19 thoughts on “Willamette Heights Streetcar, circa 1948

  1. It appears that the building shown along the right – South – edge of this image is the Goodnough Building, but I would have expected the Portland Hotel would have blocked the view of the Goodnough if this was taken in 1948 since the PH was not demolished until 1951. Perhaps a knowledgeable Hudson person could age the nice example in front of the Willamette Heights car.

  2. Actually, it is the Corbett Building at the North end of the block rather than the Goodnough, but the point about the timing of the Portland Hotel demolition is the same .

  3. The streetcar in this photo is passing Carl Greve Jewelers who had a address of 731 SW Morrison in 1948. The building to the right today would be the Nordstrom store, and at if you look at the left edge of the photo the street signs are Park & Morrison.

  4. Unless the sidewalk in today’s was much narrower than it looks the Carl Greve building was remodeled out towards the street. Maybe Nordstrom’s too.

  5. This photo was taken probably the day after the day of snow Portland received on Sunday, Dec. 19th (0.8″). It was 12:45 pm so many folks are seen out and about either hurrying back to work or doing some Christmas shopping.

    The “Jacqueline’s for Smart Apparel” contains a double entendre with the word “smart” making an appeal to the discriminating, smart, practical, non-impulsive shopper who also wants to wear “sharp” looking clothes.

    The 1948 Hudson Commodore parked outside Jacqueline’s was certainly a solid machine. A brochure for the car says: “Here is a motor car that harmonizes low, sweeping exterior lines, with a roomy comfortable interior; a car with a new, lower center of gravity, a car only five feet from the ground to the top, yet a car with more than enough inside headroom for the tallest person, a car that maintains road clearance!” To read more about its no shift transmission follow this link: http://www.classiccarcatalogue.com/HUDSON_1948.html

    The car partially obscured by the trolley appears to be a 1939 Ford Std. Coupe.

    The Willamette Heights car went from City Park to NW 23rd Ave. It’s really too bad that Portland didn’t keep these modes of transport going, a real link to the past. Here’s more: http://www.pdxhistory.com/html/streetcars.html

  6. ssssteven if you compare the VP photo today with the streetview you posted you will see that the sidewalks are wider because on street parking was eliminated on SW Morrison, also Carl Greve was mid block between in 1948 and expanded to take the space that Jacqueline’s occupied. The Nordstrom store was built 1978.

  7. Dennis, I recognize that they did away with parking, however, looking at the position of the street light, it’s about the same distance from the curb as in the Google view. What was 4 lanes (incl. parking) with sidewalks is now 2 lanes with sidewalks. I can only interpret this as the building facades on either side of the street are closer to each other. The brick that is slightly darker doesn’t appear wide enough for a parking lane.

  8. ssssteven the facade of Carl Greve building at some point after the 1948 VP photo was modernized, but I’am confident that the building footprint of this building and the adjacent building have never changed. If you look at a mid block streetview of the Carl Greve building and the 10 story adjoining building they have same footprint today as they had in 1948. As for the location of the streetlight it would have been relocated to the curb when the off street parking was removed which I believe happened when the MAX light rail line was built in the early 1980’s. Leaving it in the 1948 location would place it in the sidewalk in the path of pedestrians. The building on the other side of SW Morrison was the Royal building which was demolished for the Nordstrom store, and again I believe that the new building had the same footprint as the the old building

  9. ssssteven I hope this helps explain the sidewalks on Morrison today vs. 1948 sidewalks. This is a excerpt from the Oregonian on October 18, 1984 (page 41) in regards to construction of the brick sidewalks on SW Morrison & SW Yamhill during MAX light rail construction.

    “He said the new sidewalks would be similar in looks to the red colored brick sidewalks of the Transit Mall. However the new sidewalks will feature 12 inch bricks in a basket weave pattern, while the mall has 8 inch bricks in a herring bone pattern”

    “The rebuilt sidewalks will be at least 18 feet wide, compared to their old 12 foot size, offering pedestrians and shoppers more room than before the light rail work began. The street between sidewalks includes a 12 foot wide lane for auto traffic and a 12 foot wide lane for light rail tracks”

  10. The brick sidewalks are not historic or original in any way probably put in the early 1990s thought i put that out there for all of you Portlanders

  11. MAX stands for metro area express is my favorite train the light rail is electrical powered train

  12. Oddly, this upcoming week’s work schedule for the NW Thurman Sewer Reconstruction Project lists one item noting that a contractor will be removing old trolley tracks and ties from NW Thurman. Apparently when the line shut down in 1950 these were all left behind and eventually paved over.


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