Downtown, 1915

A bird’s eye view of SW 5th Avenue and the surrounding area, including the Portland Hotel and Pioneer Courthouse. This image comes from the souvenir picture book, Portland, Oregon, the Rose City, 1915. The book dubs this image “The Heart of the City.”


City of Portland (OR) Archives, A2004-002.1437.


View this image in Efiles by clicking here.

7 thoughts on “Downtown, 1915

  1. There are a lot of interesting details here. The Failing mansion is the structure partially revealed in the lower left portion of the photo, with the Corbett mansion occupying the next block to the north.

    The old YMCA is the large brick building just south of the Portland Hotel. The Goodnough Block and the unadorned side of the adjacent Corbett Building (both demolished in 1988) are at the center of the photo on the far right.

    The date of the photo is either accurate, or very close since it appears that the construction of the 1915 portion of the Meier & Frank store (which replaced the original store on this location) was recently completed or nearing completion as evidenced by the “Meier & Frank Temporary…” sign painted on the side of what I believe is the Failing Office Tower (today’s 620 Building). If that’s so, we can see the top floors of the Yeon Building peeking out above the sign.

  2. The Goodnough Building was original home of The Oregon Journal prior to their move to Jackson Tower–then the Public Market in Front Street. The J was always located on Yamhill…

  3. The trolley on Morrison looks the same as those we were riding into the fifties.
    I wonder if these tracks on Fifth are the original 1892 cable car tracks that were electrified in 1896, long before this photo.

  4. Downtown Portland used to look so much more inviting in the time as opposed to today. JMO.

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