SW Yamhill Street, 1964

This photograph shows SW Yamhill Street from the corner of Park Avenue looking west. The sign on the right side of the screen is for Embers. On the left side is the Pythian building. This building is still standing today.


SW Park looking southwest towards Yamhill, July 31, 1964: A2010-002.982

SW Park looking southwest towards Yamhill, July 31, 1964: A2010-002.982


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17 thoughts on “SW Yamhill Street, 1964

  1. The great Central Library is on the left behind the Pythian Bldg. In the 1950s-60s there were several music studios in the Pythian Bldg. one flight up. Mark Daniels taught voice, and Franck Eichenlaub and later Richard Irwin taught violin and viola. I trudged to my lessons there, and I’m still playing violin 50 years later.

  2. SW Yamhill…yeah…we called it one of the “down” streets, as opposed to SW Morrison, which we called an “up” street! Funny little nicknames that still pop into my head now and then! Nicknames…like “Rosie”, the red and white Rose City Transit Company bus that’s a’comin’ down the street! (“Yes, mother, I still have my transfer…no…I didn’t lose it…yes, mother, it’s right here…see? Do you still have yours…no, I wasn’t being a smart-aleck…sorry…I’ll keep my mouth shut!” ….boy, I wish sure wish our bus would get here soon…) 🙂

    I remember Shaw’s Surgical too! Let’s see…how can I gently put this? Hmmm…let’s just say that Shaw’s was where my mother used to go to get what she nicknamed her “industrial strength brassieres”! I always felt a little outta place there, and nervously uncomfortable too…sitting there…waiting, while she was being “fitted” or “measured” …surrounded by a number of mannequins clad only in brassieres and girdles and high heels…hmmm…do I look…do I NOT look…will I get into trouble if I DO look…nothing but Ladies Home Journals and Good Housekeeping magazines on the tables…at least I can laugh at the memory now, but back then, it wasn’t so funny! 🙂

  3. Off in the distance is the Professional Building. That is where I went for braces on my teeth~Dr. Woods, Dr. Reese and Dr. Butouri were the three orthodontists. I can’t remember which one I preferred. I never knew which one I’d get when I went in to have the braces tightened, but one was easier on my mouth than the other two.

  4. I understand how Mike D. made the error of assuming the 1964 Embers was the sames as the current one, or that the current Embers is the progeny of this one. Perhaps there is a link between the two. I remember the Embers being discussed in the mid to late ’70s as the new, cool place to dance. As I recall, the Embers on NW Broadway opened in the mid to late ’70s, and it and Darcelles were the first gay bars that were overt about being ‘gay bars’ and among the first to attract large numbers of straight people.

  5. I went to many dances at the Pythian Ballroom. They had good light shows there. I still have some of the psychedelic handbills advertising the bands in the attic.

  6. jonxwood…

    Indeed, The Rafters/Embers (SW Park & Yamhill) WAS one of the “trendy” places to go, listen to music and to dance in the early 70’s and into the early 80’s, by both gay and straights alike…and one of the reasons that The Embers became so popular among the gay crowd was a direct result of the fire that partly destroyed The Riptide, (Roman’s Riptide) up on SW Stark, between 9th & 10th. They (The Riptide) had their own “drag shows” on the weekends but, at the time, nothing could really hold a candle to Darcelle’s! Walter had it all!


    The Pythian Ballroom (The Crown Ballroom) used to have the reputation of being a “hotsy-totsy” upper-class ballroom at one time, way back when…probably because The Pythian Building was originally constructed as a Masonic Lodge. (No offense to anyone.)


  7. Thank you, Greg. I’d forgotten about the Riptide fire. Was that version of the Embers on the second floor? I seem to recall imbibing at the VC and then going someplace nearby to dance and feeling the floor tremble.

    Also, it would be a remarkable coincidence if the mid ’70s version of the Embers located Downtown was not related to the ’60s version pictured above. I’ve read that Dahl & Pennies and the Dirty Duck and an earlier version of Darcelles were the first overt gay bars in the ’60s or early ’70. If that is correct it suggests that Embers in the ’60s was a straight and changed its target population.

  8. jonxwood…

    Try this on for size…there are a lot of interesting facts that might help jog a memory or two…at least it did for me! Actually, there are/were a few things that I found rather interesting…even a little tidbit about Lownsdale Square and Chapman Square, a subject on this site a few days ago!

    None-the-less, it’s quite an interesting site, and by reading it, it does help to answer a lot of questions that are, like it or not, are part of Portland’s past! Some rather good pictures too!




  9. I took voice lessons from Mark Daniels when I was in high school. Nice man. Pictures on the walls from his opera days. Haven’t thought about those days for years.


  10. The Embers/Rafters was totally a gay bar in 1977 at that location before it moved to N.E. Broadway some years later. The queens would all scream with delight when they play Gloria Gaynors hit’s and rush to the disco dance floor in mass. In 1964, I have no Idea what the clientele was like as I was 8 years old.

  11. GREAT photo and I enjoyed all the comments about the Pythian Building and the various concerts there. My cousin played several organ recitals there. The Rosie bus, also, is a good memory and yes, I can identify with the comment about the transfer. You needed one when riding the “bridge transfer” (anyone recall that line?). Also the delivery can on the right could be one of the Oregon Journal vans–International “step vans” that hauled the Journal to the various distribution sites.

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