John’s Landing Area, 1975

The John’s Landing area on the west bank of the Willamette River south of downtown had many riverfront lumber mills and furniture manufacturing plants at one time. It was transitioning from an industrial area to predominantly waterfront apartment, condominium and retail neighborhoods in 1975. SW Macadam Ave. is the main arterial heading south and SW Pendleton St. is the first street we see coming in from from the right.

(City of Portland Archives)

Sunset Highway, 1949

Today we travel out to the Beaverton area, specifically Cedar Hills. Looking west, a newly constructed Sunset Highway gets an overpass that will feed traffic in and out of the rapidly developing post-war suburb. Highway 217 will eventually come up to meet this overpass. Cedar Hills Shopping Center will fill the space in the center of the photo and houses in the Cedar Hills Homes Association will fill the area on the left side of the photo. Barnes Road crosses Sunset Highway diagonally on the right.

(City of Portland Archives)

SW 3rd Avenue, 1967

Not much has changed on the east side of SW 3rd Avenue between Salmon and Taylor Streets. The Auditorium Building at center has been there since 1894 and the building on the right, home to the Lotus Cafe, has been there since 1906. Even the one-story buildings to the left, rare in downtown Portland, are still standing.

(University of Oregon Libraries)

SW Broadway & Columbia, 1957

This view looks northeast at SW Broadway with traffic crossing eastbound on Columbia. The Oregonian Building is shown at center and the Hungerford Hotel is now the Regency Apartments. Compare this photo with the same intersection looking south in 1950.


Willamette Views, 1975

VP fan John Hamnett was working on the 38th floor of the First National Bank Tower (now Wells Fargo Tower) in 1975 when he took these photos centered on the Willamette River looking northeast and east. Harbor Drive had only recently been removed and Waterfront Park was not yet complete. The World Trade Center construction was just getting underway. Thanks, John!

(John Hamnett)

SW 1st and Ankeny, 1957

The building directly behind Skidmore Fountain in yesterday’s post is shown here in its final days. Its whole history is a bit fuzzy but the 1870’s-era stone building was apparently the first U.S. customs house in Portland. Other uses over the years included a furniture warehouse and, as was seen yesterday, home for the Pacific Tent & Awning Co. Thanks to Bud Holland who supplied this terrific 1957 photo showing the beginning of the demolition process. The building was leveled for a parking lot. Click here to read a 1957 article from The Oregonian about this building.

(Bud Holland)

Skidmore Fountain, 1939

When Skidmore Fountain was dedicated in 1888, the intersection of First Avenue and Ankeny and Vine Streets was in the fashionable shopping and entertainment center of Portland. Half a century later the heart of downtown had move south and west, leaving this area to a more humble trade. It has survived floods, vandalism, plans to move it to other locations, and acid cleanings by well-meaning public workmen over the years, but still stands in its original location.

(City of Portland Archives)