Miller Paint Company, 1950

This year marks the 125th anniversary of Portland’s own Miller Paint Company. To help mark that milestone, we found an image of a Miller Paint truck during the company’s 60th anniversary decked out with “Clean-Up Paint-Up” week signs, May 1950. Can anyone tell us where this image was taken?


City of Portland Archives, Oregon: Miller Paint truck, A2001-083

City of Portland Archives, Oregon: Miller Paint Truck, A2001-083


View this image in Efiles by clicking here.

21 thoughts on “Miller Paint Company, 1950

  1. I agree with David. That is definitely Jackson Tower in the background. That would put the photographer on Broadway and Morrison, looking south on Broadway. But the traffic is going the wrong direction. Did it used to go northbound/both ways?

  2. Wow, what an interesting observation. Indeed, it appears that sometime in the early 1950s they switched from two-way to one-way.

    Here’s a photo from the 40s showing two-way:

    And here’s a photo from the 50s showing one-way:

    Here’s an earlier V.P. post discussing an aspect of this:

  3. It’s on Broadway next to the Portland Hotel. You can see the corner of Broadway and
    Yamhill on the far right. The white building still stands and looks pretty much the same.

  4. It’s Broadway. The only way the Portland Hotel and Jackson Tower line up like that is looking south at Morrison & Broadway.

  5. You’re right Chuck what made this a little difficult for me is that I’ve never seen a picture of the west side of the Portland Hotel. It was always photographed showing its east facade, the one story hipped roof appendage between the wings is interesting to me.

  6. I’ve never seen a picture of the back of the Portland Hotel, so this is revelatory. It kind of looms over the street, doesn’t it?

  7. Sue Stringer, I’m going to make an assumption that may not be correct. I’m guessing that you recognized the stone work on the base of the Portland Hotel in our picture today and mistook it for the stone work on the Armory building? If that was the case you might find the exercise of actually counting the number of surviving buildings in downtown Portland which have this “Rusticated” base. It was popularized in the 19th century by American Architect named Henry Hobson Richardson and this style became the style du jour.

  8. In addition to Craig’s remark: The heavy stone base and the multi-story arches were referred to as the Richardson Romenesque style of the late 19th century. Portland has many examples of this building style as seen in other VP photos.

    As least that’s how my architecture history professor taught it….

  9. Very interesting photo. If the 1950 date is correct, this must be one of the last photos of a two-way Broadway, as Broadway through central downtown become one-way in 1950.

  10. Dave Johnson, I’d forgotten about ‘cruising’. It was fun for a teenager but as I got older it was a nuisance.

  11. It’s so cool how this starts off as a photo for the Miller Paint Anniversary in 1950 and it slowly digresses to all the fascinating features of this photo. I too, have never seen the back of the Portland Hotel. Actually, I don’t think I’ve ever seen the front of the hotel this up close! It is huge and ominous and beautiful isn’t it? There always seems to be one person in our photos that is looking right at the cameraman/person…in this photo it is the young man with his hands in his pockets. He would be about 80 years old today. Finally, re: the stonework. Portland is about to lose another one of its grand buildings to developers unless we work to petition for its survival: The Ancient Order of the United Workmen Building is on the chopping block.

  12. I hope the Order of United Workman’s building is saved. It seems to have all the architectural qualities as the Dekum Building.

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