NE Union & Stanton, c1929

Our Number Man finds himself standing in front of three near-identical houses on the northwest corner of NE Union Avenue and Stanton Street in about 1929. This was probably in preparation for widening of Union Avenue, as seen in several other photos here recently.

A2009-009.1049 2911-2917 NE Union 1929(City of Portland Archives)

14 thoughts on “NE Union & Stanton, c1929

  1. easy to forget there were identical looking houses built as spec houses back then, just as there are now. they were just built to last much longer and looked a lot better than what they are building now, in place of houses like this. Love seeing pictures of this area, I recently moved to the Albina neighborhood, at Tillamook and Rodney, in an 1890 house with a mirror image house right next to it. They are duplexes now, and still in nice shape. Also we have two of the few remaining cherry trees in our backyard that were in an orchard here before these houses were built.

  2. i have looked at this for 10 minutes and don’t think this is the streetview link is the original location. the houses seems lower in the ground, there is a street corner in the photo but not on the street, The middle house in the photo matches the roof line front corner triangles in the streetview image but the upstairs window in that house does not have the curved in walls as the rest do. almost seems like a combination of all three.

  3. Houses were built to last because the materials were much better.

    The Cheap throwaway wood or ship lap, put on under the siding, before the clear old growth tight grain cedar siding, without insulation can easily outlive modern products. That are often glued together and often rot, because the insulation stops air flow and rots homes instead of them, drying out when they become wet.

  4. Thanks, Adam. Looks like the SCRAP warehouse occupies the site now. According to Portland Maps it was built in 1945. No doubt the street-widening contributed to the demise of the houses. SCRAP’s a great community resource and our kids love going there, but I can’t say it offers the charm these houses once did.

  5. Thanks Douge Martin, and yes PaulM, sorry to throw you off track. I did not post the modern view of the same corner in the old photo, but posted in reply to Dennis’s query wondering “if any of them are still around”.
    Here’s another variant that persists today about at block north of the original location: this one is on the west side of MLK (Union) between Morris and Monroe.

    Like Mark alluded, a lot of these houses had the same basic floor plan, but were built in batches with small reversals (like the right-sided stairs in the previous GM image link) or completely reversed mirror image layout, or other small variants like the inset window vs. surface. Finally, mechanical precision woodworking available around 1900 meant that small details like spindles and gingerbread components could be easily ordered and individually applied to create different-looking finished houses. I would suppose that these houses fall into the “folk Victorian” subcategory, where the fancy details of the early 1880s were carried into working class housing? Thoughts?

  6. In the late 60’s the house we lived in at S.E. Clinton & 17th., across from Ann’s Grocery, (house is gone but bldg.for store still stands) was a similar style to the three houses in the photo. If you travel down Stanton passed the scrap yard you may find that some these styles houses still survive. ………….Thank goodness…………

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