NE Union Avenue, circa 1929

A number man standing on the corner of NE Union Avenue (Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard) at NE Couch Street, circa 1929.


City of Portland Archives, Oregon, A2009-009.2443

City of Portland Archives, Oregon, A2009-009.2443


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19 thoughts on “NE Union Avenue, circa 1929

  1. brake jobs big business even back then. most of those cars used mechanical brakes,probably good thing they were pretty slow back then. and i wonder what distracted number man?

  2. Paul, that’s correct.

    Jennings Furniture then moved (or opened up a new store) into the Cambridge Block two blocks to the West at 3rd and Morrison. The Cambridge Block was demolished in 1962. Pioneer Place Mall now takes up its former site.

  3. They should have dressed number man in a grim reaper outfit. LOL. Good example of how chewed up the curbs used to get.

  4. Wonder what was going on with that sign at the far right which apparently says “SOUTH BOUND DON’T CROSS BURNSIDE DETOUR.”

  5. I work at the Blake Moffitt and Towne building. It just sold and will be changed into upscale office building. The building is historical and will have to stay prettyuch the same on the outside. So far the water tower is staying. I can see from this photo why many want it to stay. It has been part of the SE skyline since 1915. This building was only 14 years old at this time. I love this old girl and any glad it has to stay. The new giant buildings are just Taking all the light and views from lots of old buildings.

  6. If you look at the detail of the posters along Burnside (below/in front of the water tower) you can see advertisements for Heinz 57 and the Jazz Age movie playing at the Pantages. The Jazz Age ad doesn’t look like any poster I found for that movie, perhaps it was a custom job.

  7. @Deborah, I’m very sad to hear about the conversion of your building. It is good that it won’t be torn down, but I hate to see the slow erosion of the inner SE industrial district. I pass the Blake Moffitt and Towne building often and always wonder about it. Looks like lots of interesting stuff going on inside.

  8. That watertower would be the ultimate in cool loft space. Divide it a couple floors and ring with windows…
    Too bad paying off the city to allow it would cost prohibitive.

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