43 thoughts on “Help Us Out!

  1. This is a tough one. I believe it’s a morning shot, so the perspective is looking north. Is that Oaks Bottom to the left, with the west hills beyond? If so, the shot would be on the east side. There’s a men’s clothing store across the street, so the street would be somewhat commercial.

    Also, this does not appear to be a park, per se. With the easels and nonstandard playground equipment, I would guess a private playground/schoolyard built for very small children.

  2. I was just going to say, I don’t think this is a public park with the stairs that lead down to all the play equipment. It looks like a private preschool or daycare. Albeit a nice one.

  3. Based upon the elevation of the West Hills in this picture, I would make a guess-a-mate that this site is either in the Brooklyn neighborhood or in Sellwood. The picture appears to be positioned looking west towards the West Hills, yet a slight distance from the river.

  4. Can see what is in the distance between the bldgs and trees in the center of the pic? Parked cars. Pilings? It looks like the store sells “Mens Fine Clothes.”

  5. In higher resolution, the writing under the Parking sign on the back of the neighboring Victorian might be more legible. A lot of cool and rather large older houses in the neighborhood.

  6. I believe I’ve found it. Go to 1678 SW 13th Ave in Google maps streetview and look at the playground opposite the freeway. The Grandview apartments at SW 14th and Columbia look similar to the apartment building (with the bay windows) in the background. The first section of I-405 in Portland opened in February 1969, so the date on this could be wrong.

  7. Actually the date is probably right since 1967 doesn’t post-date 1969O_o. I think we’re looking at the courtyard/playground of the Helen Gordon Childhood Development Center.

  8. the center of the photo shows a large apartment building beyond what are either pilings, or an odd fence. that apartment might still be there; sadly, that decrepit victorian with the fantastic chimney likely isn’t! i agree this is somewhere on the east, tho maybe not as far south as sellwood. is that the pittock on top of the hill? that would put this closer to powell.

  9. i stand corrected! that is almost certainly the grandview… i believe it had a different roof until the 80s, which is (barely) visible in the photo. that would make the pilings part of the 405 work.

  10. Just a wild guess…I think the store front across the street from the playground is now City Bikes co-op on 1914 SE Ankeny just west of SE 20th. The hill in the distance is Mt. Scott.

  11. Ooops…its not on SE Ankeny..took another look at street level pic of City bikes; adjoining houses do not match up with your picture. I think the picture was taken close in West side…but I still think that the hill in the background is Mt. Scott.

  12. This looks like the playground is on the roof of a commercial building. Look how the walkway at the far right goes down to a gate at the street.

    In the block the picture was taken from the land slopes up behind the photographer. But a little farther off at left, the two houses look like it slopes down behind them. Then there is a low forested hill or a grove of tall trees, then a distant hill with houses. Could that distant hill be Mt. Scott or part of the west hills? Where is such a view interrupted by a forested hill?

    Also, at the left it looks like there are some I-beams stacked up as if for a construction project. Or something.

  13. Portland 1908-Dec.1950vol.2,1909-May1950, Sheet 132 clearly shows a dwelling to the west of this location, and a boardinghouse with an outline that matches the clothing store.

    the only reason the grandview is visible is that the intervening blocks have been razed.

  14. it looks like the playground is where two houses (1228 and 1224 sw market) once stood. directly across is 1221, which has had a storefront added after the sanborns stopped being made, and to the west of that house is an apartment building (1235) that fits the building in the image. victorian immediately west of playground was 1230 sw market, which also matches the map outlines.

  15. ps – even in 1950 (last dates on map), the building immediately east – with the ivy covered wall, just visible at extreme right – was labelled ‘day nursery.’

  16. To expound on my previous comment and wl and bburk’s comment, I think the two trees that outline the distant Grandview Apartments mark the intersection of 13th and market. The ivy-covered wall in the background is the older section of the Helen Gordon Childhood Development Center that faces 12th. The Victorian on the left was demolished for construction of the newer section of the Center.

    So the location of the photo is near SW 13th and Market looking West/Northwest.

  17. Jim must be right. The low hill is the Vista ridge. The row of vertical element right in the middle of the picture turns out under magnification to be a row of steel pilings where they are starting to build a retaining wall for the 405 freeway.

  18. I went to Buckman in the 70’s and that actually looks like the playground that we used to go to after school at St. Francis school. Around 11th & Oak.

  19. Nice work everyone! If you look at the center right of “Brian R” photo. There is a second floor doorway to nowhere, that is most likely where the photo was taken from.

  20. Jane,
    Before the daycare was known as the Helen Gordon Child Development Center and became affiliated with Portland State, it was the independent Fruit & Flower Day Nursery, which moved to the East side and remains Portland’s oldest daycare.

  21. thanks peter! if you simply type in SW to PSU’s archive, you get an impressive (and depressing) archive of all the housing PSU has torn down since 1960s! Many an amazing victorian in those photos.

  22. Jim…I was up late last night tormented by this photo! Thank you for the clarification of the day care facility. Love the history and story of this location, but especially all the sleuthing by this amazing group. 🙂

  23. Maybe the Archive staff should put a ‘sticky,’ or just a sidebar explanation on the front page of what the Number Man is!

  24. Barely apropos, but does anyone remember another old-line day care facility that for a time–about 20 years ago–was housed in a building across SW Jefferson from Bud
    Clark’s Goose Hollow Inn?

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