11 thoughts on “SE Powell Blvd., circa 1950

  1. There is a green 1957-58 Studebaker Scotsman in the photo which looks quite used so the date is closer to 1960 than 1950.

  2. Randy must be right about the dating of this photo based on the Studebaker model also shown. The billboard in the background of the photo touts a new “supreme” grade of Chevron gasoline called “New Blue.” Per a quick Google search, it seems that this ad campaign for a supposedly new brand of high-octane gas first appeared in 1958.

  3. This view is roughly northeast; Creston School was on the south side of Powell Blvd, at about 47th Avenue. … Powell with 50th (and the Foster Road trolley tracks) crossing in front of us.

  4. Oregonian article, Nov. 27, 1958 lends a good time frame. I paraphrase.
    A delegation of 50 parents from Creston School took their fight for safer crosswalks to City Hall. For five days running parents have resorted to “human chains” to escort children across Powell Blvd at 47th Ave.
    Mayor Schrunk told the delegation the matter is under study by city engineers. He said currently the city is spending about $75,000 per year over the next ten years on needed traffic signalization and safeguards. The mayor pointed out the Creston School crossing and others “equally as critical” would have been solved if the November capital improvement measure had succeeded.
    Commissioner Bowes added that there was a backlog of 300 signal petitions that would require about $500,000 in expenditures. Permission of the State Highway commission was needed before installation at that location. Bowes said “traffic engineers have called the state into discussion of the problem: but we can’t just rush in and change the signals right quick until we see what’s best”.
    Mayor Schrunk suggested better supervision and training of the parents at the crossing would help the situation.
    Sounds like there may have been some issues between parents and drivers on that stretch of Powell Blvd. The response from city hall was rather classic, “we’re studying the situation and we have budget problems”

  5. Nice work nailing down the date with the cars, billboard and article. I wonder if there’s any way they can add notes to the archive items when a location or a date is determined so convincingly on here. Too bad to think it will always just read “circa 1950” when we know it’s 1958.

  6. LMH,

    City Hall’s response brought to mind a couple of other classics:

    Traditional: “The more things change, the more they stay the same”

    Modern: “same old, same old . . .”

  7. The Portland city government gives up nothing to the corruption of Chicago and in some ways surpasses it for the last 175 tears.

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