NW 3rd Avenue, 1968

The northeast corner of NW 3rd Avenue and NW Davis Street, 1968.


City of Portland Archives, Oregon, NW 3rd Avenue and NW Davis Street, A2012-005

City of Portland Archives, Oregon, NW 3rd Avenue and NW Davis Street, A2012-005


View this image in Efiles by clicking here.

12 thoughts on “NW 3rd Avenue, 1968

  1. Great photo. Demas Tavern was soon to become Darcell XV after Walter Cole’s coffee shop was urban renewaled out of the PSU neighborhood.

    To the right is the Merchant Hotel and across the street (out of the frame) is the newly restored Seamen’s Bethel, now known as the Society Hotel.

    We also see the side of the doomed Hotel American (opened as the New Grand Central hotel). Dan Haneckow documented its history and remnants in a great Cafeunknown post.


  2. I believe that’s the entrance to the upstairs hotel. I can’t quite make out the name, but it looks like it says Shade Hotel on the awning…which would be awesome considering the drag venue that would soon move in next door.

  3. It is positively barren in downtown scenes of this era. Amazing how our relationship to “nature” has changed. Here we see a handful of skinny saplings struggling to survive in this wasteland of concrete and asphalt.
    So when and how did we begin to expect trees in our urban environment?

  4. RE: Kittens – The drive to ‘reforest’ our urban environments has been enforced since the late 20th century. The basic drive is to replace the vegetation that was removed in a fairly wholesale manner when the cities were developed in the 19th century. In this case since the 1850’s, Portland was developed in a mixed forest floodplain that needs to return to that environment to survive without detrimental conditions. That doesn’t mean that a full forest condition could ever return, but attempts are made to restore just as many of the pristine elements of stormwater controls; soils/erosion stabilization; wildlife and fisheries habitat; air pollution control; and solar shading that the mixed forest provided in an effort to balance the urban uses in the Willamette Valley. As you said, the progressions in this direction are evident comparing Vintage Portland photography with current street views and air photos.

    Mike G
    Landscape Architect

  5. Great background Mike G.
    I just wonder what larger cultural forces might have driven this revaluation of nature and specially nature in urban areas. It does not seem to me that people were trying to reestablish the forest removed for urban development but rather a shift in what made a desirable urban aesthetic. Maybe no one ever thought the barren inner city was acceptable but just bearable and it was the “rediscovery” of downtowns as places of something other than hard commerce which necessitated the beatification of our cities?

    On the other hand, it was not just urban cores which suffered with few trees, it was suburban areas as well. What constitutes an “attractive” yard in Portland has shifted dramatically. Way more trees and plant life.

  6. Great, until the next big ice storm or Columbus Day Storm. I don’t think the New Urban Planers have take this into account having not had a catastrophe of this magnitude during either in their lifetime or time living here. It would take weeks or even months to clear the entire metropolitan area after such an event today. Even just restoring power may take weeks rather than days because of the sheer number people today. The trees may look nice today but when they change your whole parameter of living to cave man days the only way they may look good is as firewood.

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