Before the Port of Portland developed facilities on Swan Island, its shops and drydock were a bit downriver just north of the Burlington Northern bridge, nestled in a cove on the east bank of the Willamette River. Sanborn Maps also shows “Western Cooperage Co, Barrel Stock Factory” alongside the elevated BN tracks. The cove, off N. Edgewater Street, is empty property today but shows signs of earlier habitation such as concrete slabs and pilings in the water. The railroad bridge’s original stationary spans are still in place but the swing-span was replaced with a lift-span in 1989.
Of all the most immediately identifiable sections of Portland’s central core area, this stretch of SW Morrison Street between 6th and 5th Avenues would be near the top of the list. This 1949 view shows the Meier & Frank building on the left with the fence and lawn of Pioneer Courthouse on the right. The next block holds the Kress department store on the left and the Corbett Building with the 5th & Morrison Fred Meyer on the right. Are those Valentine’s hearts in the M&F windows?
This scene at NE Glisan and 39th (now Cesar Chavez Blvd.) is not so much different today from what it was in 1957. Add a bus shelter and some traffic control lines and these kids are now in their 60s. Coe Circle with the golden Joan of Arc statue is just to our left here.
This is a companion piece to this post from a couple months ago. Move across to the east side of NW Broadway and look north from NW Hoyt Street and this is your view. You would have been standing with your back to the Hoyt Hotel. Union Station is off to the right.
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.
This tidy row of wood-frame homes was on the southeast corner of SE Morrison and 6th, c1884. The 1889 Sanborn map shows these buildings when street names at the time were N Street and Sixth Street (not Avenue). The rail line down Morrison belonged to the “Willamette Bridge R’l’y Co’s Motor Line.” A block east was a “wooden bridge on piles” that crossed a gulch and pond between Seventh and Tenth Streets. You can see that gulch across the river in this 1879 illustration.