16 thoughts on “SW 6th Avenue, circa 1953

  1. So, looking at Google Street View of the same location; SW 6th has 3 lanes, 2 sidewalks, and no parking compared with 4 lanes, 2 sidewalks and right sided parking in 1953. Must have been some very narrow sidewalks back in the day.

  2. Definitely looking *from* Alder, rather than *towards* Alder.

    It doesn’t look like the 1953 sidewalks are any narrower than many other downtown sidewalks. The modern-day configuration dates from the installation of the transit mall.

  3. A brown 1954 Chevrolet is parked at the corner. 1954 Chevrolets went on sale to the public in December of 1953. The way the ladies on the corner are dressed, I would say the photo is summer of 1954.

  4. It is impossible for me to imagine a Fred Meyer which is not a 100,000 sq ft behemoth surrounded by copious surface parking. I’d love to take a look inside that store and see how it worked.

  5. I agree with Merlin on the ’54 Chevy. Owing to the short shadows with the sun pretty high in the sky, I’d also guess summer ’54 for photo date.

  6. Look at that 1953 sky. An off topic old man shouts at clouds.

    A real blue sky. A sky free from contrails and the resultant ever present haze. Unless you were born before 1955 or have been lucky enough to have lived in the Antarctic you will have never seen a clear blue sky. True, contrails have been around from the time of the first high altitude flight but quickly dissipated. The explosion of air travel and jet aircraft quickly put paid to that. If all flight stopped today it may take months for the sky to clear. The civilian flight ban after 9/11 barely made a dent in the haze, albeit a noticeable improvement. Modern life.

    Make no mistake as someone who has achieved million mile status on several airlines I accept my responsibility and I do not call for any limit on air travel but I am disappointed at the lack of research into amelioration.

    The wiki entry provides some detail.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Contrail

  7. It looks like there is a Cushman motor scooter in the right lane. You don’t see many of those in these photos.

  8. Yes, the sidewalks are very generous now, but they weren’t narrow back then. They were wide enough not to feel cramped.

  9. I’ve always been intrigued by that odd and unstable looking stair exit and elevator machinery housing (?) on the roof of Wiener’s. I suspect it made more sense if it abutted the old Oregonian building, but I don’t think it ever did.

  10. By 1979 the Freddie’s was at 5th and Morrison. It was a funny little store, but very handy. Lots of the Freddie’s ads at the time would say that the featured item was available in every store except 5th and Morrison, but eventually they made coffee mugs that were available only in that store.

  11. Kittens >>> It is impossible for me to imagine a Fred Meyer which is not a 100,000 sq ft behemoth surrounded by copious surface parking. I’d love to take a look inside that store and see how it worked.

    You don’t have to imagine it; just visit their store at W. Burnside and NW 20th.

  12. That is an odd structure for sure, Quite tall for elevator hoistway machinery.
    I suspect a watertank.

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