E Burnside & 39th, 1937

It seems like very few of the street scenes we see here on Vintage Portland have wet, rainy streets. This is one of the exceptions, looking east on E Burnside at 39th Avenue on a dreary Winter day. While lush vegetation is one of the things that makes Portland so livable, it can make seeing some of these homes difficult today.

A2005-001.1027  E Burnside St looking east towards SE 39th Ave 1937(City of Portland Archives)

16 thoughts on “E Burnside & 39th, 1937

  1. Can you imagine just how many more photos you would have to share with us if more pictures had been taken on rainy days?

  2. Those old street lights were still around when I was a kid in the 1940s and 1950s. I remember watching them come on at night, they would be very bright for a second and then fade to their normal brightness level. The light they provided was much less than today’s street lights but adequate for the time.

  3. You get a feeling from this photo of what it was like around here before auto traffic got really heavy. Yesterday, walking in inner SE, I saw a sidewalk curb dated 1903.

  4. Laurelhurst has always been a beautiful neighborhood. At one time I lived right across SE Stark from Lauelhurst Park.

  5. They must have taken the house on the west side when the widened 39th because the house on the east side looks the same except they put new siding on it.

  6. I looked at buying that huge house (it had a servants staircase) on the east side of 39th in 1977 for 49 K. I decided it was too noisy. and bought a tudor on the Alameda ridge instead for 52 K.

  7. When I was a kid in the early 60′ my mother would send us to the Laurelhurst theater. She never worried about us being in that neighbor hood. We would walk home to NW area at night. Things sure have changed.

    oldwxwatcher, that was some find. It took me a while to figure out where the street light you were talking about was…..

  8. If I am not mistaken this may be a photo depicting a silver thaw. Appears to be ice rind on the branches and that pavement looks really slick and that would certainly account for the lack of traffic. Just speculating.

  9. The house on the west side appears to still be there, just hidden by much vegetation. I don’t think 39th was widened in this area. I think the widening started at Stark and went south from there. The Laurelhurst “Gateway” arches at 39th and Stark survived on either side of 39th, apparently where they always were.

  10. “lush vegetation” or unkempt jungle and faddish overgrown weeds?
    You discern.
    Interesting that all this overgrowth, in these times, coincides with the general trash we leave out on our streets as we live more & more in an abstract world – either indoors preoccupied with our technology, or inside our heads caught up in God knows what!

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