Memorial Coliseum Site, circa 1958

Here is another view of the Memorial Coliseum site before construction. We saw the same sight in a previous post from a different angle. Notice the housing along the waterfront that has not yet been demolished to make way for the coming Thunderbird Motel.


City of Portland Archives, Oregon, A2014-003.934

City of Portland Archives, Oregon, A2014-003.934


View this image in Efiles by clicking here.

17 thoughts on “Memorial Coliseum Site, circa 1958

  1. I think Vintage Portland is just havin’ a little trouble with their site lately. For whatever reason I began with way back when, I’ve always just clicked the photo and never had any problems…and then, by clicking the photo once more, I can enlarge it again! I like that option…especially when it comes to looking at all the little details. It just seems whenever I click E-files for the same thing, I run into a hit or miss situation…its inconsistency is consistent…so I rarely bother using that option. Maybe it’s MY computer…who knows…but I’m sorry that others are havin’ a bit of a problem with it.

    And just a side note…of all the sites that I enjoy going to, Vintage Portland, at for least THIS particular location, when I click my “favorites” file…mouse down to “Vintage Portland” and “click” the site, 50% of the time, my computer will respond with that ol’ “This page is not available, please try restarting your computer.” Then, after simply clicking “Close this page”, there it is…BANG… the Vintage Portland site! Weird…but, like I said…who knows…maybe it’s MY computer, just being obnoxious!

  2. The mansard roof building probably sat in the middle of the light rail intersection below (south) of the Moda center, when you follow the railroad curve around the grain towers. The street patterns were changed considerably.

    This area (and historic neighborhood) gave a lot away to transportation in the earlier photo, and yet again today, owing to the confusing patterns and indistinguishable landmarks we are having trouble identifying.

  3. Man, it really is hard to get a bead on what streets are what in this photo, but the large square building NE of the mansard in question is, I believe, the Mack truck dealership. Looking at Sanford maps from 1950, all I see where the mansard building is located is something called “Sheet Metal Works,” which doesn’t seem right.

  4. Has ANY sports arena ever actually helped the immediate neighborhood? I would wager they are worse than freeways in this regard.
    And to think just a few years ago a serious case was being made to plop a MLB stadium in Lents under the same rationale.

  5. The mansard roof building was the hotel built by Ben Holladay on the east side of the river around 1870. Passengers arriving by rail from the Willamette Valley could stay there, or take the nearby ferry to Portland proper.

  6. What was the name of Holladay’s hotel, Dan? For what it’s worth, I found the A O Pederson Sheet Metal Works in efiles and surprisingly, it was a three-story building with a mansard roof and facade on the west end.

  7. Kitten – if you’re curious, the MCI Center (now Verizon) in Washington, DC absolutely revitalized a big section of that city. A big difference, though, is the area was already dense and the construction was confined to just a few blocks.

  8. This is what gentrification really looks like. This is what destroying a black community in Portland looked like. The white city leaders of Portland forced all of the black people that lived, owned property and ran businesses in this area to leave. The land was then turned over to white real estate developers and the rest is history. Some of those white guys are still alive and many of the black people that were evicted are still alive as well.

  9. I totally and sadly agree Fred. This is one aspect of our local history here that we can’t forget. I worked with the city’s Strategic Action Committee on revitalizing the Coliseum a few years ago, and we were strong advocates of reinstating the culture of that neighborhood once referred to as ‘Jumptown’. There was an excellent local PBS documentary on it earlier this month that helped explain part of what was lost.

  10. Scott:
    To get a short URL in Google Maps, click the three little lines on the left side of the white box in the top left corner. Choose “Share or Embed Image” and click the “Short URL” check box.

    You could also click the Embed Image tag, copy and paste the URL into the Vintage Portland comment box and get this:

  11. I have been told that many of the homes designed by my great grandfather, Emil Schacht, were here before they were razed for the Coliseum. I’d love to see some pictures of those homes. I didn’t find any at the Historical Society.

  12. Fred, as I remember the first site proposed was on the west side but we
    the public favored the east side. What we had in mind was way east, not in this area where the homes were bought up by a few in power.

  13. Urban renewal\redevelopment projects in Portland are not about improving or making things better for average person and especially not so for the poor souls who in the way of a project. It is all about improving the net worth of the developers and speculators. They sugar coat everything and try to get the least amount of their money and the most amount of the public’s money involved. Just like the Convention Center Hotel project they have been trying to sell us for the last 30 years.They don’t want to use their money because they would loose their shirts, So they expect the public to invest in this money loosing venture under the banner of making Portland great. Yea great and broke. Always has been this way and always will be unless something changes. Portland has always been in the clutches of the real estate developers and brokers since day one. And I know a tale or two the powers would not like told.

  14. I agree with Greg, I never expect upper echelon public employees to act in the best interest of the public. An example is locating a new Sellwood bridge where it will perpetuate the traffic problem. Or accepting the new SE MLK viaduct as complete when it is the roughest section of highway in the state. I always wonder who profits.

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