NE 42nd & Killingsworth, 1958

Looking north on NE 42nd at Killingsworth seemed like a sleepy little corner back in 1958. The wholesale/retail store on the right is now a giant parking lot and the Chevron station on the left has been replaced by another building a bit farther from the corner. That security light and metal post holding the Chevron sign might still be there though, rusty but still standing.

(City of Portland Archives)

10 thoughts on “NE 42nd & Killingsworth, 1958

  1. Definitely looks a bit different today! Yup, the light post is still standing in the Ole Frijole parking lot. Interesting…From this picture, it looks like there used to be a Safeway on NE 42nd.

  2. Looking at the corner store brings the pleasant memory of the smell of fresh fruits and vegetables you would encounter in places like Cornos or a local neighborhood grocery.

  3. According to Portland Maps, that Safeway building that is out of sight to the right was built in 1958. It is now a PCC campus.

  4. Joan…
    It’s a hanging red flashing signal light…it’s a “four-way stop” kind of intersection…we had a number of them in our SW neighborhood. (Everybody did.) I can remember when Terwilliger Blvd. & Taylors Ferry Road had one…right in the middle of what we called “Burlingame Proper” way back when…and it got very nasty at times, especially on Friday evenings and on the weekends! It was just a precursor to the regular stop light set-ups in certain areas of town and it “blinked/flashed” 24 hours a day.

  5. Joan are you referencing the red blinking traffic signal, or the many varied insulators.

    This was the city limit here to the east and north until very late and that Safeway location takes advantage of the property tax doubt. Arbitrage at work.

  6. If that’s a red flashing light it’s interesting that it is considerably different than the flashing red 4-way stop light at 42nd and Prescott of the same era. Of course if you guys remember them I will trust your memory as it was before my time. 🙂

    Also, note the sign on the utility pole with an arrow that says “Portland Airport.” Until the year of this photo (1958) when the new terminal opened, this was one of the main routes to the old Portland-Columbia Airport. This explains why, in the photo linked above, President Eisenhower’s motorcade is heading south on 42nd. When I first saw this photo years ago I wondered why a motorcade would go that way until I realized it was the principal way into downtown from the old airport (47th/42nd to Sandy to Burnside).

  7. Fernhill Park had been part of the Portland Parks system for 18 years before this picture was taken ( ) although you can’t see it in this picture. The houses on the left side of 42nd would have been torn down in the 1965/6 for the building of John Adams High School, renamed Whitaker Middle School, which was torn down because of mold and radon buildup in the 2006. The Safeway was vacant in 1977 when it was taken over by the electricians’ union and converted into a training center ( ). That eventually transitioned over to PCC by the 1990s

  8. In addition to the air terminal in that era Portland Airport also hosted a active duty military airbase which 42nd provided with direct access. Air Force 1 still uses the air base not the terminal.The secret service would have much preferred that route to the alternative twisting turning road thru the golf coarse I suppose.

    Brian, the difference in equipment could be down to which agency was responsible for the intersection, city or county as well as materials on hand. I think that I recall a time when 42nd and Prescott earlier, 40’s, had a yellow flasher (caution) for 42nd and red (stop) for Prescott but I’m not positive about that

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