16 thoughts on “SW 6th Avenue, circa 1918

  1. Looks like it would have been either where Pioneer Courthouse or Pioneer Square are now. So did they build the courthouse around it or tear it down long before the square was created?

  2. If that’s at SW 6th Avenue, where are all the big buildings? This photo may have been taken after Liberty Temple was moved to SW Park Avenue before it was torn down in 1920.

  3. https://oregonhistoryproject.org/articles/historical-records/liberty-temple-at-sw-6th-avenue-c-1918/#.Xa8J5i-ZMvA

    Funded by the son of Meier and Frank founder Aaron Meier, it was built as a place to hold patriotic rallies during WWI and was finished in 1918. It was placed in the middle of 6th between Morrison and Yamhill. Not long after the war ended in 1919 storeowners and others complained that it blocked traffic. It was moved to Park and Salmon (I’d guess today’s photo was from that location) and torn down in 1920.

  4. Very nice find. Thank you. The grove of trees in the background does appear to make it more likely to have been the South Park Blocks site.

  5. The tall structure behind the Oregon City Liberty Temple on 7th street is the original municipal elevator that opened in 1915. The steel and wood elevator was water powered and could lift riders to the top of the cliff in approx. 3 minutes, prior to the elevator getting to the the top required climbing a 722 step stairway. Water power was replaced in 1924 with electric motors that reduced the ride to 30 seconds. The original elevator was replaced with the current elevator that started operation in 1955.

  6. From other pictures of this building you can tell the entrance shown here would have faced south on 6th with the Portland Building directly to the right and the YMCA one block further down the street on right.

  7. During WW 2 a Victory Center was constructed at the same location, but it abutted the SW 6th street side of Pioneer Courthouse at Morrison, leaving the street clear for traffic. The Victory Center served a similar purpose as the Liberty Temple, but had a stage, USO center, flags of the Allied nations, and a wall of names of Oregonians killed during the war. During the war noonime rallies were held to sell War Bonds at the Victory Center.

  8. My mom remembers the WWII Victory Center in downtown Portland where noontime rallies were held to sell war bonds. Thousands of downtown office workers attended, and occasionally famous personalities and movie stars appeared on the stage, including the young (teenage) Portland native Suzanne Burce — later known as Jane Powell when she went to Hollywood.

  9. It’s weird that when I search on line for more Liberty Temples, only Portland and Oregon City come up. Did anyone else get different results? Because Oregon can’t be the only ones . . . .

  10. The Portland Liberty Temple appears to have been the original. News articles from March 1918 refer to a Liberty Temple in La Grande Oregon, Oregon City, and a Victory Hall in Tacoma Washington. A few details from the March 3rd, 1918 Oregonian (page 12) describe the Victory Temple being 28 feet tall with a bandstand on the roof, and having 1,000 exterior lights. Behind the double entry doors was a 40 x 60 foot assembly hall with a capacity of 500 people, and executive offices in the rear.

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