9 thoughts on “St. Johns, circa 1944

  1. This picture was taken sometime after the linked “Related” photo with the same sub-title from Nov. 13, 2020. Although both are listed as “circa 1944”, I think this is about 3 years later: picket fence has been removed, side entrance has been modified, and siding has obviously weathered.
    That said, two large Douglas firs in the background have almost the same canopy structure and number of branch whorls, so not too many years after.

  2. The image of this building that was posted on VP Site on November 13, 2020, which also gives 1944 as the year the image was taken, looks quite a bit different.
    The exterior paint on the building looks to be much more weathered here with moss stains. The area around the flag pole is open and planted with grass here, and in the previous post, there was a picket fencing surrounding it. The bicycle racks had also been moved off the grass area and placed next to the building or possibly even attached to it.
    I couldn’t find any records that would account for the flag being at half staff in 1944, and I think the flag is important here. If today’s photo was taken in 1945 then the flag being lowered could be explained as being for FDR’s passing, but that still wouldn’t explain the changes in the landscaping and the rapid aging of the exterior paint in such a short period of time. If this picture was taken earlier before the building was spruced up and painted say, 1941, then the flag could be lowered due to the Pearl Harbor attack.

  3. Looked up the location on war housing map on efiles. It was at the intersection of N. Johnswood Drive and N Johnswood court both now gone –north of Swift Blvd which was later changed to N Columbia.

  4. The St. Johns Woods housing project was build for war industry workers who were flooding in to the Portland area after the U. S entry into WW II. The 968 housing units built in St Johns Woods were located on both sides of Swift Blvd. (Columbia Blvd. Today) and the housing units on the North side of Swift Blvd. started at approx. N Buchanan, and went West to approx. the 8900 block of Swift Blvd. and units on the South side of Swift started at N Charleston and extended West to approx. the 8900 block. The building were still used after the war into the early 1950’s but were moved, disassembled and the materials sold, or demolished. This community center I located on a previous post using historical aerial photos and placed it being in the area on the backside of a warehouse locate at 8241 N. Columbia Blvd. today.

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