SW 4th & Morrison, 1938

Portland rain drenches a heavy lunchtime crowd of pedestrians and vehicles in this photo looking north on SW 4th Avenue at Morrison. 4th Avenue carried two-way traffic in 1938.

(City of Portland Archives)

9 thoughts on “SW 4th & Morrison, 1938

  1. Great photo. It appears the majority of the buildings on the left survive, with the first and third possibly remodeled to the point of being unrecognizable (the first building I’m not sure about, though). Two blocks of the foreground buildings on the right have been replaced with multistory parking garages.

    Another good find Dan. Thanks again.

  2. Another great photo Dan. This is one you can study for a long time, there is so much to see. I hate to nit pick, but I think the city is a little off on the date. I see two or three cars that are 1940 models and the Ford pick up truck in the center may even be a 1941. Downtown always looks so much more like a bustling place back then! I also like that this shot was in the rain. Not many like that.

  3. According to imdb.com, “Outpost of the Mounties” playing at the Capitol theater was released in September 1939. So the 1940 model cars could be out by the time this movie played Portlant.

  4. I can still hear the Fred Meyer ads in my head available in all Fred Meyers stores except 5th and Morrison. Things look pretty good only nine years after the crash. I hope we will fare as well.

  5. Jim’s right, most of the buildings are still there. On the right/east the Board of Trade building is still around although it’s hard to tell what may or may not have been next to it on the south. The other buildings north of Washington hard hard to identify because you can’t see their windows and they don’t have ledges.

    I wonder what’s in the bowling alley today? It’d be fun to go into that store(?) and look around trying to imagine people bowling back in the 1930s.

    National Dollar? Lacy Bros Transfer? Circle Chow Mein? J. J. Colton Dentist? Sheehs, how to you keep up with all those wonderful neon signs?

  6. Rain filled the gutters and splashed knee-high off the sidewalk. Big cops in slickers that shone like gun barrels had a lot of fun carrying giggling girls across the bad places. The rain drummed hard on the roof of the car and the burbank top began to leak. A pool of water formed on the floorboards for me to keep my feet in. It was too early in the fall for that kind of rain. I struggled into a trench coat and made a dash for the nearest drugstore and bought myself a pint of whiskey. Back in the car I used enough of it to keep warm and interested. I was long overparked, but the cops were too busy carrying girls and blowing whistles to bother about that.

    “The Big Sleep” -Raymond Chandler, 1939

  7. Nice Dan. The Chandler quote is perfect for the feel of this picture.
    I started getting the strains of “Harlem Nocturne” going through my head.

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