13 thoughts on “SW 6th Avenue, circa 1949

  1. The hearts in the window at the right, people’s coats, and a couple of 1950’s cars says that this might be Jan-Feb. 1950…for what that’s worth.

  2. What is that car in the right traffic lane 3rd forward from the back? Looks like a cross between a hovercraft and a bar of soap!

  3. This was when M&F had entrances on fifth and sixth, the Alder or north side was taken up with pick up and delivery trucks. The sixth street door awning shows in this picture and the steps can still be seen.

  4. I think 6th Ave. was converted to one-way in 1950. You can still see the old center-line stripe in the middle lane from before the switch so this is likely very shortly afterwards.

  5. Counterclockwise swastikas are ancient–the Buddhists considered it a peace symbol. Lots of buildings from the WWI era were decorated that way including, if memory serves, the Multnomah County Courthouse.

  6. The Pacific/National Biscuit Company building also had a “swastika ” symbol on it. See the Jan. 27th, 2010 posting. It was a positive symbol until the Natzis ruined it.

  7. The car parked on the corner of 6th and Morrison is a 1951 Buick. Given the M&F window displays and season clothing being worn I’d put no earlier than January 1952.

  8. To help settle the time of year questions posed by Mike G and PDXLexus:
    (1) The time of day is 1:55 pm, according to the First National Bank clock.
    (2) The street grid in downtown appears by my crude calculations to run about 20.6 degrees east of true north.
    (3) The shadows cast by the two ladies in the crosswalk are almost perfectly lined up with 6th avenue.
    (4) Items (2) and (3) together suggest that the sun azimuth is 200.6 degrees.
    (5) According to this NOAA web site:


    a 200.6 degree sun azimuth can’t be achieved in downtown Portland at 1:55 pm, but it is at a minimum at 203.46 degrees on January 20-21. My angle calculations for the shadows and street angles could easily have this few degrees error in them, of course.

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