Pacific Building, c1926

This gorgeous photo features the brand-new Pacific Building, on SW Yamhill between 5th and 6th Avenues. Taken from the courtyard of the Portland Hotel (a bit of which peeks out from the right side), it also shows the Pioneer Courthouse and those comfort stations on the corner.

(University of Oregon Libraries)

7 thoughts on “Pacific Building, c1926

  1. The Pacific is one of my favorite buildings in Portland. It’s full of small humanistic touches.

    Before they built the Hilton, the roof garden used to have a nice view to the south. And from the street, the roof garden looked like an Italian villa kind of hanging in the air.

    I used to work on the 8th floor and I loved that the windows open. Fresh air all year! And the thick masonry walls kept the temperature really even.

    Glass curtain skyscrapers have nothing on the pleasant environment in a simple building like the Pacific. They literally don’t build them like this any more. I’m sure at the time it was decried as a modern monstrosity.

  2. “I’m sure at the time it was described as a mondern monstrosity”

    I’ve little doubt widow Corbett may have thought so since it was built on her fruit tree garden and cow pasture. Interesting perspective from Jackson’s Flick’r stream.

    The Corbett Mansion

  3. One of the things I like to do with each blog post is to find a Google street view that is close to the original picture. It never occurred to me to post a link to the street view in comments, until today.

  4. This has also always been one of my favorite Portland buildings. As a teen I used to go up to the rooftop terrace and enjoy the view. I also took some photos up there but don’t know if I still have them. This was way before the Hilton was built.
    Just a really great-looking building.

  5. In the 70’s I use to drive all over Portland delivering paper data sheets from Northwest Data processing. One of my favorite places to deliver was the top of the Pacific building and the wonderful rooftop terrace.

  6. Doyle’s office was indeed in the top floor of the Pacific Building. There is an interesting discussion of the design process, including dealmaking between the various members of the Corbett family, in Philip Niles’s biography of Doyle, Beauty of the City ( The book has at least one photograph of the interior of Doyle’s studio, which looked really lovely.

    And, according to the book, Doyle designed a penthouse apartment for Mrs. Corbett, but when the building was finished, she refused to move in. I think her sons were hoping she’d leave her house so they could develop the other half of the block as well.

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