Pacific Coast Biscuit Co., 1917

Once in the heart of industrial Northwest Portland, the Pacific Coast Biscuit Company building now finds itself in the heart of the sleek Pearl District. You’ll find a different looking group of people on this corner now; you’ll also find one fewer floors, as the top of this building was removed some time in the intervening years. This view is northeast on the corner of NW 12th and Davis; it’s now a parking garage.

(City of Portland Archives)

16 thoughts on “Pacific Coast Biscuit Co., 1917

  1. In all the years we were neighbors to that building, I never knew it had a floor removed! It’s one of my favorite buildings. It was notorious for the Sunshine Biscuit ad painted on it with swastika logos. I seem to remember some controversy over it a while back. Did it ever get painted over? For a long time it was known as Harmon’s Parking Garage. I remember Mr. Harmon and his son walking by every day to and from the garage. He always wore a fedora hat, no matter what the weather.

  2. I spotted the swastika while circling for Powell’s parking back in the mid 90s. Only really noticed it the one time, and was almost convinced I’d dreamed it. Until today. Apparently the symbol has long since been power washed away.

  3. Interesting that I hadn’t noticed that on the earlier post. Apparently the swastika was a common “good luck” symbol in the early 20th century. Here’s a 1914 photo of a Boston Braves baseball uniform with a swastika on the cap. In the post is a quote from the New York Times referencing the swastika as one of many baseball superstitions used back then.

  4. This is one of my most favorite buildings! I went to college across the street from it and would lovingly gaze at it while smoking.
    I fell in love with it when I was in high school and would park in this area to attend concerts at the newly re-opened Crystal Ballroom.

  5. I wonder if this photo was taken earlier than 1917. The photo from the other post was also taken in 1917, but the building appears to be in a bit of disrepair (broken windows, dirty brick). In this photo, the building looks pristine. Perhaps this was taken closer to the turn of the century?

  6. Also, I realize it is a different angle of the building, so maybe only part of it was starting to deteriorate by 1917? It appears in the photo from the earlier post that this building may actually have been 2 buildings built at different times—so that could explain it. The part of the building on the left of that photo looks much cleaner and similar to what we see in this photo.

  7. laura p, I think the two photos were taken on the same day. There is actually very little overlap between the two so any comparison is difficult.

    However, if you look at that half-column of windows that are visible in both photos you’ll see that the upper sash on two windows (1st floor above the “garage” and 3rd floor) are lowered to the identical position in both photos. I would guess any difference in appearance is due to the different angle of lighting.

  8. Brian: Ah, okay. You’re totally right. Still, I think one part of the building is older than the other. (The part we see in this photo is in much better condition than what you see in the other—except that in the other photo you can see a little bit of this part, and it does look to be in better shape.) That, or they replaced half the windows. What do you think?

  9. laura p, I wouldn’t be at all surprised if you’re right. They do look like they were built separately, though they went to some effort to match the details of the brickwork. I wonder if anyone has any information, maybe from the old Sanborn maps?

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  11. I”m trying to find out if Pacific Coast Biscuit merged with Capitol Candy & Cracker company in the late twenty’s. Probably sometime after 1928

  12. Pingback: Help solve a mystery? | Kim Fielding Writes

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