20 thoughts on “SW Taylor Street, 1948

  1. I wish that I could have seen the Corbett mansion on this site (and the Failing mansion in the next block to the south). Classy!

  2. It looks like this was a postcard. It’s an interesting choice for a photo since everything is kind of dirty and dingy looking thanks to our wet winters. 🙂 However, I bet that corner was spectacular at night with all that neon!

  3. This 1948 photo was taken 10 years after its opening in 1939. The Greyhound Bus Depot was designed by W. C. Knighton in early 1938 and construction completed in 1939. The art deco influenced streamline modern depot design ushered in a new era of modern architecture in Portland. The depot was featured in glamous colorized postcards promoting Portland as a modern forward-looking city. The depot and a very fine photo are also featured in the book Frozen Music by Gideon Bosker and Lena Lensk. The original design as Knighton had invisioned was more elaborate but not executed when Greyhound officials reduced the budget. When the transit mall was planned, the city sought to relocate the depot next to Union Station to form a transit hub. The Transit Mall cooridor that bracketed the site doomed the depot due to obvious traffic manuevering conflicts and air pollution concerns. The Portland Historic Landmarks Commission did not recommend preservation knowing the original design was modified. Otherwise perhaps the building could have been encouraged to be repurposed (Brew Pub?). Sadly Knighton died late one night in his office in March 1938 while completing the final architectural plans. By the 1970’s the depot showed its wear and tear and lack of maintenance and upgrades as Greyhound contemplated a move.

  4. Great picture, I miss that strange smelling old building. There were always dozens of individual stories playing out in that building. You could feel the excitement just walking past the doors. I don’t suppose anyone has pictures of the men’s restroom. I think I went into that restroom once. I think I remember it being cavernous, with lots of ceramic tile, and about twenty steps down into the basement. Now I am trying to remember the name of the restaurant or bar that was in the S. W. Corner of that building.

  5. Per newspaper archives, George S. Lewis owned several restaurants and cafes in Portland starting in about 1905. He immigrated here from Greece where he was born in 1887. He was most noted however as the owner of this restaurant in the Greyhound central bus depot. The restaurant opened at the same time as the bus depot in 1938. He also owned a drive-in restaurant on SW Scholls Ferry called “Biffs.” Lewis died in 1953 in Seaside. It appears that the bus depot dining spot was still in operation under the “George Lewis” name until 1962.

  6. If you expand the image you can see the name Geo. Lewis. I suspect it may have changed hands between 1948 and tge 1970’s.

  7. You can’t see it– the sign is edgewise to the photo– but there was a big sign on each corner made out of the letters BUS, with the Greyhound on top.

  8. As I recall, some of the stalls in the men’s restroom required a dime to open the door. I never even thought of crawling under the door to avoid paying the dime. Barry

  9. The delivery van parked in front of the station is lettered for the Swift Meat Company. It is most likely there to unload fresh meat for shipment by “stage” to some outlying remote community by bus. Up until at least the early sixties, “provisions” were shipped this way regularly. A piece of heavy paper would be lain on the deck of the luggage compartment and a quarter or leg placed on the paper topped with a block of dry ice sufficient to last six hours. They would then be covered with a soogin and delivered at some distant point. When needed the dry ice could be renewed en route. Remote grocery stores in small communities were served in this way daily. Auto parts and other small packages were also shipped delivered by stage. Both Greyhound and Western Trailways held common carrier Lcl ( less then carload) permits. A grocer or auto parts dealer in some place like Arlington or Chemault for instance, could call in a order to Swift or Armour or Portland Provision first thing in the morning requesting that the order be staged for same day or overnight delivery.
    As the bus companies had to operate on published scheduled they were far more reliable than the United Parcel Service of those early days. Many of these small grocers and butchers were only visited by the grocery wholesaler’s truck once or twice a week and the stages filled a need . Ltl freight carriers also handled meat “on the deck” in those days kept cool by dry ice on overnight scheduled runs.
    Auto parts were shipped by bus every day also.
    These sorts of shipments were very profitable for the bus companies. In some cases riders were few in number but packages paid for the operation. The huge expansion of UPS beginning in 1964-65 started to take over this business. In earlier times street railways and interurban’s were known to handle small packages along their routes as well.
    Many small town couriers advertised their services with the words. Meets all the stages.

  10. Greyhound was my transportation to Maryhurst my freshman year. Sometimes enjoyed toast in the restaurant. A nice place in those days.

  11. What I recall most were coin operated TVs attached to chairs in the waiting room. This would have been sometime around 1965 and 1972.

  12. Great photo; great memories. One block to the west was the YMCA where I learned to swim in the late ’50s and early ’60s. I’d walk across the street to this building just to people watch and see if the busses could hang the sharp corners in and out of the garage. Thanks for sharing…

  13. The Plymouth Taxi looks filthy and is minus the hubcaps too. People were not so clean conscious back then since it was as easy as today.

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