SE Morrison, circa 1932

This is an excellent view of SE Morrison Street in 1932. We are looking east from SE Grand Avenue. Both buildings on opposite sides of the street are still standing today. There appears to be some construction on the streetcar tracks, and you can also see the Clifford Hotel on the north side of the street.

SE Morrison St looking east from Grand Ave, circa 1932 : A2009-009.751

SE Morrison St looking east from Grand Ave, circa 1932 : A2009-009.751

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20 thoughts on “SE Morrison, circa 1932

  1. According to the Wikipedia entry for the Weatherly Bldg. (on the right), it was built by George Weatherly who had a virtual monopoly on ice cream in Oregon. I think it remains the tallest building on the eastside.

  2. Grand Central Bowl is just up the street on the left. At the time of the photo, it was probably known as the Grand Central Public Market (I can’t make out the words on the sign).

  3. Love, love, love this photo! For years I caught the westbound 15 on the northeast corner of the intersection of Morrison and Grand. About the Oriental Theater, I saw a fine lecture about vintage movie theaters in Portland at the Architectural Heritage Center which is a a block north of this intersection–a fantastic place to visit and/or attend lectures/walking tours, etc. During that lecture I discovered that the parking lot south of the Weatherly is indeed where that jewel of a movie theater used to stand. Sometimes, and I’m a transplanted Portlander of eight years, I believe that parking lot is a cuss word of the highest magnitude.

  4. On the photo that Mike D. posted, you can read the sign on the Grand Central Bowl. It is indeed the Grand Central Public Market.

  5. I actually graduated from high school in the Oriental Theater. The Auditorium was being remodeled so unlike previous classes we graduated in the theater. It was beautiful. Very dark & on graduation day 1967 very hot.
    I think some of the buildings in the Lloyd district are taller than the Weatherly. But it was the tallest building on the Eastside until the 60s.

  6. The trackage on Grand Ave nearest to the camera is duel gauge. Note the third or outside rail which is laid to 4′ 8 1/2″ standard gauge as opposed to the 42″ narrow gauge used by the Portland Street Railways of the time, as shown in the photo. The third rail is probably out of service by the time of the photo but is still in place owing to the expense of replacing the complicated track work we see here. Several early Portland street car lines were laid to standard gauge before consolidation.

  7. The Oriental Theater and The Imperial Roller Rink bring back memories both mine and as told to me. A little history, My paternal grandfather owned a garage on Hawthorne near Union Ave. before he lost it in 1932 due to the Great Depression. They lived in a nearby apartment house. The one story I remember my dad told me about him going to see the original Frankenstein movie at 9 years old when it came out at a matinee at the Oriental. It scared him so bad that he ran all the way home in the middle of street. Supposedly some theaters had ambulances ready(I don’t know if this was a hype thing)and there were supposedly some cases of people suffering heart attacks while watching the movie although not here. It was a different world back then and things were different in those days. As a result I was not allowed to watch it when it came on TV in the 60’s. The first time I watched was at ironically at the Oriental when I was high school around 67-68 when it was showing at one of the Halloween showings. The Paramount downtown used to have similar Halloween showings. The decor inside the Oriental theater so fitting for showing horror movies, heavy. baroque and dark. BTW I found Frankenstein to not be all that scary to me when I first saw it, kind of a letdown in a way.
    The Imperial was was where my dad roller skated, I still have his roller skates in their black cardboard case plastered with Imperial stickers on it. My mom also roller skated and I can remember watching them skate at the Imperial, just the two of them and also me with them in the middle holding on to their hands as they guided me around the rink.
    I hope again I have not bored you again with my memories, just is the pictures and comments trigger them.

  8. I’d forgotten about the skating rink. The kids who were patrol guards at my grade school used to get treated once a month to a skating party there. Don’t know when it closed up.

  9. Greg, thanks for sharing those memories…it makes those long-gone places come alive for those of us that never got the chance to appreciate them in person!

  10. In the early 1990s (before 94) I got my hair cut at T-Bird’s Barber Shop directly across Morrison from the Weatherly Building (where “my” bank account was started.)

    Most of the time you went in to T-Bird’s, he was asleep in the barber chair furthest from the door, and you read a Sports Illustrated or Popular Mechanics magazine until he woke up and trimmed your hair. Note that T-Bird himself was hugely obese at the time.

    Well, the last time I went in to get my hair cut, there were a bunch of people milling around in the shop, but no T-Bird. It seems that the day before, someone had come in to get his hair cut, and sat down with a magazine as usual. After finishing his second magazine, the fellow decided T-Bird had napped long enough and discovered that the barber had “cut his last head” so to speak.

  11. love the story about T-bird. Also love this photo, as I used to live very close to here at the Terrace Court apartments on Washington and 8th. (behind the Slammer) Not a lot has changed from this photo other than different businesses.

  12. The Slammer, not a level surface in the entire place. If you didn’t hold on to your beer, it wouldn’t be in the same place you let go of it.

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