25 thoughts on “NE 24th Avenue, 1931

  1. Zillow lists this as being built in 1930. This must have been shortly after construction was completed.

  2. Remember that building. I used to pass it on my walks from 16th & Stanton to Central Catholic HS.

  3. These are or once were known as the El Capitan Apartments. I stayed there often in 1957-58 while my older brother and wife rented an apt. in that building. Often driving by, I’m pleased to see it still exists.

    The structure was completed around 1929 and first opened its doors to renters in Aug. 1929. From the first “for rent” ad in the 7 Aug. 1929 edition of The Oregonian: “Opening today, beautiful 3 and 4 rooms [I think this means 2 BR in modern parlance], orchid and black tile baths and forced ventilation, paneled tapestry papers [wallpaper to us], halls fully carpeted, 7-ft. plate glass windows, gorgeous lobby, richly plastered in Spanish style; first class service. Irvington’s finest.” In 1930 they advertised following features: “…Frigidaire, el. washer and mangle [consult older friends as to what a “mangle” was]; sound proof, gorgeous 2-story lobby in bronze and green Spanish plaster. Cor. E. 24th and Weidler.” In 1938 the monthly rent was about $41.00. The property owner as of 1941 was the Mortbon corp. of New York, which sold it that year to the Nuwesco Lumber Co. of Portland.

  4. Love those older, “pre-war” (as they would say in New York City) apartment buildings. Much more character and quality of construction than many of the crackerboxes being thrown up today in Portland with cheap labor and cheap materials.

  5. People say “pre-war” in reference to things that were built or happened prior to World War 2 pretty commonly outside of NYC. I agree about your sentiment though.

  6. Apartments of this vintage usually came with the porcelain kitchen sink/drainboard that had a curtain in front of it to hide the trashbag. Built in china cabinets could be used to divide the kitchen from the eating area.

  7. The kitchen had flour bins and a built in ironing board. 2 two electrical outlets in the kitchen and a murphy bed in the dining area.

  8. The church at the left is still there and is home to the Metropolitan Community Church, which has probably seen a recent uptick in wedding ceremonies performed there.

  9. A mangle (as it is called in the United Kingdom) or wringer (as it is called in the United States) is a mechanical laundry aid consisting of two rollers in a sturdy frame, connected by cogs and, in its home version, powered by a hand crank or electrically. While the appliance was originally used to wring water from wet laundry, today mangles are used to press or flatten sheets, tablecloths, kitchen towels, or clothing and other laundry.



  10. I once was playing with the mangle on my folks’ washing machine when I was 5. It tried to swallow me. Made it as far as my shoulder.

  11. yeah, apt name as that’s pretty much what they could do to your hand if it got caught in there. My grandfather had an old washing machine with one on top, it scared me.

    I love those old apartment buildings. I sure wish the new buildings going up took some cues from those old buildings. The built-ins, the lobbies, the arched entry way’s, the tiles. All so beautiful. I’ve lived in a few great old buildings like that here in Portland.

  12. I used to sub for the guy who had the Oregon-Journal paper route that included this apartment building. At least half the papers were delivered here. All I had to do was drop the papers in front of the subscribers doors and I was almost finished for the day. He paid me fifty cents to sub for him.

  13. I had a route with the Portland Reporter that stretched from NE Fremont & 7th to Union & Broadway. I would’ve loved to have a route like that, JohnH

  14. Chuck, back in 1957 or ’58 most of the Journal routes (a least in my neck of the woods) only had about 30 customers. A lot of kids wanted those afternoon paper routes. I never has a route of my own. I just substituted when my friends needed help. I made most of my spending money mowing lawns at $1.50 apiece using my dad’s old push mower.

  15. Our first apartment in Portland was the Lindquist, which is nearly identical to the El Capitan. We had the only studio apartment in the building–second floor with a pair of arch topped doors opening onto a widow’s walk over the front door. Lovely old building which had at the time (1996) been relatively unmolested.

  16. I can whole-heartedly agree with the many comments regarding the design and character of apartment buildings being built now-a-days vs. those built “way back when”. I remember, back in the late 60’s and early 70’s, looking for a small one-room…then a larger two-room…and then an even larger three-room apartment…I was always drawn to those types of buildings…buildings of design and character…a place that said “home” and not just a “box” to put my stuff in! Pity, that design and character is not an important detail now-a-days…just as in the auto industry…cookie-cutter vehicles for the masses. Reminds me of that old advertising phrase: One Size Fit All!

  17. New buildings in general, these days are not what I would call attractive. My comment is not related to apartments, but there is a new building on the northwest corner of 24th and Fremont. The corner used to be a parking lot. I drive by there occasionally and I was so pleased to see an extremely nice looking brick building erected. A positive addition that fits with the neighborhood.

  18. Take a look at 1971 NE 15th. This building was built in the mid-60s replacing a great old Victorian house. And it was built out of mostly plywood. I watched it go in.

  19. Lived here in the early 80’s. My one bedroom had steam heat (with an uncovered pipe in the bathroom, which proved painful). The kitchen still had the ceramic tile counters and the china cabinets. Hardwood floors throughout, a giant hall closet, and a view into a huge chestnut (?) tree. The rent was $215.00 a month. I really loved that apartment.

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