St. Mary’s Academy, c1965

The old St. Mary’s Academy looms over the corner of SW 5th and Mill Street in this tremendous photo sent by VP fan John. The building was constructed in 1889 and demolished in the early 1970s. I’ve found good, clear pictures of the school hard to come by, so this is a welcome addition. John has sent in more of his father’s images of this era so look for them in the coming weeks.

About 1965 St Marys Academy School Building 5th and Mill Looking North Portland by Dad(John)

19 thoughts on “St. Mary’s Academy, c1965

    From the Cupola of St Mary’s Academy One Can Look Over Any Building in Town.”
    “St Mary’s Academy, being situated on high ground, is the highest building in the city.” said the architect yesterday. “The distance from the ground to the cross on the top of the cupola is 140 feet. Standing on the roof a person is forty feet above the roof of the new hotel, and he can look over the tower of any building in the city, including the on the High school and the minarets of the Jewish synagogue. At first sight the High school looks to be above the academy, but when one uses the level, the school tower fades almost into insignificance.”

    Morning Oregonian, 10/5/1889, Page 5, interview with Architect Kleeman. The first 3 floors were class rooms and the fourth a dormitory. The article may have been referring to the Portland Hotel, under construction at the time.

  2. a destination for those who were lucky. That building was a legendary place for sure. Thank you John!

  3. I’m sure it didn’t hold the ‘tallest building’ title for long, with all the turn of the century high rises about to spring up

  4. I’m pretty sure the School building was torn down because it could not meet the new city codes for safety and earthquakes and if they did any remodeling, it would kick in the new rules. Or it was just cheaper to build the new buildings across the street.

  5. Portland seems to have a long history
    of demolishing beautiful buildings
    in favor of temporary storage for
    our gas guzzlers.

    “They paved paradise and put up a parkin’ lot…”
    – Joni Mitchell

  6. kinda hard to believe, but there is a headline from 1909, in the Morning Oregonian, page 9, “Pupils Hear Taft – President Makes Plain Speech at St. Mary’s Academy” He made his way from the Portland Hotel, he had an entourage of “11 automobiles accompanying his vehicle wended slowly to the academy escorted by 12 mounted police.” looks like his speech is in the paper. This might be the 50th anniversary of the founding of St Mary’s Academy in Portland.

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