25 thoughts on “SW Alder Street, circa 1935

  1. The building in back says Valet Service – does anyone know if this was a step up from taking a taxi or people to hire for your home or ?? Had to be near the end for these buildings – isn’t this the site of the Stadium Apartment triangle that must have been built not long after this photo- ?

  2. I’m always surprised by how small those early Safeway stores were like the one pictured in this photo. I wonder what the floor space ratio is comparing that Safeway store’s square feet to the square feet of a current Safeway store. 8 to 1 maybe?

  3. This is one of Portland’s screwiest traffic flow areas, to this day. It has been improved somewhat by making traffic crossing Burnside one-way. Back in 1935 it must have been super chaotic with cross traffic flowing in both directions and allowing curb-side parking around the Fireman’s monument.
    In regards to the size of the Safeway store seen here, I’d say that grocery stores didn’t need as much space back then because there wasn’t as much replication in products (i.e. 6 brands of toothpaste, bread, scores of soft drinks, beer) so they didn’t require as much space.

  4. Debby– In the Oregonian & Oregon Journal from 1936 there are ads for Aston’s Valet Service at 1900 W Burnside, which is a dry cleaning business, and also Aladdin Valet Service with no address listed. The Aladdin Valet Service includes this in their ad.

    Our driver will call each week and take the suit you wore the previous week, sponge, press, and make minor repairs all for $1.60 per month

  5. Debby– Igor just minutes ago posted a photo of the same building, and it looks like it says Aston’s Valet Service

  6. I agree with wplou. There are SO many more products on the shelves today. The other day I counted 25 types of Oreo Cookies and 20 types of Triscuit crackers. By the way, my choices were mega stuff Oreos and original Triscuit.

  7. Mike– I don’t know what the floor space of the Safeway store in this photo is, but there was a Safeway store at 704 NW 23rd in 1935 and Portland Maps shows that building is 5,000 sq. ft., and by comparison the Safeway at 2800 SE Hawthorne which is about a decade old, Portland Maps list it at 58,869 sq. ft., so the new store is almost 12 times the size.

  8. The largest Safeway stores in that era were about 7,000 square feet. Yes, there are more products today…and a greater variety of household goods, drugs and other items that were not included in grocery stores of the era. Many of the stores of that era had very limited supplies of fresh fruits and vegetables compared to today..

  9. Drew…funny. Just yesterday I took a photo of a package off mega stuff Oreos and a picture of thin Oreos and texted them to a friend of mine as a joke.

  10. Thanks for answering the valet question. I always like to find out how “things were done” in the past. Obviously, clothing was more of an investment and the majority of working people could not afford several suits of clothing. You had to make it last, especially in those Depression years. Another indication is the size of the wardrobe furniture and even the bedroom closets, much smaller than what we expect today.

  11. My old neighborhood! I once had an apartment in the building here signed as the “Stadium Hotel” on the 4th floor, way in the back. That area is a lot nicer now than it was when I lived there

  12. Stairs on the left near where the man is standing lead to the memorial for Portland Firefighters killed in the line of duty. RIP heroes.

  13. El Queso — Living expenses when you lived in the Stadium Hotel must have differed quite a bit from those of people staying there in 1935 — The Oregonian ran numerous ads for the establishment in that year, including this one:

    STADIUM HOTEL: Spacious lobby, comfortable rooms, free phone service, rm. with bath, $3.75 wk; detached bath, $2.50. Special mo. rates. 1963 W. Burnside BR 6541
    (May 12, 1935, p. 28)

  14. Merlin, I’ve looked at photos of 1936 and 1937 Plymouths and can’t see much difference. Can you describe which auto in the photo you think is a ’37 and what features make it different from other, earlier, years?

  15. ssssteven, Look at where the headlights mount. That is a MAIN different between 1936 and 1937 Plymouths !!! Do your research before doubting someone. It is totally clear what car is a 1937 Plymouth in the photo. If you can’t see it you have no business asking.

  16. viking58 If people don’t know automobiles I can’t school them here in this limited space and they should not expect that.

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