29 thoughts on “Laurelhurst Park, 1962

  1. This spot must be gone. I moved here in March of 1980 and we had family pictures taken there in the Fall and we also spent a lot of family time at the park. I don’t recall ever seeing this.

  2. Think it’s in the playground block which is south of the main park. The building in the background has been used for activity classes.

  3. There is a building about this size in the playground area of the park today and if it’s the same one, it has gone through major changes to its exterior. The kids playing in the water are my contemporaries.
    I haven’t seen a woman wearing curlers in their hair in public in eons.
    The woman sitting on the grass talking to her husband a few feet away at the edge of the water, resembles a woman my mother used to smoke, gossip, and have coffee with on some afternoons.
    This nice summer afternoon in ’62 was just months away from our potential nuclear confrontation with Russia that didn’t happen because of the actions of one Russian officer who refused to follow his attack order, at the peak of the Cuban Missile Crisis.

  4. It is (or was) in the playground portion, which is called the Annex. I can’t get my bearings. What street are the houses in the background on?

  5. Apparently the wading pool as it was originally built wasn’t appreciated too much by some children in the 1930’s —

    “YOUNGSTERS WANT SWIMMING POOL: Boy Pleads for Better Facilities in Laurelhurst Park: Twelve-year old David Goldeen…has appealed to the city council for a bigger wading pool and a swimming pool… His letter to the council said: “We children of the Laurelhurst Park appreciate the playthings that you have put in the park, the pond, the tennis courts, the wading pool for little folks and the many other things, but it is not complete. It lacks a swimming pool. Our happiness would be so more full [sic.]. The wading pool is too small for us. And it is so warm. Couldn’t you please try to do something about it?”

    “The appeal will be before the city council next Wednesday when it will probably be referred to Commissioner Clyde to see if he can figure out some way to meet the problem in spite of the fact that the city is very hard up.”
    — Oregonian, June 14, 1934, p. 4

  6. I grew up playing in the park in the 40’s and it wasn’t there then. I fell into the lake thinking the ice was thiker than it was.

  7. We have a full blown mystery on our hands with this. I’ve looked for the houses across the street and come up empty. The Historic Aerial Viewer also came up with no clues. We have some clever VP sleuths who will get to the bottom of that wading pool.

  8. Judy — Given your experience, I wonder if the 1930’s wading pool was removed, and the one in the photo today was built after your time there?

  9. I’m not as familiar with Laurelhurst as some others though I’ve walked through it. Forget the wading pool, where’s the brick building located?

  10. This is Normandale Park. Looking east toward NE 57th. A different view of the same site was posted on VP in 2018, and the photo then was dated 1953. I remember the wading pool from my own childhood.

  11. That “get thrown off injury prone” Merry-go-round is the same model that was formerly in Powell Park, at SE 26th & Powell Blvd. Many an injury my siblings and I were casaulty’s of durning the 60’s & 70″s. Some were painted with bright colors for each of the pie shaped metal floor sections. “Oh the pain, oh the pain” (Dr. Smith Lost in Space 60’s TV).

  12. The more I look at, and compare todays photo with the Normandale photo, I do believe
    that todays pic is Normadale. Notice the group of 3 trees behind the merry -go-round
    in todays shot are identical to the trees at Normandale. Also the adjacent street in the
    distance is definitely not 39th (Cesar Chavez).

  13. I’m leaning towards Normandale on this, too. The building shown is almost certainly not the Laurelhurst dance studio. This old(?) photo seems to suggest that the dance studio has never been extensively remodeled:
    https://organizations-services.com/Oregon/Portland/Laurelhurst_Dance_Studio

    Regarding Normandale Park: A friend who has lived in that neighborhood for decades says that the whole area used to be a farm, and a few of the old buildings still remain. The house at 1314 NE 57th supposedly started its life as a chicken coop. She said that the garage at 5706 NE Wasco and the house at 1206 NE 57th are from that same era. According to Portland maps, they were built in 1911 and 1913 — quite a bit older than any of the neighboring houses. The “chicken coop” house is listed as 1926, but perhaps that’s when it was converted to a residence?

  14. I would say that today’s photo is definitely Normandale, not Laurelhurst. Thanks for solving my mystery! I’m quite familiar with Laurelhurst and I couldn’t see any way that it was Laurelhurst.

  15. This is for sure Normandale Park, I spent much time on that Merry-Go-Round, on those that slanted, one could step back and forth to really get them spinning, I never got sick or thrown off. The wading pool came along after my time, my wading pool days were spent at Rose City Park. While the brick building was being built, at night I would climb on the scaffolding, didn’t even fall off. The real fun times were before the park was built, when it was ‘The Woods’. Woods number one was where the apartments are, number two is now part of the park. While the park was under construction large machinery would left parked, that was always fun. Just beyond the three trees someone mentioned, for several years a large pond would form but I think it was so shallow that ice would lay right on the ground.

  16. The polio scare of the 50’s kept many families from pools, wading pools, fountains. The park waders were closed down for a long while.

  17. Agree, Normandale. Though the dormer vents have changed the full width (~5.5 bricks) of the partially bricked over windows matches the windows in today’s photo. As Charles mentioned the trees behind and to the right of the merry-go-round match the 1953 Normandale photo.

  18. Piling on here, but It’s Normandale Park. My daughters class would ‘circle up’ at this wading pool to eat lunch on field trips to the park from Laurelhurst School. When empty, it was the perfect circular ‘bench’ for kiddos.

  19. This Laurelhurst Park it is the block that runs from 39th on east side , Stark on south side 37th on west side and oak st on north I played in that wading pool in the late 50s and early 60s the picture is looking south, southeast to stark and toward 39th ave now Cesar Chavez

  20. this is Normandale Park. I lived 1 block away from birth to age 18. Lots of fond memories of the merry go round, the wading pool, playing ping pong in the shelter, “Coach” the adult that super vised us, learning to make things out of “gimp”, and plastic material we made key chains and the like out of. Softball field is in the Southeast Corner of the field. my moms professional women’s softball team, the Hanset Steelers, played their often,

    jim hanset

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