Congress Hotel, c1975

The lovely old Congress Hotel stood on the northeast corner of SW 6th and Main from its completion in 1912 until it was demolished in 1977. This undated photo is probably 1973-77 era (I think the white car is a 1973 Mercury Comet). Four terracotta arches from the old hotel still frame the entrance to an underground restaurant on that corner.

(University of Oregon Libraries)

12 thoughts on “Congress Hotel, c1975

  1. There is a TriMet Flxible bus from at least 1971 in the background. That one is either 35′ or 40′ long, although many of those were 35′ long. I wonder if the downtown mall already is in the “Fareless Square” phase, considering that opened to downtown riders in January 1975?

  2. I still have an old fashioned hat rack I bought at the Congress Hotel for $10.00 when they sold out the contents. It was painted a nasty green, but I had it striped and stained natural. Still use it, great wood made to last.

  3. The 23 story, dark glass high-rise now on this location pays homage to its predecessor with the terra cotta arches, and also in name. Congress Center was erected in 1980, designed by the prolific ‘Skidmore, Owings and Merrill’ architectural firm, who were also responsible for the U.S. Bancorp building three years later. One of their architects is now in charge of constructing the Freedom Tower in Manhattan

  4. This beautiful Hotel was built by my Great Grandmother, Hedwig Schmidt, I loved going there for Lunch with my Grandfather as a young girl, so sad it was not rescued!!! Deborah Kimberley Greear

  5. My grandparents owned the Congress Hotel (Barbara Besson Martin & William F. Martin)– I remember when it was sold and they cleared it out: I took a maid’s uniform to use for “dress up”, a restaurant order pad to play “waitress” and I still have a bunch of wrapped guest soaps with “Congress Hotel” on them!

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  7. I have some silverware with Congress Hotel monograms. My wife’s grandfather was a hog farmer in the Linden road neighborhood. He would take his horse and wagon to the down town hotels to collect slop for his hogs. Sometimes the slop would contain misplaced silver ware.

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