to that is was the Starry Night – neither having much affiliatio with religion during their time). At the time of this photograph the building was known as the (I believe) the Church of the Apostolic Faith. I believe it was established by an evangelical revival group. You’ll note the Brian mentioned that he attends mass at the St. Vincent De Paul downtown chapel when he’s in town. I hardly think he would denigrate the goods works performed by the Union Gospel Mission. Anyway it was his friends fiance that was freaked out by the sign. It was a bit over the top.

  9. Ok Jim. Since you’re speaking for Brian now. What did he mean by: “the eventual removal of the sign was a major improvement”? Was he just trashing the Church of Apostolic Faith and it’s mission that helped the homeless from the street………or all missions in general that attempt to help people in need? As stated earlier, Brian attends church so I doubt he was taking a cheap shot at “The Son”. Please enlighten us Jim.

  10. ↑ fantastic photograph! Was this scanned from a print or the camera negative? (if latter, what size?)

    Hope you’ll post more from the Photo Art stash soon…

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