Aerial, SE Powell & 17th Ave, 1965

Yesterday’s post showed traffic stopped for the train at SE Powell & 17th Avenue. This photo from the following year shows the same area from the air, apparently part of an aerial survey in preparation for building the underpass. Lots of good detail in this image.

(City of Portland Archives)

14 thoughts on “Aerial, SE Powell & 17th Ave, 1965

  1. So when was the underpass actually built? Also, does anyone know when those big gas tanks in the background were removed. Seems they were still there in the 1970’s.

  2. Its so interesting to see which buildings still survive, and which haven’t. The curved- and black-roofed building that houses the Scottish Country Store southwest of the intersection is still there, but has a much smaller parking lot now. I’m assuming the access road for 17th off of Powell cut into their lot.

    None of the building in the NE corner seem to have made it. The Firestone building in the bottom left corner is now a Meineke, but I can’t tell if its a totally different building or the same one.

    None of the buildings on the SE corner seem to have survivied.

    In the NW corner, most of the immediate buildings are gone, replaced with parking lots. But when you get farther back to the curved-roofed buildings, they seem to have survived, as well as the large, flat-roofed building right on Powell. The fire dept or fire training buildings all seem to still be there as well.

    I hope someone is documenting the current overpass. Its going to be replaced as part of the Portland-Milwaukie Light Rail project, and in 50 years I bet people will marvel at pictures of the overpass with only one set of tracks on it!

  3. The curved roof building at left with the Scottish Country Store, etc., was a Safeway. I believe that when half their parking lot was removed, they gave up and moved out. Also note the large two-story brick building just before Milwaukie Ave., on the north side of Powell. That was a vine-covered City Shops building. The city still owns most of that corner, with the sign shop and a fire station (on Gideon) in that plot of land.

    All the buildings at far right, on the north side of Gideon St., between Gideon and the UPRR tracks, will be removed soon. The PMLR will build tracks along the south side of the UPRR, leaving just a narrow strip between the tracks and Gideon, too narrow for building on, apparently.

  4. This project completely decimated pedestrian connectivity between the neighborhoods and wiped out a precious grocery (as mentioned above. I’d say it’s more like 4/5th’s of Safeway’s parking was removed). Interesting to see the couple walking westbound from 18th & Powell. To do that today, you’d have to zig-zag and descend thru a stinky, noisy, dark, graffiti ridden fortification that feels like a journey to hell.

    At one time there was a public library near 13th & Powell, a nice produce shop near Milwaukie St. & Powell and that glorious fountain in the middle of the Powell/Milwaukie street intersection. Sadly, many of these rich amenities have been cleared away to accommodate the automobile.

  5. This project was a great addition to this area, it was the train and all the delays it caused, that was making the area miserable to be in or to go through.

    We are not accommodating the auto, because it is people that drive them. We are accommodating people and the auto is a tool that most of the people prefer.

  6. Any chance the wedge-shaped bldg on the south side of 13th and 14th is the same structure seen in a different post labeled 13th and Powell (Handy Grocery)? I think the old brick building is the same (across the street) and maybe the pie-shaped grocery was added on to?? The brick building across the street sure looks good and the gas station next to it. I may be reaching too far on this one.

  7. In the early 60s I used to get my hair cut by an elderly barber whose shop was in the near end of the irregular 5-sided building next to the tracks on the N side of Powell. He had a long beard and used to hold forth on his theory that men’s hair gathered in some sort of Kozmic energy and that we shaved and kept our hair short at our peril. His own superannuated-but-hardy status was his best example. I wonder where he has his shop now.

    We strip away the beauty and amenities of neighborhoods like this in the name of speed and convenience until we wake up and realize how barren and ugly we have made our lives. This, too, shall pass.

  8. The lumber yard at about one o’clock in this photo belonged to North Pacific Lumber Co. A lot of the lumber that would build the huge Colorado ski resorts of Aspen, Vail, Steam Boat Springs as well as those huge Denver suburbs was loaded out of this facility starting at about this time. These guys were traders to rival the Japanese and Koreans. They at one time cornered the market on baling wire for instance. May not be as glamorous as the silver market but a lot more important to you and I. This inconspicuous little lumber yard was a huge player in the northwest economy. They would trade for all kinds of commodities. For example alfalfa pellets, from CO and Eastern OR, hides, from CO and UT, steel fence posts, from Los Angeles, bentonite, soda ash and urea from WY, grain from all over the west including corn and bird seed. Our local processors, growers and docks were greatly benefited by their trading prowess.

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  10. On 14 Ave you can barely see the WizBurger sign, Safeway was in that plaza between 14 and 15ave Thompson’s cafe was next to the post office in the Safeway plaza. by what I remember Safeway moved to 39th ave and Powell. As a kid we would ride our bikes behind Safeway due to the large mud puddles. The underpass changed to scope of this neighborhood.

  11. Pedestrian underpass shows just south of Powell in this photo.

    Safeway was at 13th and Powell (building remains), then here in a non Safeway built building. At 39th they are in their fourth building between 39th and 40th.

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