SW Washington Street, circa 1914

A rooftop view of SW Washington Street near SW 4th Avenue, looking east toward the Willamette River, circa 1914.

 

City of Portland Archives, Oregon, A2010-010.70

City of Portland Archives, Oregon, A2010-010.70

 

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13 thoughts on “SW Washington Street, circa 1914

  1. Lots and lots of interesting detail here.

    On the far left, the tallish building with the arched windows midway up was the Chamber of Commerce Building.

    The tallest building is the extant Spaulding Building. The smaller building abutting it is also still there. It was the former Hibernia Bank, but it has been modernized beyond recognition. The Victorian pile across Washington, was the magnificent Washington Block.

    And so much more. Great photo! Thanks PARC.

  2. All these old photos show a persistent haze in the air, today called smog. Gives them a gritty, industrial flavor somewhat like London or Liverpool in the same time frame. Portland had this problem even before the automobile became common

  3. Harvey O’bryan was one of Portland’s leading insurance men. He operated out of the Mckay building. Died in 1921. In 1907 frustrated with getting speeding tickets in his auto he sold it but was arrested anyway on an outstanding warrant. Member of Elks etc.

  4. “Concerning the obvious smog. You need to remember that coal and wood were main source of heat.”

    There was also slash burning from the still extensive logging around Portland. I don’t think Willamette Valley grass seed farming had taken off yet but field burning from that choked the late summer days till the ’80s.

  5. What do you suppose is going on the roof in the lower right of the photo? I see timbers set up, looking like some sort of construction. And oddly enough, a tent erected nearby…

  6. Mike,

    That looks like the roof of the Rialto Building so maybe he was camping out so he could place his bets early?

  7. Steve
    If the grass seed industry had been booming back even in the fifties, my father would have made a better living.
    Nickname for Portland was always Stumptown for a reason.
    Used to have a good friend, Paul Paulson (Lefty) who told me a lot of early Portland history.

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