Unidentified Building, c1944 – Help Us Out!

Our last mystery to solve this year is this unidentified building from circa 1944. No location information is given so it could be anywhere in the Portland area (we think). This would appear to be new construction of a public facility; school, library, post office, etc. Any ideas?

Found: Housing Authority of Portland admin building, Columbia Villa

1944 c_building(City of Portland Archives)

22 thoughts on “Unidentified Building, c1944 – Help Us Out!

  1. I wonder if it is the Columbia Villa building right at the entrance to housing project? (I lived in “the villa” during the 60’s)

  2. Is it still the Vila. I lived there as a child also. We then moved across the cut. On N. Powers . Dose anyone know the history of that. When it was dug?

  3. By the way Dan,

    That is my Mother walking out the building to her Model A Ford on the right hand side of the picture. Looks like a man at first view but when you zoom in on the picture you will see the person has a full head of hair. Men in the 1940’s did not have that much head hair. I remember Mom going off to work in slacks and she often had the responsibility to be the “last person” out the building to lock up”.

    Al Webster


  4. ‘museumof the city.org’ has some interesting facts and photos on Columbia Villas, which was built by the Portland Housing Authority. The interesting fact was they were built to last only 10 years as temporary war housing, but lasted into the 1980s. That was probably why the livibililty declined as it did. When the residents were evicted to demolish the Villas, lots of their pets were left behind, sending animal lovers across the City into rescue mode. I am one of the owners of a fat rescued Villa cat to this day.

  5. Actually, from Google Earth you can see the development, including the building in the photo, lasted until at least August of 2003. By July 2004 the entire development was completely demolished.

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