NW Couch Street and 3rd Avenue, 1976

This photograph comes from a Sign Compliance survey that took place in 1976. This image shows the corner of NW Couch Street and 3rd Avenue, looking southwest.


Sign Compliance Survey  NW Couch St., 1976: A2011-018.276

Sign Compliance Survey NW Couch St., 1976: A2011-018.276


View this image in Efiles by clicking here.


15 thoughts on “NW Couch Street and 3rd Avenue, 1976

  1. The current address is: 32 NW 3rd Ave. It’s the Dixie now. This whole area is swimming with homeless people during the day, then it transforms into “The Strip” on Friday and Saturday nights. It’s literally, night and day.

  2. Love the font on the vertical Old Town sign! Also, we had an identical truck to that one on the left when I was a kid. Topper and all.

  3. Sign compliance inspection is where the city inspects and photographs conditions for sign placement on commercial buildings. In this case, it’s where the signage is placed or hanging in the public right of way, as well as checking size limitations with regard to the original permit. If they don’t comply they are instructed to bring it into compliance, or take it down. Not sure of the ’76 code, but its usually complaint driven (‘by the bar owner across the street?’).

  4. Literally grew up in the Old Cafe! My mother and grandmother were waitresses there, Gus and Helen owned the place…wasn’t “so” bad during this time. Many of the customers were living in SROs and ate breakfast lunch and dinner at old town. We ran all over the neighborhood. People knew we belonged to Erma and Julie so one messed with us…if they did someone would step up and say “That’s Erma and Julie’s kid” and it was done.
    Bought my first Levi’s jacket at Waxie’s United Clothing Co. (his name is on the building at 3rd and Burnside).
    Darcelle and the girls would come through for a bite (before, and sometimes after, they “transformed”)
    Walt Curtis (“Mala Noche”) would eat and on occasion leave drawings on napkins that my mother considered “tips”.
    Mostly, before de-institutionalization it was a real neighborhood full of older gents who had worked hard and earned tiny pensions. Afterward, it got rougher…more drugs, more trouble. Stopped stopping by when my mother quit working there in 1991.
    Yep, I have stories!

  5. Old Town/The Pearl looks like it had such a rough and gritty feel back in the 70’s and 80’s. Nothing like the bland polished feel it has today. I bet Portland was a fun place with some character back 30-40 years ago.

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