SW 1st & Lincoln, 1963

Virtually unrecognizable as we know it today was the intersection of SW 1st and Lincoln Street, looking north, in 1963. The South Auditorium Urban Renewal area had been completely cleared and streets were being rebuilt and repaved here. The pre-remodeled auditorium can be seen in the distance. The intersection can be seen in this aerial view of the area from 1935 (pre-urban renewal), just below photo center. Light rail will be coming through this intersection in the future.

(City of Portland Archives)

12 thoughts on “SW 1st & Lincoln, 1963

  1. I was 2 years old in 1968, and until today, I had no idea the auditorium was a renovation of a 1917 building. I had always assumed it was built as part of that district’s urban renewal program in the the late 60’s-early 70’s. My stepfather worked for PDC at the time and helped guide a lot of that development – he never mentioned this little factoid …

    Thanks, Vintage Portland, for the fantastic history lessons on a daily basis!

  2. I lived in the area in the 1950’s. Went to Failing School, (now pcc) and neighborhood house. Great neighborhood, Mosler’s bakery was there and it was a wonderful community. It had a significant Jewish population and a lot of artists, bohemians and just regular working folks. Urban renewal just ruined the area and killed a vibrant community. Urban renewal and the PDC have screwed this city since the 1960’s.

  3. @Gerhard: Totally agree. The South Auditorium area is a concrete wasteland and I’m always saddened every time I see another historic photo of glorious neighborhoods long destroyed. Particularly those that made way for I-405 and I-5.

    @David Johnson: As I learned today, the Keller is not an original 1968 building, though it looks it. It’s evidently a renovation of the 1917-era auditorium visible in the picture above. I personally like the 1917-vintage better.

  4. Thanks for the 1958 picture. Forgot what it looked like. I just remember going there once and seeing an elephant on the stage. I loved the new Civic Auditorim:Tony Bennett, Ella Fitgerald, the Pretenders, the Portland Symphony, the ballet, my high school graduation…wonderful memories!

  5. Don’t forget it was some rich transplant from back east, ira Kellar, came to Portland as big wig of Willamette industries( think Mr. Burns from the Simpsons) and decided to” modernize” by destroying the soul of this part of town and make it a concrete wasteland. For this atrocity, his fellow fat cats named the Auditorium and Fountain after him. I refuse to call them anything but the Forecourt Fountain and the Civic Auditorium..

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