24 thoughts on “SW 4th Avenue, 1939

  1. @Craig Caramelli: No, those are not the west hills. In the background you can see part of the old gasometer that was at the foot of the Steel Bridge. The small hill just to the left of it is the bluff across the river where Memorial Coliseum sits today.

  2. The Star Furniture Company — from “Oregon Jewish Businesses 1840-2012” at:
    https://archives.pdx.edu/archon/?p=collections/findingaid&id=130&q=&rootcontentid=7015#id7015

    “Star Furniture was owned and operated by David Light and Harry Zavin who had married the Friedman sisters, Regina and Rose, respectively. … [Harry] sold shoes for a living before he married Rose Friedman, met her sister’s husband, and together opened their furniture store in 1919 on SE 1st and Morrison. They soon moved up the hill to SE 4th between Alder and Morrison to avoid the floods that repeatedly destroyed their inventory. This remained the Star Furniture location for the next 60 years.”

    If this is correct, is the photo really showing Yamhill?

  3. Hotel President (From Wikipedia and several other sources online)
    “The Hotel Alder, is an historic four-story building in downtown Portland, Oregon, United States. In 2004, it was named to the National Register of Historic Places. It has also been known as the Hotel President….” The Hotel Alder is at 415 SW Alder. Are we perhaps looking at Alder, not Yamhill?

  4. Yamhill is correct. If Star Furniture moved to 4th between Morrison and Alder, this picture is correct. Morrison has a cross walk before the Star Furniture store so the street closest would be Yamhill.

  5. Regarding cross street, one would also expect the Fred Meyer Yamhill Auto Supply on the corner to be on Yamhill, so I’d agree with post and Jared that Yamhill is correct.

  6. The date is off a bit. There is a dirty 1941 Hudson 4 door sedan about to make a right turn – in the right side of the photo. Hudsons for 1941 began rolling out of the factory in July 1940.

  7. What we see…. Espionage Agent with Joel McCray is still playing at the Capital Theater, held over from its September, 1939 release. Must have been popular. Our Western Union boy in the familiar cap and two police officers directing traffic on this busy day. People had money in their pockets again judging by the packages they carry and so many cars with gasoline to spare. A nice fall day

  8. I am surprised to see what is apparently the SP Electric RR tracks still in place and not paved over at this late date.

  9. I remember that old awning on the left. That building still had wood sidewalks in the 60’s. Novelty store.

  10. @Lance: I don’t see any SP Electric tracks. The only rail visible in this photo as far as I can tell are the streetcar lines crossing 4th a block up at SW Morrison.

  11. My son Rory was correct when this photo was previously posted. The Hudson on the right is a 1940 model, not a 1941. Both years of that series use the same hood side lights but the 1941 has two more grill bars on each side. The 1940 Hudsons went on sale September 1, 1939, so the 1939 date is most likely correct.

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