SW 16th Avenue, 1929

Houses on the west side of SW 16th Avenue between SW Yamhill Street and SW Taylor Street, 1929. T According to the note on the back of the image, three of the five residences were vacant at the time the photo was taken.


City of Portland (OR) Archives, A2001-062.93.

City of Portland (OR) Archives, A2001-062.93.


View this image in Efiles by clicking here.

15 thoughts on “SW 16th Avenue, 1929

  1. Today, this block is fully occupied by the Oregonian’s warehouse. Definitely not an improvement, but if I recall correctly, these houses were all gone and majority of the block was a surface parking before the warehouse was constructed.

  2. Edited to add the street view. This block would be vastly improved by planting trees – tall bushy ones.

  3. Interesting that among the five (six?) there are two pairs that look identical, at least from the street.

  4. I do not believe there were ever street car tracks on 16th between Yamhill and Taylor, could this be NW 16th ?

  5. Interesting that the first and third houses,from the left, appear to be twins. Also from this angle all the houses in this photo seem to be innocent of indoor plumbing at this late date,although the plumbing stacks could all be out of the picture. All of these houses are configured for multi-family occupancy from the look of them.They may be slated for demolition due to the cost of bringing them up to code.

  6. The location is on the west side of NW16, however the block is between NW Johnson and NW Kearney, not Yamhill and NW Taylor. The current and distinctive Radio Cab Garage is in the half block immediately north shown in the link above. As shown, only the last two multi-family craftsman style buildings at the north end remain, distive by their third floor projecting dormer. If I recall, the radio cab garage was originally one of the early warehouses of Meier and Frank when horse drawn wagons were still in use. The Warehouse and Garage was designed by William C. Knighton who designed several of the finest warehouses along the NW 13th Avenue Historic District, such as the Crane Company Building.

  7. I’d strongly agree that this is the west side of NW 16th between Johnson and Kearney. The 1908 Sanborn maps show the correct building shapes for all of these structures, and the pair of flats on the end of the block are still extent. I’d guess the twins and the building between the two were all built at the same time, with the twins used as bookends (the flats would come later – the first three houses appear on the 1901 Sandborn Maps, but the far flats weren’t built until 1904). The site where the first three structures were is now a garage that PortlandMaps lists as being built in 1946. With those structures empty, I’d bet that there was nothing but a parking lot there between 1930 & 1945, but further research would need to be done to confirm that.

  8. These type of photos serve to show how these houses fell into disrepair at a relatively young age, within 20-30 years of construction, . Paint and materials weren’t as weather resistant and building codes weren’t as strict with regard to weatherization, which must have led to the degradation shown here.

    Even as this is just prior to the depression, their value must have dropped appreciably to prompt the owners to disregard repairs.

    This also shows the volatility of local economics in the early 20th century, from lumber barons to flop-houses. Granted these monsters were expensive for single-family residences, vacancies show that these weren’t penciling out as rentals either, and, that obviously led to them being ‘paved for parking lots’.

    This just makes the surviving grand historic homes of yesteryear all the more special today.

  9. Speaking of indoor plumbing i have an early 1900’s book of house plans and almost all of them do not have bathrooms. And talk about construction of 100+ year old houses I have worked on some of them that when built have shiplap siding on the inside covered with wallpaper, only at a later date to finished with lath and plaster. Lath and plaster walls were a fairly expensive interior finish so they would get the house built and habitable and at a later date when they had saved the money got the house lath and plastered over the existing shiplap. Also almost all houses built before WW1.dud not have electricity. My first house in Portland was built in 1909 and still had the gas pipes in the ceilings for gas lighting and a wood lift for wood stoves when I bought it in 1978. But it was built with a bathroom.

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