17 thoughts on “The Park Blocks, circa 1930

  1. The historical churches remain some of Portland’s most beautiful and important pieces of architecture. They’re works of art!

  2. The Venetian Revival church and bell tower architecture are my favorite. At one time First Congregational Church had two other smaller bell towers. Those were removed after being damaged in storms.

    I am curious if anyone recalls the name of the building on the far right with the mansard roof.

  3. I agree, Johnny! I do think many of the newer buildings/towers are beautiful in their own way; however, the buildings from the old days have a timeless beauty. One of my favorites is the Meier & Frank building with its terra cotta carvings and total symmetry.

  4. Is it just me, or does it seem kind of ridiculous to demolish a beautiful historical building like this one to build a historical society?

  5. Bob: I searched the web and I believe I found the answer to your question…The pretty building you asked about was an apartment building called ‘Madison Park Apts.’ at 1210 SW Park Ave. Here’s what the records said:
    Madison Park Apartments, 1210 SW Park Ave
    Morgan, William L. (contracting architect)
    McBride, James H.
    Source: City Directory 1934
    Note: Destroyed. Current site of Oregon Historical Society

  6. Thank you for your research. From your notes on the Madison Park Apartments, it appears that James McBride is the same Dr. James McBride who was both a medical doctor and clergyman and politician. He served as a representative on the Oregon Territorial council and later served as Minister to the Sandwich Islands under President Lincoln and who is deemed responsible for convincing Seward to purchase Alaska. If you google him there are interesting accounts of his life and those of his sons, including Thomas McBride the longest serving Oregon Supreme Court Chief Justice.

  7. Dennis: no structure is immune to time, neglect, and disaster.

    My pre-annexation Albina home has great bones compared to some of its neighbors, but even they are no match for a hospital airlift falling through the roof. We would not spend two dollars to repair what costs one dollar to replace. We would salvage the lumber, seal up the asbestos and lead, put it in the bottom of a landfill, and start over.

  8. Madison Park Apartments, 1908 to 12/06/1972, a 5 alarm arson fire which killed 3 of the residents, including a blind woman named Christine Bakke and her guide dog – they lived on the 5th floor. I am almost 70 years old now but I do so remember it as I lived there at the time of that conflageration and I will never ever forget it. It cost $75.00, all utilities paid – Apt. 204 – and for awhile, it was great. Merry Christmas all.

  9. Dennis, The Madison Park Apartment building had been torn down, when Elliott Corbett, then president of the Oregon Historical Society, acquired the land for the present OHS building, which is surely an appropriate site across from the Portland Art Museum, which his grandfather Henry W. Corbett had initiated..

  10. I remember walking past there not long after the fire. I had never been past a burned building, and I vividly remember the smell. Sad about those that died. I have a photo I took when they were demolishing it.

  11. This photo was taken from very near another historic church’s front door, St. James Lutheran Church, 1890, with its stone square steeple next door to the Portland Art Museum. If VP or anyone else has any images or info on St. James, I would be so grateful.

  12. went to this church for Christmas eve service December 2017 loved it
    this church is a NRHP land mark built 1891 in the gothic revival style covid 19
    ruined Christmas eve for me maybe next time i can go in 2021 i hope be a
    better year for every one put all this garbage behind us and get back to
    normal !! Godbless YOU ALL

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