W Burnside & NW Park, 1927

Lots of character in this 1927 photo of the northwest corner of West Burnside and NW Park Avenue. Lots of characters, too; groups of men chatting car repair, a gentleman filling his gas tank, and two men working around a hole in the street at far right. Lots of great signs, too, including “Benson Garage” on the brick wall which can still be seen today.

Northwest corner W Burnside and Park 1927(City of Portland Archives)

14 thoughts on “W Burnside & NW Park, 1927

  1. Today that is a tire store, but traces of the original gas station on the right can be still seen remodeled into the current building. Its interesting how much of the cityscape is/was dedicated to all aspects of the automobile’s impact on the 20th century. By 1927 cars were beyond toys of the wealthy, and by then they needed fuel and maintenance to get to work just as caught in this photo.

  2. My grandfather owned Midawy Garage on Hawthorne near Union(MLK) during the 20”s and early 30’s. From what I was told it was probably very similar to this one. He lost it during the Depression. I have tried to find a picture of it online but have had no luck.

  3. the building behind the gas station is being demolished – you can see the piles of debris at the extreme right of the image.

  4. Big issues before the voter in 1927, one was the vote on widening of west Burnside.

    “Burnside Appraisal Due

    City Engineer to Have Eight Men at Work on Widening Project
    Eight appraisers will be at work on Burnside Street from Third to Twenty-Third street by tomorrow, O. Laurgaard, city engineer, announced yesterday. Notices to the appraisers have been sent out with instruction to start working immediately.

    Two crews have been at work on the street for the past few days making surveys, listing the buildings and gathering other data for the widening project. Mr Laurgaard said that he expected to have all the reports from the survey crews, the appraisers and the architects by May 14, giving him a week to make his studies in report to the council. The studies are being confined to north side of the street. Property owners have asked for a 110 fourth Street all the way out.”
    Oregonian April 27 1927 page 3

    “Laurgaard Backs Idea
    Widening of Burnside Approved by City Engineer

    If the Burnside Bridge is to be used as efficiently as it should be the street widening must be done”
    Oregonian June 27th 1927 page six

    “Practically every precinct voted against the charter which had been submitted by the city council after was written by a committee of 25. The Burnside Widening project, which had been indorsed by numerous Civic and other organizations that declared to be a vital measure to handle the traffic problem of the city went down to defeat before the storm of negative votes.”
    Burnside Widening
    Yes 10787
    No 24531
    Oregonian June 29 1927 page 1

  5. Auto mechanics have always had a reputation of being a bit dishonest about what is wrong with your car. It probably comes from not always knowing until you start tearing it apart exactly the cause of the noise, stutter or other concern. It looks like this is the case with the three men to the left of the photo. Two mechanics trying to assess what the man is telling them. You could see this scene today at just about any repair shop.
    Also, is that a woman in a white dress or coat standing by that smelly gas pump?

  6. Outstanding picture with so much detail. Thanks for posting the link for the Benson Garage Dave. Cool to see the sign is still there.

  7. The visible gas pumps in the picture are big collector items nowadays. The History Channel programs Pawn Stars, American Pickers and American Restoration have had segments on them over the years. The American Pickers guys would go nuts over the porcelain signs in the picture.

  8. I love the little table and single chair off to the right. I can imagine the cup-o-joe and a smoke that might be there in the early hours of the day. Probably a Viceroy or Pall-Mall.

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