9 thoughts on “Guilds Lake Courts, circa 1944

  1. I like the old wooden phone booth. The only remnants of this war housing complex are a few street names Buna Guam Luzon.

  2. Looks like a person hopped off their bicycle and went into the phone booth to make a call.

    I can’t identify the nice shiny car facing the camera the side chrome strips and square front turn signals make it look like cars that came out in 1946.

    Guild’s Lake Courts were built as temporary worker housing for the steel and
    shipyard industries during World War IL The massive housing development in
    Northwest Portland consisted of 2,43~ units of housing, five community buil~lngs,
    five childcare centers, a grade school, and a fire stat~on. Guild’s Lake Courts was the
    eighth largest housing project built at that time in the United States. The peak
    population in January 1945 was approximately 10,000 individuals. Archival research,
    face-to-face oral histories, and resident reunions were used to explore the social,
    architectural, and political history of Guild’s Lake Courts. The lens for understanding
    how the community operated is dominantly for the social history is from that of a childhood homefront experience. Four wartime themes emerged in this study: 1) that Portland’s focus on prejudice dimmed during the war years, 2) that the community. was a confluence of humanity, 3) that the design of the site and the housing was shaped by a convergence of New Deal innovations in design construction technologies and
    electrification and 4) that there was a willingness to sacrifice creature comforts during
    the war years. Guild’s Lake Courts as a residential community underwent three rapid evolutions prior to its demolition in 1951, a wartime housing operation, 1942-1945,
    affordable housing, 1945-1948, and a haven for Vanport Refugees, June 1948-1950.

    Guild’s Lake Courts history has been overlooked but it offers insights into the possible
    fate of the residents of Vanport City had the community not been flooded in 1948.·
    The story of Guild’s Lake Courts is a counterpoint story· to Vanport City the largest of
    the three defense housing projects in Oregon that admitted African-Americans during
    the war years
    The above is from the abstract of the dissertation of Tanya Lyn March for a Ph.D. in Urban Studies, May 28, 2010

    More information on Life On The Homefront In WWII in Oregon.:

  3. What’s going on with that guy on the railing? And I can’t tell what that is on top of the Dodge, or how many people are inside. Shenanigans it looks like.

  4. Igor- I have looked and can not find what PRB’s stands for but this is what I found. The Housing Authority of Portland awarded leases to Harold J Todhunter to operate two small PRB’s grocery stores that were attached to community centers at Guilds Lake. These store were not full service grocery stores, but more like today’s convenience stores, and residents often made daily trips as the housing units did not have refrigeration , but only small ice boxes with 2 shelves with the ice only lasting a few days. The 1940 US Census shows that there was a Harold J Todhunter who owed a grocery store in Klamath County Oregon, but later in the 1940’s Mrs. H. J Todhunter’s name appears in the Portland news stories, so perhaps they relocated to Portland.
    The location of the store in today’s photo was just off NW St. Helens, and can be seen in the 1948 aerial photo on Portland Maps behind the business that is located today at 3460 NW Industrial st.

  5. 1. PRB may be Portland Reclamation Bureau 2. Susan, what is on top of the vehicle is the bush behind the vehicle.

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