Arch of Welcome, Part 2, 1920

Yesterday’s newspaper image of the Arch of Welcome at SW 6th and Alder brought this similar photo from VP fan Bud Holland. “This morning’s VP post solved a real mystery for me!!! I’ve had the attached photo for years, knew it was from Portland, but was never quite able to verify the ‘what’ and ‘why.'” Bud’s photo shows a little more of the surrounding area, including the extant Selling building on the left and the long-gone Oregonian building on the northwest corner. Thanks again, Bud!

gateway arch bud 1920(Bud Holland)

7 thoughts on “Arch of Welcome, Part 2, 1920

  1. Whoops, you’re off by 18 years in the title.

    Were the Shriners big on parades back then? This monumental arch would suggest as much. I’ve always associated them with their legions of members tromping down the street in fezes, some riding tiny motorcycles (seriously!); and their charitable work for handicapped children. Kind of odd, even for a fraternal organization. Dunno if that’s all in the past now.


    “Three string bands keep crowds shuffling”.

    “Pavement jammed with merry makers and spectators; traffic jam is bad.”

    “Hundreds of Shriners and Portland people danced near the arch of the welcome at Sixth and Alder streets last night.
    The dance, which began after the parade, continued until 1 A.M. with three bands finishing the music.
    The payment with jammed with merrymakers and spectators. Many couples wooed Terpsichore even in entrances of store, on the sidewalks or wherever there was a bit of free space.
    The traffic jam both before and after the parade was one of the worst ever seen in Portland. Captain Lewis of the traffic bureau was obliged send out placement to clear the bridges, where the automobiles for congested so sickly that they could not move. The Parade lines blocked ingress into the west side and there was no room to turn back on the bridges. Hundred street cars were rushed into the downtown section to take the crowds home after the parade. So thickly were the cars light up in all the principal routes said there was scarcely room to pass between them. The streetcar traffic was congested in till the early morning hours.”

    I used to read the Oregonian, 06/23/1920, page 1, top of column 4, looks like it was a fun time!


    “Silk-Clad Panoply Over Six Miles in Length.”

    “9800 MEN ARE IN LINE”

    “Magnificently Caparisoned Groups Require 3 Hours to Pass Given Point.”

    The lead in page 1 of column 1, same issue

  3. What a great picture. Thank you very much Bud!!
    Does anyone know what the arch was made of? How long was it there?

  4. “Sketch of triumphal arch to be placed in business district.“

    “Erection of a great arch in the center of the business district, under which the shrine members will come to enter the Oasis of Portland for attendance at the National Shrine convention June, has been announced by the decoration committee as a feature of the decorative scheme for the city. The arch will cost in the neighborhood of $5000 and will be placed at a prominent position in heart of the business district, the exact location to be determined later. The arch is the work of Edward A. Miller architect and member of Al Kadar temple, who has spent a period of six months perfecting the design.”

    “The arch will be a work of art.” stated Frank S. Grant, chairman of the Declaration committee, yesterday, “and is an outgrowth of the ideas of several prominent Portlanders, including the architect and members of the Declaration committee. The arch will be finished in oriental collars and will be beautifully illuminated at night, carrying out the idea of Portland as an oasis, the sun setting in the west, the figures of the camel and the sphinx playing prominent rolls.”

    I used to read the Oregonian, March 28 1920, page 9
    This is the caption under a detailed sketch of the arch.

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