SE Morrison & Water, c1915

The Portland Railway, Light and Power Company’s Sunnyside streetcar #661 waits on SE Morrison at Water Avenue circa 1915. Note the elevated train crossing shack and warning bell another block east.

A2011-007.264 Portland Rail Light & Power Company car 661 at E Morrison & Water St c1915(City of Portland Archives)

SW 6th Avenue, 1952

It was 3:30 on a pretty summer afternoon in downtown Portland in 1952. You might have parked in the Meier & Frank parking lot on the left, crossed SW Morrison to the First National Bank, then on to some shopping at M&F. A classic mid-century Portland scene.

A2005-001.1067  SW 6th Ave looking north from Yamhill St 1952(City of Portland Archives)

SE Belmont & 55th, c1914

The Mt. Tabor streetcar line tracks snake through the intersection of SE Belmont at 55th Avenue. The Mt. Tabor Presbyterian Church is to our immediate left as we look east down Belmont, with the Pacific Telephone and Telegraph Company Public Station dead ahead.

A2009-009.37   Belmont St and SE 55th Ave 1914(City of Portland Archives)

NE Oregon & 1st Avenue, 1949

Today’s photo shows a neighborhood, and even a section of street, that no longer exists. Look east on NE Oregon Street from 1st Avenue today and you’ll be standing almost under I-5 looking at the back of the Oregon Convention Center. In the distance is the North Pacific Dental College building at 6th Avenue, probably the only thing in this image that’s still around today.

A2005-005.32.3 NE Oregon St east from 1st 1949(City of Portland Archives)

SW 5th Avenue, 1950

We’ve seen this view before, in a photo taken eight years later from the same vantage point atop City Hall. This photo show more of the surrounding buildings in this view north up 5th Avenue. Many buildings are familiar today but a few (Congress Hotel and Cole McElroy’s Ballroom for two) met their fates many years ago.

A2005-001.906  SW 5th Ave looking north toward Main St 1950(City of Portland Archives)

Swan Island Airport, 1939

Portland’s rudimentary Swan Island Airport is clearly illustrated in this 1939 top-down photo. It was common in those days of unsophisticated instruments to paint the city name on a roof so early pilots knew they had the right (or wrong) airport. Except for rail lines, Mocks Bottom appears to be completely undeveloped at this time.

A2005-001.640 Swan Island Airport from the air 1939(City of Portland Archives)