NE Union Avenue, 1929

A number man on the corner of NE Union Avenue (Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard) at NE Davis Street, looking southwest, 1929.


121-135 NE Union Avenue  [Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd] at NE Davis Street, looking southwest, 1929: A2009-009.1767

121-135 NE Union Avenue [Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd] at NE Davis Street, looking southwest, 1929: A2009-009.1767

View this image in Efiles by clicking here.

20 thoughts on “NE Union Avenue, 1929

  1. A lot of people used to refrigerate that way in those days! My Dad used to talk about how they did this in Pittsburgh PA when he was little, in the depression. They couldn’t afford an “ice box.”

  2. I had a “cold cupboard” in the kitchen of a house in North Portland a few years back. It had openings in the exterior wall at the bottom and top (which had been sealed, but were still there), and the shelves had gaps for air circulation, so that cold air from outside could circulate within it inside my kitchen.

  3. Looks like 10 or 12 feet of the front of the building was removed when the street was widened. What happened to that type of street lamp ? We don’t see them today.

  4. At the extreme left of the picture it looks like there are some houses that are now gone in the modern picture.

  5. The building has undergone a remodel which increased the occupant load. The ground floor retail has been removed and residential units added there. The brick facade was continued to the sidewalk, you can see a change of brick color in the current view.The main entrance was changed at that time from a rectangular corbel-ed brick opening to a arched opening. I’m guessing the apartments on the upper floors were also sub divided to make more studios and one bedrooms because I also see that they added an additional fire escape which most likely means an additional hallway.

  6. craig, according to the sanborn maps, the retail was not filled in, it was removed; the 1924 map states the street is 60′ wide, while the 1928 and up shows a 110′ wide burnside. (Vol 6, sheet 192 for both editions). you can see that the side of the building has a door; i would wager the building was shaved to just past it. interestingly, the ground floor became an auto shop/garage and that what was filled in to make the new apartments and entryway.

  7. ok, now i really wish there was an edit feature… i was looking at the wrong side of the map! as emily latella said – never mind!

    so if neither side of this corner was being widened, what is numbers man doing here? the maps aren’t clear in the 1908 – 50 volume what the NW corner of union and davis looked like.

  8. wl, this photo is almost certainly documenting the state of this building prior to the widening of Union Avenue (MLK). Here are a host of other photos, previously posted to Vintage Portland, documenting the “before” versions of many commercial and private buildings and homes. That link also includes some “during” (from 1931) and “after” (1932 and later) photos.

  9. that’s what i meant by the sanborns not being clear – if you look at the building outlines, the later map does show that this building was cut back; however, the street widths are still listed as 65 – 69 feet. they changed the figures on burnside… they must’ve missed these.

  10. Lets work to keep as much structured history as we can. I have taken a few pictures of buildings that very soon after were coming down. America can’t seem to understand not everything is disposable.

  11. Wl, you may very well may be correct about the building being cut-back, I would be surprised however due to the fact that the brickwork above the retail space is consistent in both the before and after photos with the exception of the change of window shape next to the new fire escape. Additionally the change of brick color is a strong indication that the retail storefront was just infilled .

Comments are closed.