22 thoughts on “SW 11th Avenue, 1883

  1. A wonderful view! I wonder where the photographer was standing, and how long the exposure took. The e-files copy of this photo says: “Image includes panorama views of Mt. St. Helens, Calvary Presbyterian Church, Park School, Central School, Pioneer Court House, Ladd House, and Park Blocks.”

  2. Calvary Presbyterian is now The Old Church, and is dead center of this photo. From there you can find the Park Blocks, and then Pioneer Courthouse!

  3. So the church spire in the distance is the Cathedral on third and Stark we’ve been seeing in here lately?

  4. Good morning, Dennis! If you reproduce the aerial using Google Earth, Mount St Helens does seem to be in the north.

  5. My guess is that the photo was taken around present day SW 20th or 21rst. From the Courthouse on 6th, if you follow SW Yamhill gradually uphill west about 13 blocks you come to near present day MAC Club and the hill where it sits – Kings Hill.

  6. My bad, I was still half asleep and thought that we were looking at Hood. I still remember when Mt. saint Helens looked like this image before it blew.

  7. Love the little neighborhood baseball diamond (assuming baseball, anyway) on the block in the foreground.

  8. Look at all the open space and trees to the north. It’s interesting to see all the diagonal “shortcut” paths worn into most of the open lots.
    I like seeing all the unpaved dirt streets and wood plank sidewalks it must have been nice walking around when things were like this, at least in Spring and Summer, winters would have been a different story, entirely. It seems that not all the rich folk concerned themself with having their big ornate mansions “out of town” (Pittock Mansion is an exception) back then, they didn’t mind flaunting their wealth and status and to some degree, and it benefitted others I suppose, (i.e. some of the first electric power lines into the city originating in Oregon City).

  9. Below is a link to a quick map I made showing the extent and direction of the view – north-northeast in alignment with the street grid, likely from a point uphill above what is now Cardinell Drive, possibly as high as Rivington Drive or even Myrtle Court. In fact, I would try duplicating this view from the terrace at 1235 SW Myrtle Court.

    The vanishing point bisects SW 12th and SW 11th, with the streets in order from the first visible being Hall, Harrison, Montgomery, Mill, Market, and then Clay where the Old Church sits.

    One interesting note is that if in fact that is a baseball diamond, that is a portion of Peter Stott field today – so the sporting use continues…


  10. Even more interesting relative to above – at least for me – is that just last week I discovered the significance of 1235 SW Myrtle Court. This was the site of the Ben Hazen house, built c1954 using architectural elements salvaged from the Knapp and Wintler (Vancouver?) houses according to this Oregonian article.

    If anyone knows the current owners, it would be nice to know what (if anything) survives from the remarkably early preservation effort of Ben Hazen.


  11. nothing survives of the items eric ladd salvaged and installed on 1235 when built – most importantly, the bay window and entryway from the knapp house. bill hawkins told me a remodel in the 90s stripped them all off; although a bay remains, it is not the original.
    there’s an article with a photo in the oregonian i’ve posted here before… gotta remember where!

  12. Bo Sullivan,
    Surely the Ladd house referred to was the William S. Ladd house which was not on the Park Blocks as your very useful map otherwise indicates but in the city block bounded bounded by what is now Jefferson, Broadway then 7th), Columbia and 6th Avenue built in 1859 (later The Oregonian Building. was built on the site of the house and garden). The later built Ladd Carriage house was across Broadway (still standing as now The Raven and Rose Restaurant).

  13. Claudia— I agree that does look like a baseball field in the foreground, and that peaked my interest as to what the baseball scene was like in Portland in 1883 so looking at the Oregonian archive it appears that organized baseball games were played at City View Park, but a reader of the Oregonian wrote the following letter to the newspaper on March 25, 1883 page 1

    The police should do something about baseball playing in the public streets. Not a day passes over that somebody does not get hit with a “Perk & Snyder professional” , and I would just as soon be “let down with a rock”, as they say on Staten Island. Of course nobody means to hit you with one of those missiles, but I would just as soon be killed on purpose as by accident. I’m not ready to die anyhow. Don’t for a moment imagine that I dislike baseball, for it is a manly and athletic sport, but there are proper places to play it, and public streets are not of them. Home (hard to read) of these days some lady passing by will get knocked senseless, and then there will be a loud calls for punishment. To my notion it is better to prevent than punish, and I hope the police will view it in the same light.
    The letter was signed GRIZZLY

  14. If you look catty-corner to The Old Church. The large white home with the hipped roof was the second home built for Morris Marks. It was pulled by horses up to 1501 SW Harrison around the turn of the century and is still there today.

  15. Wow, my thanks to all you folks who provided such detailed information on the variety of structures in this photo.

  16. If you look at the large version of the photo and locate Pioneer Courthouse and then follow the street direction of Fifth Avenue up and to your left you’ll see a large church with a very obvious steeple. That’s the 1872-built home of Trinity Episcopal Church (founded 18 May 1851) that burned in 1901. The congregation, now Trinity Episcopal Cathedral [https://www.trinity-episcopal.org/history], moved to NW 19th & Everett after the fire and remains there to this day.

    Trinity’s first building was at SW Second & Oak, until the property was sold to the City for use as the new police headquarters, a purpose the site was used for until the building of the Justice Center. The old police headquarters still stands but without the ugly jail that use to be attached to it.

    Because the 1901 fire was slow burning, many fixtures were saved along with a lot of windows, and they were re-used in the construction of the present building.

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