Portland Hotel, 1904

The Portland Hotel, 1904. This image comes from the souvenir book Oregon Scenery: Views of Portland and Glimpses of Oregon Scenery.


City of Portland (OR) Archives, A2004-002.171.


View this image in Efiles by clicking here.

20 thoughts on “Portland Hotel, 1904

  1. This is a welcome image of hotel, I wish it was still with us. To bad there are no people or signs of activity in the photo. I’d like to see a photo showing the reverse view from SW Broadway.

  2. @Lou L-P, if you click on the link “Portland Hotel” under “POSTED IN” above our comments, you’ll see a number of related photos, including one with people and horses!

  3. I was born in 1944 but have no actual memory of it, which is strange since my friends and I spent a lot of time downtown at Meier & Frank and Lipman’s and all the dime stores. Just background noise to me I guess. I do remember the parking lot however.

  4. I did not grow up here but I love pictures like this. Think about what went on there. Passengers on the train were met and taken to the hotel. Later, they would have eaten in the dining room. Perhaps a snifter of brandy in the lobby. And think about the work the employees did. Can you imagine getting all the laundry done before the advent of modern machines? The backbreaking work of the chambermaids? Cooking all the meals and doing all the dishes? The good old days were not that great for all.

  5. I vaguely remember the massive old hotel as a little kid, being drug downtown by mom for “Friday Surprise” shopping at Meier & Frank. I was too young to pay much attention to it. Unfortunately, my most vivid memory of the hotel was of it being torn down. And the next time we went by there, the whole thing was gone, the whole block leveled! What a shock. I wish I had seen what it looked like inside.

  6. Little factoid: The iron gate and arch are still with us today on the NE corner of Pioneer Square… the only thing to survive.

  7. Photo taken from the courthouse cupola I presume? Looks like comfy chairs and nice covered alcoves for penthouse rooms. Do you suppose the attic rooms housed staff?

  8. My grandparents bought the barbers chair when they auctioned everything off before demolition. It sat in their laurelhurst house basement for years. The gate in the picture is original but that one was actually the south gate as you can tell it’s the shorter of the two. There are Portland Hotel light fixtures in the Cypress Room at the McMenamins Kennedy School.

  9. Frank Nau ran a pharmacy here. His store had a street entrance on the right side where those windows are. His claim to fame was “Nau’s dyspepsia cure”. It was sold nationwide. I have a few of his bottles in my collection

  10. I remember my grandmother talking about being a switchboard operator at the Portland Hotel in the early 1900’s.

  11. Father wanted me to know the disappearing parts of Portland as I grew. We rode the last trolley on the final day. The last Beavers game at the old Vaughn Street park. A tour of this grand old hotel on the final day. Great memories thanks to Ken Slusher.

  12. kevin, did your family sell the barber’s chair at an estate sale in the last decade? i was at a laurelhurst sale some years back that had a massive nickle and leather barber’s chair in the basement… was quite the objet d’art.

  13. Regarding Barry’s comments: my deceased father, a native of Oregon City, used to say “anyone who thinks the old days were so good has a bad memory…”

  14. I have personally read articles from the 19th century (Oregonian newspaper) where the writer is complaining about how “they don’t build em like they used to”.

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