W Burnside Street, 1913

This is a view of West Burnside St. looking east from 3rd Ave. taken on October 18, 1913. There are several signs and advertisements that are visible in this photograph, including Clark’s, All Nations Saloon, and a U.S. Army Recruiting Station window sign. Notice the mounted police officer and the old Burnside Bridge in the background.


West Burnside looking east from 3rd Ave, Oct. 18, 1913 : A2009-009.77

West Burnside looking east from 3rd Ave, Oct. 18, 1913 : A2009-009.77


View this image in Efiles by clicking here.

19 thoughts on “W Burnside Street, 1913

  1. I love the guy on the northwest corner with his pant legs rolled up. Straight from central casting.
    Great photo.

  2. The three story Richardson Romanesque building in the distance on the left is the extant Skidmore Block. The angled corner was shaved off to make room for the current Burnside Bridge approach.

    Across the street from that is the cast iron Dekum & Reed Block while it was still whole and complete. Over time, it was whittled away until the last 50 by 100 foot bay was destroyed by a mysterious explosion. Vintage Portland described its last vestige in the post on the Helm Building.

  3. While the photographer may have taken this image from Third and Burnside, the intersection we’re looking at is actually Second and Burnside.

  4. kudos to ron for using the correct terminology!
    skid row is an eastern term; westerners continued using the proper ‘road’ – at least until all those easterners arrived!

  5. It looks like this was a transition period for street lighting too. Notice the street lights on the left are intact and in use. While the ones on the right are broken or taken out of service. Replaced by a large “modern” light, that lit the whole area at night.

  6. I remember the Helm Building explosion well. I was working at Wilf ‘s brothers restaurant, Alfie’s at the time and had been in the Silk and Satin a few times running errands.The explosion was controversial and everyone had their view on what happened. Wilf went on to open Wilf’s in Union Station.

  7. Great pic! Is that a ‘horseless’ carriage about to go over the Burnside Bridge? And I wish the two buildings on the left were still standing. They remind me of Liverpool in the UK. Portland has such a bad habit of demolishing all in the name of ‘urban renewal’ leaving a very bland and boring architecture landscape.

  8. Say Jane,

    As I mentioned in my previous comment, the second building on the left IS still standing. It’s the Skidmore Block on 1st and Burnside.

    I also strongly suspect that the first building is still there as well albeit in a highly modified form. Both buildings were in the way of the “new” Burnside Bridge on-ramp. The Skidmore Block was cut back, so it stands to reason that the first building would also have been cut back thereby losing its Mansard roof resulting in a reconfiguration of the third floor.

    Another building that was affected by the wider and higher bridgehead was the White Stag Building (right behind the Skidmore Block in this photo). It had its side shaved off, but made up for it by adding a fifth floor.

  9. A quick check of Portlandmaps shows the current building on the NE corner of 2nd and Burnside was built in 1912. If the date on this photo is correct, the first building on the left was brand new and is still standing.

  10. One more comment and I’m done (for today). The (in)famous Erickson’s Saloon would have been just out of the frame of the photo on the left, which gives a somewhat different perspective on the gentlemen hanging out on that corner.

    I don’t know if you can tell, but I really like this photograph.

  11. Great picture. I wondered if the photo is about traffic or jay walkers, but maybe it about all the men just standing around and not really crossing the street. There was a year long effort to clear the streets of idlers. A news item mentions this area, Second and Burnside attracting idlers. There was an Idler Ordinance. It was a national effort. They were still writing about it after Armistice.

    Police Department Wages War on Chronic Idlers.
    Several Men Arrested Fail to Have Identification Cards and Are Being Held for Federal Investigation”

    “inspectors Bureau of the police department made a raid on slackers and idlers and suspected Industrial Workers of the World yesterday afternoon.”

    “Twenty-five idlers and suspected slackers were gathered in the police dragnet during the afternoon by the detectives. Second and Davis Street and Second and Burnside Street have been a mecca for idlers of late, say the police, and 10 of the men arrested who afterwards declared their good intentions to go to work were taken to the city Employment Bureau by the inspectors and presented with a job.
    It is work now or go to jail, say the officers, who are instructed to keep a sharp lookout for idler’s and suspicious characters.

    “War Waged on Idlers”
    Oregonian, page 19, June 22, 1918

    “Idlers Will Be located
    Idler’s – and with them are classed all gamblers, employees of race tracks and bucket shops, fortune tellers, clairvoyants, palmist and the like will be quickly located, wherever they may be, and inducted into the service.”
    June 16th, 1918, page 25

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s