SW Lincoln Street , circa 1929

Here is another view of the inactive reservoir we posted last week at SW Lincoln Street and SW 6th Avenue, circa 1929.


Inactive reservoir site at SW 6th Avenue and SW Lincoln Street, circa 1929: A2008-009

Inactive reservoir site at SW 6th Avenue and SW Lincoln Street, circa 1929: A2008-009


View this image in Efiles by clicking here.


12 thoughts on “SW Lincoln Street , circa 1929

  1. Given the sloping grade between Broadway and Sixth here, did the city retain any part of the retaining wall on the eastern side of the block when it was landscaped shortly after this photo?

  2. For a moment I thought that fire hydrant was the same one in the Google maps Street view. Though with all the street reconfiguration it could. The Oregonian had a pretty good article about this a couple days ago.

  3. The sign next to the fire hydrant says Council Crest (pointing south). The top pointer (to the north) says: xxxxxxxx Portland. The other 3 I can’t read.

  4. Noticing the houses on the other side of the reservoir, one appears to be under construction with basically the same components that we use today 86 years later, Probably full size members here, but still hemlock/fir 2×4’s,2x 6’s, 2×8’s, etc.

  5. “Singer organized his troupe around 1913 and made his first voyage to the USA in 1914 to play Loew’s circuit. The number of performers and Singer’s company varied widely between 15 and 50….Most were experienced performers by the time they played American vaudeville.“

    “There are a number of troops of little people performing in vaudeville, circuses and carnivals during the first half of the 20th century. None of the others were quite as popular as Singer’s.”

    Page 1028, from, Vaudeville, old and new: an encyclopedia of variety performers in America
    Psychology Press, 2004

    The group performed in Portland in 1929 as well as other years.



    There is a postcard of the performers on Ebay, advertising a performance at the Jefferson Theater.

  6. With so much coverage and comment on this old reservoir site, I was moved to look a little into the history of the site.

    Per available local press accounts, the city council decided to unload the old “Sixth Street Reservoir” block (as it was sometimes known) in 1925 and spent the next several years deciding how to do it, what to use it for. The reservoir at Sixth, Lincoln, and Grant had been out of commission for many years, overtaken by some new pumping regime connected with the decommissioning of the old Palatine Hill pump house. It supposedly was the city’s 2nd reservoir built in 1887. By the late ’20s, S. Port. residents were clamoring for the site to be recycled into a new traffic pattern and/or park since they said the unsightly lot was depressing property values; local kids were using the dirt-filled bottom as a baseball field. Some city council members wanted to sell the land to developers to build up residential tax rolls, a move which S. Portlanders rejected by petition. The petitioners prevailed, and by 1931 the city agreed to start work on a new block-long diagonal street linking Sixth St. at Grant St. with Broadway at Lincoln St. At the time, this helped Terw. Blvd. and Ross Isl. Bridge traffic access downtown more easily. The SW part of the block was reserved for street alignment, while the NE corner (remnant visible in Google Earth shot?) was left undeveloped for possible future use as a park. The bid to name the whole block “Lincoln Sq.” failed since they city already had a Lincoln Sq. Various other names were suggested, but I don’t know if any formal action was ever taken to designate this parcel officially as a city park.

  7. In the 31 March 2015 edition of VP (spotlighting this same reservoir) Brian R. posted a link to a more interesting Oregonian article about the history of this bit of Portland public works. The article by Oregonian history reporter John Killen in his “Throwback Thursday” series covers a lot more ground in greater detail, some of which was repeated unnecessarily in my above post.

  8. One of the subtle, but interesting things about this photo is that if you enlarge it, you can see the twin steeples of the old St. Francis Church in Southeast Portland. There are a couple of other posts that show the church in “Vintage Portland” but it was an amazing looking building, as were many of Portland’s early wooden churches. About the only one that survives, I think, is the “Old Church” in downtown.

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