SE Powell Boulevard, 1926

A Brooklyn neighborhood street scene along SE Powell Boulevard near SE 13th Avenue. Image includes Cafeteria & Confectionery located at 579 Powell Boulevard, 1926. After the street renumbering it became 1327 SE Powell Boulevard. A Barker Bread delivery truck is parked on the street.


City of Portland (OR) Archives, A2009-009.124.

City of Portland (OR) Archives, A2009-009.124.


View this image in Efiles by clicking here.

27 thoughts on “SE Powell Boulevard, 1926

  1. I just love this photo..I wished I could buy one of these old buildings & live in it now! Thank you for sending these to me & please keep up the great work!

  2. The City Archive has an incorrect description for this photo. This actually is SE Milwaukie Avenue in what would today be the 2900 block. In 1919, Brooklyn Cleaners was listed in newspaper ads as being at 575 Milwaukie. The grocery next door to the left was 577 and the Cafeteria was 579.

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  4. This is apparently about where the theater is now. The tracks in the street are the original Oregon City line later the Sellwood car line. This is not the single track Brooklyn car line on Powell.

  5. Joel is right, this is Milwaukie Ave. Its intersection with Powell is off to the right which originally had a fountain in the middle of it. The gas tanks in the background were at 9th and Taggart. The holes in the ground are still visible today.

  6. The Milwaukie addresses would explain the location in the photo of the Gasco holding tanks in the background. It visually makes no sense with a Powell Blvd. address. Thanks Joel Miller for clarifying.

  7. Wouldn’t it be the 3000 block of SE Milwaukie, if this location is where the Aladdin Theater is now? I just looked up 2900 SE Milwaukie on google and it was on the other side of Powell. The Aladdin Theater’s address is 3017 SE Milwaukie.

  8. Chris Tyle, the Aladdin Theater at 3017 SE Milwaukie is slightly south of this location. The Aladdin’s pre-1932 address was 597 Milwaukie. A widened Powell now covers this block.

  9. Joel Miller – thanks for clarifying for me. Never thought they would’ve removed a whole block of buildings just to widen Powell. Sad.

  10. And instead of Cell Phone, it is Phone Sell 0048.

    Don’t remember seeing a 4-letter prefix for Portland phones before.

  11. Great picture. Like the delivery truck with it’s hand crank.

    I don’t think they took the block to widen Powell Blvd. A city block is 200ft wide. The whole Powell Blvd right of way is less than that, more like they took 1\2 a block. What throws us off today looking through our modern eyes is that a lot of city lots were platted as 25 ft wide by the developer. Most of the usual 50′ wide lots that we are used to today are actually two separate legal lots.That is why they can take one house on a 50′ lot, tear it down and build two separate houses where zoning allows it. The storefronts you are looking at are only 25′ wide, I bet the north edge of the corner building today is about where the Brooklyn Laundry was.

  12. Greg wrote: “I bet the north edge of the corner building today is about where the Brooklyn Laundry was.” The corner building at 3003 SE Milwaukie was built in 1913 and previously was a US National Bank branch. Its pre-1932 address was 587 Milwaukie.

  13. The buildings are on Milwaukie, except that now, Powell has been extended west of Milwaukie, removing most of the buildings in the picture. The gas towers were located west of Milwaukie Ave., just south of the SPRR (now UPRR) tracks. There are still round pads where they were.

  14. New York was the first city to adopt two letter-five number phone numbers around 1930, and there was still a mixture of four- and five- number exchanges around the country for several years afterward.

    The Sellwood exchange was located at 15th and Holgate and was operated originally by Pacific Telephone and Telegraph starting in 1906. It was still in use into the 1940’s. Apparently it’s Blaze Cone now, where you can purchase all kinds of orange traffic cones.

    All number dialing wasn’t introduced until 1958 in Omaha, NE after extensive testing by Bell Systems to see if people could remember those as well or better than the letter/number combinations that everyone had been using until then.

    If there are any other telephone nerds out there, here’s a link with some more local info:

    Here’s a neat document from Bell Systems about testing all number calling in 1958:

  15. I too believe it’s on Milwaukie Ave. The gas tank position would be impossible if this were Powell Valley Road (it’s name back in those years). Those gas tanks were 2 blocks north of Powell.

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