13 thoughts on “SE Morrison & 12th Avenue, 1929

  1. This house is roughly about the same age as the ones shown yesterday, maybe a few years newer. It has a full foundation and appears to be in good shape. In the old days especially with almost non existent building codes not all houses were built to the same standards, just as today. Today building codes are minimum standards, not the best. One of the posters yesterday was mentioning about how close the houses were together, this is true of houses in old area’s of Portland that were built before the first city building codes that established setbacks or minimum distances between your house and various points of your property. Fire danger was actually was the reason the first setbacks were established as the codes were enacted after the horrendous fires of the San Francisco earthquake of 1905. Row upon row of tightly spaced wood frame houses with wood shingle roofs are a firetrap. If you notice in NW Portland some of the surviving houses are build around a common area. Would any of you care to guess what it’s intended use was?

  2. I can see the Melcliff behind and to the left of it on SE 11th…had an apartment there for a few years – neat old funky building with an old ‘pull the gate’ elevator.

  3. I think the common area you’re referring to is just the adjacent back yards, unless what you’re seeing is a single older house, where newer ones have been built on the same lot, in the same ownership. And indeed this house, with it’s stone foundation, could easily be standing today, as is the Rimsky-Korsakoffee house two houses east of it (out of the picture to the right).

  4. I will explain the common area I mentioned. They were for the outhouses. People naturally want them as far away from the house as possible, yet conveniently close at hand. I don’t know whether they were plated that way or if it was some ad hoc agreement bet\wen neighbors. When indoor plumbing arrived it was generally put on the back porch or added on to the back of the house because people were used to going that direction to do their business. I have a book of house plans from 1905 and over half the plans show no bathroom even at the beginning of the 20th. Century.

  5. This home was built in 1903 for Dr. Arthur W. Moore and Mrs. Nettie Moore. They had a housewarming party on November 11, 1903. Mrs. Moore died in 1938, Dr. Moore died in 1943. They are both buried at Lonefir Cemetery.

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