NW 26th & Upshur, c1951

The Fairmount Hotel opened in 1905 for the Lewis & Clark Centennial Exposition. By the time of this photo circa 1951 it was known as the Leonard Apartments. It’s still on NW 26th Avenue between Upshur and Vaughn Streets and is known as the Historic Fairmount Apartments.

A2001-025.83 NW 26th and Upshur north c1951(City of Portland Archives)

21 thoughts on “NW 26th & Upshur, c1951

  1. I used to live down the block from this building – NW 25th & Upshur. That was in 1970. I knew it as the only surviving building from the Lewis & Clark Expo. The Forestry Building had already burned down about 5 years earlier. Are there any other buildings still standing from the exposition?

  2. Chuck,

    The hotel is the only surviving “in situ” building from the exposition. A few other buildings survived, but were moved to other areas over time. Here’s a partial list.

    National Cash Register Exhibit Buidling – Now in St. Johns and houses a McMenamin’s.

    The central section of the high-class American Inn was moved to NW Marshall between (I believe) 20th and 21st.

    A fair building was moved to the Overlook Terrace area and was converted into a private home.

    There may be others of which I’m unaware, but I’m sure if I left any out, some of the other more knowledgeable VP commenters will let us know what they may be.

  3. we lived a half block away from here in later 40’s early 50’s. My parents decided to move because of the rowdy goings on in that apt. complex. A little Greek lady ran a fun store to the left of t his picture’s view.

  4. Oh yeah, I know right where this is – the building is now darkly colored rather than white. I used to ride my bike by here on my way to the credit union on 27th and Vaughan, and always thought it was visually striking.

  5. Jim – Your “more information” comment didn’t appear right away because I have it set so that anything with three or more links has to be approved by me. This is a spam prevention technique I use since many spammers throw in many links. Yours is obviously no spam and I thank you for the comments and all the other comments you’ve provided over the years.

  6. Caption on photo says looking North on Upshur. Doesn’t Upshur run East/West? Possibly the view is North on 26th from Upshur.

    I love this website, and visit it every day. Photos bring back a lot of memories from the 50’s and early 60’s, when I was growing up in Portland. Actually lived in this neighborhood and attended Chapman School through the 4th grade when we moved to the East Side in 1956 or ’57.

    Thank you for this great website!!


  7. Pat – I shortened the image title a bit but it should be read, “intersection of NW 26th & Upshur looking north,” implying north on 26th. And thanks for the kind words!

  8. According to Don Nelson’s “Portland East of The Willamette” the Massachusetts Building from the Exposition was moved to SE Morrison near 65th. It became part of the Crystal Springs Sanitarium and then passed into private hands before it was demolished in 1942.

    Judging from the pictures in the book, it is difficult to imagine the building being moved from NW Portland across the Willamette to Mt. Tabor.

  9. Say, Dave B., thanks for posting a current view of the Fairmount.

    One correction on the Dawson Park Gazebo though; it was salvaged from the Hill Block. The Hill Block stood at the corner of Russell and Williams and was demolished as part of the Emmanuel Hospital expansion. After the demolition of every building on the block, funding ran out and the block has been vacant ever since.

  10. Glad it was saved. Early 80’s that was a nasty run down flophouse.
    I worked across the street, We would see a parade of rats always coming & going from under the porch.

  11. Growing up in NW during the 50’s and 60’s and attending Chapman , most of my spare time was spent running around beetween Willamette Heights, Vaughn, Burnside and St Patricks’. This last in- place iconic leftover from the fair and it’s rowdy reputation for people yelling was well known to us. Kind of edgy/ scary/spooky and it was falling down fifty years ago!! So glad through NW’s serendipitous circumstances have conspired to save the building and with a fix-up, coat of paint and referring it as Historic is keeping the place going.

  12. Elliot, before WWII it was a different world as far as buildings. When labor is cheap anything can be moved or tear 20 ft off the front of a building and erect a new facade. There have been many examples of both on Vintage Portland and I wish to belatedly thank Dan for this treasure. Sometimes my comments may appear to be abrasive but it only because I have lived in this city all my life(63 yrs & a 2 sq mile area)and I sometimes forget that many of you have not. I love Portland’s heritage and in 1969-70 at PCC took several classes that were on that subject. Anyway back to the subject at hand if the Egyptian’s 5,000 yeas ago could build the Pyramids, I am sure that people in the early 1900’s industrialized society could figure ho\w to move a building across a river and up a hill. It is all a mater of economics(another one of my favorite classes along with accounting). Not picking on you, just trying to explain why it was done.

  13. In addition to whole structures, probably a lot of architectural bits and pieces from the L&C Expo were salvaged for incorporation into new buildings around town. For example, according to various accounts, pharmacist Thomas Graham took four wood ionic columns from some Expo attraction (?) to use in the facade of the new pharmacy he built on SE Stark at 60th. The columns and the building have been restored, and the venue is now called the Caldera Public House bar and restaurant.

  14. I lived in the neighborhood back in the mid ’80’s and this place was totally rundown and a haven for all sorts of riff-raff and illegal activity. I haven’t been by it recently, I certainly hope it’s been cleaned up!

  15. The Evergreen Tavern was across 26th from this hotel. You would meet up with your prostitute there and her room would be in the apartments across the street. Rowdy and rundown are such nice words to use to describe what this hotel became in the 60’s and 70’s. This entire area down to 22nd ave and over to the river at yeon was where the welfare people lived in houses situated between the factorys and Esco. I have always thought it funny how Thurman street was such a stark dividing line between the classes at that time.

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