E Burnside Street, circa 1940

Aerial of E Burnside Street intersections with Union Avenue (Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard) and Grand Avenue, circa 1940.

City of Portland (OR) Archives, A2005-001.137.

View this image in Efiles by clicking here.

18 thoughts on “E Burnside Street, circa 1940

  1. I got a couple of hits searching University of Oregon’s site, “Historic Oregon Newspapers” from before 1920 but can’t actually find the word ROTOWAY on the pages. Anyone have any idea what that business was?

  2. This is clipped from 1939 photo that’s come up before. Great shot. There are some more familiar landmarks in this larger version:

  3. I don’t know how to embed an aerial image on Google maps so hopefully, this link will allow you to see a today few. To exactly match today’s photo my link photo would need to be rotated about 20 degrees to clockwise.
    https://www.google.com/maps/@45.5227071,-122.6631181,151a,35y,90h,44.98t/data=!3m1!1e3?hl=en&authuser=0

    From 1928 on, automobile-related sales & services increasingly dominated the Portland landscape. Multi-service gas stations selling gas, oil, tires, hoses kept you on the road, and plenty of parking lots had to be created so your car could sit while you did your thing. Modes of public transport became less important and struggled to remain relevant.

  4. The 1940 and 1939 photos are the same image – look at the position of the vehicles at the corner in the center of each image.

  5. Mike yes newspaper ads from this era show Joe Fisher used car lot and truck center at NE Union (MLK) and NE Couch, and the new car dealership for Dodge at 1313 W. Burnside.

  6. It’s interesting that the west Burnside auto row and auto related companies extended across the river to East Burnside. Now nearly all gone.

  7. Mike I went back and checked and Joe Fisher Dodge-Plymouth 1940 ads give the location as 16th & Alder (SW) and 1950 Joe Fisher Dodge – Plymouth ads are shown as 1313 W. Burnside. The used car lot was same location.

  8. I believe East Portland Motors Dodge Plymouth in the photo upper right was later Lee Cosart Dodge Plymouth and later Stark’s Vacuum.

  9. Ol’ Geezer Lee Cosart Dodge-Plymouth was located at 107 NE Grand ave. (between Couch & Davis) and in fact he was a business partner of Joe Fisher.
    Oregonian September 21, 1945
    Partners Chrysler Veterans
    Joe Fisher and Lee Cosart operate Joe Fisher Oregon Ltd. as a partnership. Fisher has been identified with Dodge autos for approximately 25 years, having started as a Dodge salesman shortly after his release from the army after World War I. Cosart became associated with Fisher in July of this year after 20 years with Chrysler Corp. in various executive positions.

    On the same date as the above story it was stated that Joe Fisher bought the building at 1313 W. Burnside for $350,000.

  10. EBay post re Rotoway:
    Circa 1936 trade token created for ROTO-WAY EAST END BURNSIDE BRIDGE (Portland, Oregon) GOOD FOR 5¢ IN TRADE. The token catalog indicates: Rotoway Auto Laundry & Service Station, R. W. Steel, manager, Union Ave. & E. Burnside (1932), Rotoway Stations, Inc., Paul E. Wright, manager, gas station, 11 NE Union Ave. (1936), Rotoway-Rance Niles, Inc., Rance Niles, president, auto repair, 11 NE Union Ave. (1939). The Token Catalog number is TC-5651; the brass token measures approx. 0.83″ (21mm) diameter and is in good condition with a dark patina and corrosion.V

  11. the ugliest stupidest buildings are here now !! and shootings every night too what welcoming place Portland is nowadays

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