South Park Blocks, 1959

The South Park Blocks, SW Park Avenue between SW Madison Street and SW Main Street, 1959.


City of Portland (OR) Archives, A2001-045.967.


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13 thoughts on “South Park Blocks, 1959

  1. Green shaded areas like this can be quite nice on summer afternoons. Today it appears that some of the nice backed park benches were replaced with backless benches. Still, spaces like this in Portland are quite wonderful. The parking meters remind me of the film ‘Cool Hand Luke’.

  2. Portland is so fortunate to have green spaces such as this! I credit the foresighted early planners for this bounty!

  3. The view is looking north to the Arlington Club, then an exclusive men only club. In front is a glimpse of part of the Shimanski Fountain, which intentionally faces south away from the club.

    The scene is well before the South Parks Urban Renewal District was formed to widen sidewalks and make a variety of pedestrian improvements. What is nor seen are several surface parking lots and driveways with attendant auto pollution that dominated the experience. The district helped to create a Park Blocks residential neighborhood of housing where parking lots once existed. It also helped better link PSU campus with Downtown.

  4. Jon, I recall that correcting that omission to complete the connection and unify north and south park blocks was a task that Neil Goldschmidt had taken on when his past caught up with him.

  5. I lived 7 blocks away. My favorite parks were the the most southern park at Shattuck school and the far north park I always called North Park. These were the only parks on this strip that had playground equipment.

  6. The theater seems to be the backside of what is now the The Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall on Broadway. In the 1950’s it was called the Paramount Theatre. There are numerous entries in the Historical Oregonian for the Paramount in 1959, including an ad for “My Fair Lady” with ticket prices ranging from $1.50 to $6.00.

  7. The Borders were Salmon on the North; Jackson on the South; 9th on the West and Park on the East. During Rose Festival, Cultural exhibits north of Main; Food, Games and Rides south of Main.

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