Biplanes Over Portland, 1920

I don’t know why the artist felt the need to place dozens of biplanes in the skies over Portland but the planes give a rather dramatic, yet whimsical, perspective to the downtown core area of 1920.

(Library of Congress)

5 thoughts on “Biplanes Over Portland, 1920

  1. “Interesting” picture. I’m surprised to see the Stearn building’s quarter block hadn’t yet been taken over by Meier and Frank by 1920. I was under the impression that the Stearn building had been demolished shortly after being damaged by the 1912 collapse of the Marquam building across Sixth Avenue. I guess that’s what I get for making assumptions.

    What is the small building between the YMCA and Portland Hotel? It looks like a possible private residence hold out like the Corbett Mansion across the street.

  2. This looks retouched. I can tell from some of the film grain and from seeing quite a few retouches in my time. But what a great picture! So much of that has change, but there’s still a lot that’s recognizable.

    Hey, you’re right Jim, there IS a little building hiding in there.

  3. Yes! it would have to be the house opposite the ventilator in that picture. Not only does the house in both pictures have the same roof line but Pioneer Square is were the Portland Hotel used to be (the comfort station ventilator would be on the corner diagonally from that) and the two other buildings behind the house are still standing.

  4. My great grandmother, Marjorie E. Rosenberg, was a comptometer Operator at Meier & Frank Co in 1920, so I was looking for a picture of the building from that year. Thanks! Pity about the planes. It looks like the city is under attack or something.

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