SW 2nd & Market, c1965

These two old rooming houses seem isolated and perhaps even in an industrial area. The truth is, however, that the shadow falling from the left side of the top image is the old Municipal Auditorium and we’re looking northeast at SW 2nd & Market Street. The land behind the photographer had been cleared for South Auditorium Urban Renewal. The area can be seen quite clearly in this earlier VP aerial photo. Thanks again to John for another great photo.



19 thoughts on “SW 2nd & Market, c1965

  1. To the right of the building in the bottom photo, you can see the top floor of the Cour D’Alene Building featured in the first two VP posts linked here.

  2. Jim, interestingly the Oregonian article linked in that post has a photo of the two buildings from today’s post.

  3. …and they put up a parking lot. http://goo.gl/maps/xPwlD

    That entire PDC redevelopment “south auditorium” from the 1960’s is terrible. While much of the area may have been run down, it’s working class inhabitants must have lacked the political power or connections to to stop the “progress” It seem no thought was given save any of the century old buildings that existed. 50+ blocks were literally scraped of their architectural, cultural & personal history and significance. Only to be replaced by dull large concrete slabs void of intrigue, aesthetic value or any sense of place. Today, the building are so far removed from the street and sidewalk it gives most of this area the feel of a suburban strip mall, They even stripped the old Municipal Auditorium of the original Italianate styled stonework and clad it with slabs of marble recalling the parking garages and offices buildings that were going up at the time. The 80 year old St Mary’s High School, from last Fridays VP post, was certainly out of place as it was perched right over over this area, It’s not at all surprising it was torn down in the middle of this era. The 60’s were not kind to architectural preservation as much demolition was justified in the name of progress.

  4. Robert, the auditorium is actually just out of frame to the left of these buildings. If you click the link in the photo description you can see the orientation.

  5. kevin c, what you say is right on the mark. I was a student at Portland State as all this evisceration was taking place (and I include the horrific destruction that went in to building I-405). There were people who were aware and vocal at the time but they did not coalesce into a political force until it was too late. Portland is poorer for it. I remember one pathetic story I observed myself, though others may remember the details better than I: A beautiful old masonry synagogue was in the South Auditorium area. An attempt was made to lift it and move it, but in the process the dome cracked and so it had to be torn down where it stood. I still almost tear up when I remember that. Later, though I had moved to Eugene, I was jubilant when the citizens of Portland stopped the Mt. Hood Freeway.

  6. What a lovely brick building. Someone has to have a photo of this when it was newer. Lincoln High & Shattuck School students start digging through the old family photos.

  7. @Robert the Keller is the old municipal auditorium that is casting the shadow on the boarding houses as Dan points out. It sits on the next block to the west between 2nd and 3rd.

  8. They named the Auditorium and Fountain after the carpet bagger who came to Portland from the south, as honcho of Willamette Industries and decided it needed sanitizing and cleaning up to make the soulless wasteland that is there now… IRA KELLER

  9. The loss of old south Portland which was once Portland’s melting pot. Is truly a great loss of architecture and a link to our cultural past. My grandmother grew up there and I grew up on stories of her life in old south Portland.
    Progress is not always kind to the past and that is why Photographers seek to capture moments in time to preserve the past for the future.

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