Memorial Coliseum, 1969

Veterans Memorial Coliseum was almost a decade old when this aerial photo was taken in 1969. Quite a bit has changed over the years; the neighborhood north of N. Broadway is all gone now, as is the old Thunderbird Motel complex to the left of the photo. The Rose Garden arena will in later years fill the south part of this photo, and the future Fremont Bridge will define the area farther to the northwest.

Aerial of Memorial Coliseum looking north 1969(City of Portland Archives)

8 thoughts on “Memorial Coliseum, 1969

  1. I worked at the Mother Bird in the mid 1980s doing maintenance, it was in pretty bad shape at that time.

  2. This development was built onto of what was a black neighborhood in Portland.Most of the homes in this area were owned by black people. The city forced many out in one way or another and clearly did not allow them any opportunities to be involved. Few black people were allowed to work on the construction of the project. To the Good Old, Bad Old Race Relation Days of Portland Oregon!

  3. What’s the large-ish building on the hilltop in the distance overlooking where Greeley curves out of sight?

  4. I worked at the Memorial Coliseum back in the 1960’s. We usherettes wore red Pendleton jackets, gray Pendleton skirts, white blouses and white gloves & black shoes. We were told that we were the “hostesses for the City of Portland” and we had line up inspections by Manager Harold Copeland. We were not allowed to lean on a wall but stand very straight. The men were ticket takers and they also wore the red Pendleton jackets, gray slacks. We were known as the “Red Coats” At any intermission, half time, end of period, some usherettes were assigned to stand at each glass door leading from the concourse to the outside lobby. This was to keep people from opening the doors and letting people without tickets inside..Buckeroo hockey did not have plexiglass so when a fight broke out, we were to run to the bottom of the stairs to prevent audience from jumping over the rail and into the fight. The only netting was on the ends. General admission seating was sections 56-64, 74-82. Vice President Hubert Humphrey was in my section with Secret Service for Grand Floral Parade one year. I worked for both Beattle shows and it was horrible. Crazed girls fainting, jumping off rails, screaming so loud that the Beattles could not be heard.
    The Colisuem was still pretty new and at that time manners and sharp dressing was very important. Season ticket holders for Buckeroo hockey jumped to NBA basketball and many had their same season tickets seats . Portland was not big enough to support both hockey and basketball.

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