SW Broadway, 1955

These stately homes lined the west side of SW Broadway north of Market Street. Date of demolition is unknown but they were replaced by the University Park Condominiums, built in 1988.

(University of Oregon Libraries)

12 thoughts on “SW Broadway, 1955

  1. I believe some of those houses were still standing in the late 60’s when I started college. Portland State owned the property & I think even used the houses for offices. There were quite a few old houses still standing in the PSU area at that time.

  2. Thanks for the “detour” Dan…I had forgotten that Broadway split into a two way street…but I did remember that one block further up was Dick Niles Lincoln-Mercury on the left! Shades of charcoal and pillars of magenta…and a revolving floor/car display in their showroom…or was that Logan Oldsmobile, over on SE Grand?

    Great photo…thanks again!

    Jim K

  3. Brian…

    Bingo! I had totally forgotten that it was Francis before Niles! After so many years, one does tend to forget a thing or two now and then!


    My referral to the revolving floor still stands tho…and after I posted my first comment, Lew came to mind, and now it’s buggin’ the hell outta me! Guess I’ll have to do a little diggin’ on my own…but thanks again for that photo…and incidentally, I also noticed the direction of the traffic! (And I’d LOVE to have that yellow Lincoln in the showroom!)

    Jim K

  4. I lived in the Victorian house on the left side in 1960-61 with 3 other guys while attending P.S.C. It was a great old place with 14′ ceilings, some combo gas/electric fixtures, sliding hidden doors between parlor & living rooms, etc. It was fine in nice weather but had no furnace or heating system so only winter warmth was provided by fireplaces … conditions only starving students would put up with and required extensive ‘” clothes layering ” . The upstairs balcony offered many opportunities for college ” pranks ” such as water ballooning pedestrians walking on Broadway ( juvenile but funny at the time !!) . The store front on lower right corner was the ” International Cafe & Coffee Shop ” with homemade Greek food and further North on the corner was ” Virg’s Coffe Cup” a hash, beans & franks, lima beans& ham hocks type cafe ( cheap eats !!). Across the street was Dick Niles Lincoln-Mercury . By 1964 these places were gone and replaced with a parking lot/ storage lot/ used car lot for Niles . There were lots of older housing around for students at that time but disappearing fast as the South Urban Renewal & U.S. 26 tunnel projects coupled with P.S.C. expansion took out entire blocks .
    Thanks Dan for the ” memories ” .

  5. Thanks for the info, Bud.
    Did Virg’s Coffee Cup sit on a corner and have frying pans adhered to their entrance doors? My dad occasionally took me and my older brother & sister to a place downtown for hamburgers. I’m sure it was a greasy spoon cafe. This was in the late 50s, early 60s. By the time I was old enough to explore downtown on my own I don’t remember seeing it. Do you remember a place like that?

  6. Hi Chuck ……. Your memory of “Virg’s Coffee Cup ” is absolutely right !! It sat on the corner with the entrance at a 45 degree angle to the corner and I had forgotten all about the frying pan door handle. The food was a little on the greasy spoon side but always big portions at pretty cheap prices. The burgers were bigger and better but not much more expensive than the P.S.C. cafeteria ones ( which were often akin to a track discus by the end of lunch hours ). For a better but more expensive burger the “hike ” to ” The Carnival ” with it’s unlimited condiment island and charred flavors was ” the ” place to go rain or no.

  7. Thanks, Bud. I never was sure what the name of that cafe was. Hadn’t even thought of it for years until you mentioned it. When I was a teen in the mid-to-late 60s we used to go to Robert’s Rod ‘n’ Reel on 9th around Yamhill for cream pie & a milk shake. Our waitress was an older woman named Twiggy. Do you remember that place?

  8. Dan,

    Great blog!
    I am working on a video project for Portland Parks and Rec. In it, I want to visually show historic Portland with transition to modern Portland. I know you credit City Of Portland Archives for most of your pictures, but after visiting their website, I can’t find any links to photos folders. Do you have to physically visit their offices for all the photos you use? Can you point me to a website to get good quality public use photos for this video project?

    Thanks in advance for any ideas you might have!


  9. Hey Chuck …. The old ” 3 R’s” ( Roberts Rod & Reel ) was an after the bars or taverns closed place with 24 hour service, etc. It was on the East side of S.W. Park across from The Virginia Cafe and long ago ” Zombie Zulu ” which later became “The Embers ” . The ” Zombie Zulu ” had quite the exterior being a combination of Polynesian and African decors !!! The “3 R ” waitresses were the best when it came to dealing with the 2:30-3:00 A.M. crowd serving bottomless cups of black coffee . It had good home style food and was also a nice place for lunch at the counter.

  10. The Student Union at Portland State was supposed to morph into a HIGH RISE. When it was built, PSC pledged to be an urban school; i.e. no campus…never to expand into the surrounding neighborhoods. YEAH. Like THAT happened!!!!

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