Clothing Store, c1915 – Help Us Out!

VP fan Frank Vaccarezza sent this postcard showing his great uncle and his grandfather, Paul and Frank DeBenedetti, in front of the men’s clothing store they owned. Frank’s grandparents moved their clothing store from San Francisco in 1913. His great uncle was 18 that year and Frank thinks he looks a bit older than that so it would put the store in Portland.

So a couple questions here; is this really Portland, and if so, where? Their San Francisco store was located in an Italian neighborhood and they may have done the same when they relocated to Portland. There’s also an address in the upper left corner that might be “371” which would be Portland’s old street numbering systems. Frank knows that they had a storefront at 282 Grand in the 1916-1918 time frame so the “371” address may have been the initial store before they moved to Grand. I’m hoping the expert Vintage Portland community can help Frank add a little information to his family history.

(Frank Vaccarezza)

21 thoughts on “Clothing Store, c1915 – Help Us Out!

  1. I don’t know where it is but it seems to be on a slight hill and the brick pattern and cement base should help someone recognize it, if it is still around and not covered up.

  2. Found a mention in The Oregonian from 3/31/1914, in the City News in Brief roundup:

    “CLOTHING THEFT REPORTED – Frank De Benedetti, who has a clothing store at 317 Hawthorne avenue, reported to the police that thieves entered his place through the skylight early yesterday morning, filled 16 suitcases with clothing and shoes and escaped the same way. Detective Captain Baty and Detective Hyde are investigating. The entire loot, De Benedetti said, was worth $500.”

    Perhaps the Oregonian typo-ed the address, and it was really 371 Hawthorne?

  3. The address “317” in The Oregonian article of 1914 is indeed a typo. There was no 317. After the 1931 renumbering, 371 Hawthorne Ave. was changed to 325 SE Hawthorne Blvd. (282 Grand Ave. changed to 1508 SE Grand Ave.)

  4. Posted at 6:28 and Dave Knows PDX has a plausable answer by 6:49. Impressive.

    If it is this location as Joel Miller indicates it has been remodeled beyond recognition as seen in this Google Streetview.

  5. The building at 325 SE Hawthorne Blvd., built in 1910, now is part of 1431 SE Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. (The Clark Center at Transition Projects.)

  6. Fantastic work… Dave really does know PDX!

    Anybody else notice the two men standing in the shadows behind the two primary subjects?

  7. I don’t have access to them tonight, but check out the 1915 and 1916 Polk City directories under DeBenedetti; look for the address prior to their Grand Avenue location…

  8. It would have been right there, Laura! J. W. Minder Chain & Gear was in the building next door to the De Benedetti store. Minder’s address was 361 Hawthorne Ave. which changed to 307 SE Hawthorne Blvd. after the 1931 renumbering.

  9. Thank you to everyone for your interest and posts! These are all great leads for me to follow up on and will help me in writing my family’s history. Thanks, Frank Vaccarezza

  10. @Laura Parisi: Here is the same building about 20 years earlier

    @Jole Miller: I wonder if the clothing store was a storefront in the larger building (Howard Cooper / J W Minder). The addresses are pretty close and in the 1937 photo the building to the east is a 76 station.

  11. @Brian: Historic Permits at Portland Maps describe the Minder/Cooper building at addresses Old 361/New 307 as a “3 story.” The building the De Benedetti clothing shop was in at addresses Old 371/New 325 is listed as a “1 story.”

  12. @Joel Miller: Interesting — thanks for the info! So was it in the building with the 76 station which looks to be the same building but remodeled in Laura Parisi’s link? Oh and sorry for the typo on your name up there.

  13. No problem, Brian! I believe it is the same building. However, I found articles in The Oregonian archives that indicate it was sold, reconfigured and remodeled several times over the years. Portland Maps says the current Clark Center building at this location was built in 1910. So something from that original structure must still exist in there!

  14. There is one man standing behind the guy on the right, the left side is just discoloration or wear on the original photo.

  15. The 1914 Portland City Directory lists
    Debendetti,Frank (Mary) clothing 373 Hawthorne av h 2619 E 52nd SE
    Debendetti, Paul clk Frank DeBendendetti r 2619 SE 52nd SE
    The 317 is the number of the business next door.
    The directories infor is gathered the year before publishing so this information was from 1913.

  16. Roxanne, if you look down to the bottom of the door opening you can actually see two pairs of shoes

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s