Portland Public Market, 1942

The Portland Public Market building is seen here in 1942 along Front Street looking northeast from Salmon; we’d see Salmon Street Springs on the right edge of the photo today. It must have been a nice summer day when this photo was taken; most windows are open to catch the breeze in the days before air-conditioning was common.

A2004-002.2788  The Public Market, Portland, Oregon 1942(City of Portland Archives)

9 thoughts on “Portland Public Market, 1942

  1. My parents grew up loving the old open-air Yamhill Street Market area, which, they believed, was effectively killed by this behemoth, although I recall that remnant open-air markets remained on Yamhill into the ’60s. The failure of the Portland Public Market was cited in the successful campaign to save the Pike Place Market in Seattle when a similar relocation/dislocation was proposed up there in the ’70s.

  2. I remember going to the Yamhill market area with my dad in the mid to late 50’s and being fascinated with the whole chickens danging upside down with their feet still on. Also remember the old Italian vegetable peddler and his open air truck that used to drive up and down the streets of the Alameda area. It looked somewhat like a mobile version of the open air vegetable stands downtown.

  3. I remember the vegetable peddler, too. As I remember his truck, it had a mesh curtain tied to poles on the bed of the truck that he opened up to display the vegetables. Again as I remember, the truck was like an old Model-T. This would have been around 1948 to 1952 era when I saw him.

  4. Thanks Brian for linking my photo from ’69, that was my first photo and post here.

    This photo here really shows the massiveness of the Journal Building. I didn’t realize it was that large. Since the discussion also talked about the Seattle Pike Market, I wonder, if they were to have saved this building, could it work today as a market? This makes me think of the Ferry Market building in San Francisco, although this looks a lot larger. I could see this building possibly surviving and thriving today being mixed use with office/market area with the Waterfront park surrounding it. It could have been a great waterfront/tourist destination similar to Pike Market in Seattle!

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