11 thoughts on “SW Stark Street, 1969.

  1. ah yes. the corvair. technically a Chevrolet Corvair Monza Spyder… “unsafe at any speed” – ralph nader.

  2. The Historical Oregonian has thousands of mentions of Fairfield Hotel, mostly ads. In 1912, someone ran ads advertising young mules for sale, with directions to see the owner at the hotel.

    By 1925, we see police activity at a hotel with this name but located at 123 ½ Fourteenth Street. (5/13/1925, p. 7) “When a police record of more than 20 raids was shown for the Fairfield hotel, 123 ½ Fourteenth street, the council refused to grant a license to Sadie Malloy for the place. The raids involved a number of women as well as violations of the liquor laws.”

    Throughout the 1920’s ads were run in the paper by individuals seeking work, and by the hotel seeking employees, with contact to be made at the hotel, with the address 427 ½ Stark Street. (Past Portland confirms that address as the pre-renumbering predecessor of the current 1117 SW Stark.) In 1926, the paper advertised that the hotel was “under new management. Cor. 11th and Stark. Newly renovated. Everything mod. And up-to-date.” (3/14/1926, p. 44)

    On June 2, 1929 (p. 32) this appeared: “Rose Festival Visitors – The Fairfield hotel offers room with bath for $1.50. Quiet, safe, immaculately clean. Near parades and shopping district. 11th and Stark, Portland.”

    But the safety might have been in question. By August 19 of the same year (p. 31) the paper reported, “At the Fairfield hotel…Wally P. Bartle awoke to find his pockets had been rifled. Patrolman Browne was called and a search of the premises netted him Freddie Johnson, whom he recognized from a picture he had seen in the police department record bureau. Johnson denied knowledge of the visitation at first, but Browne later found $2.05 in his shoes, and Johnson confessed the entry of Bartle’s room, the officer reported.”

    In 1931 (January 4, p. 2), this ad appeared: “Rates Low at Fairfield Hotel – Attractive weekly rates at the Fairfield hotel… Recently renovated, with hot and cold water, free telephone in each room. Plenty of steam heat. $1 per day and up. $5 per week and up.”

    Three months later (3/8/1931, p. 23) notice was given that E.J. and J.P. Jaeger transferred the space at 429 Stark “in the Fairfield hotel building” to Tom and Myrtle Michose “for restaurant purposes. Seven thousand dollars is to be spent in alterations and equipment.”

    Ten years later (4/1/1941 p. 17) the going rate was still $1 daily, but down to $3.50 weekly – and “Guests Laundry Done Free.”

    A fire struck the hotel in 1967 and it was temporarily evacuated. “Many of the hotel’s 80 residents were away at the time… the fire broke out in the back room of a vacant store on the street level of the hotel and was confined to the area of the room, firemen said.” (2/13/1967, p. 27) Another fire struck in 1972: HOTEL SWEPT BY BLAZE “Fire from an undetermined origin swept through the first floor and part of the second floor of the Fairfield Hotel and Bargains Galore… Firemen worked for over an hour controlling the fire, which was visible from the front of the four-story brick building when they arrived just after 9 p.m. … Damage was estimated at $7,000. No injuries were reported. (9/25/1972, p. 25)

    By 1983, the Portland Development Commission agreed to issue loans for the renovation of 81 low-income units in the hotel. (3/17/1983, p. 32) In October, it was reported as the first building in a program listed under the headline PROJECT EXPANDS SUPPLY OF CHEAP DOWNTOWN HOUSING.

  3. LizC, thanks for the rundown on the hotel’s history.

    My father loved Corvairs, he owned 3 of them. The last one was one like in today’s photo, in maroon metallic with a black convertible top.

    The 1963 Chrysler New Yorker really compliments the atmosphere of this photo.

  4. Fred
    The Ace Hotel is at 1022 SW Harvey Milk (Stark) & the Fairfield is a city owned building at 1117 SW Harvey Milk (Stark)

  5. This place was a flop house by 2000 and crawling with cockroaches.

    wploulorenziprince, The Chrysler New Yorker in the photo is a 1964

    The car behind it is a 1963 Oldsmobile Dynamic 88.

  6. The Fairfeild: Nice high ceilings, a beautiful tile floor and an actual front desk. This is actually much nicer than the hotel where I lived for my first 9 years. My parents managed a hotel downtown. Rooms were $1.00-$1.50, a much smaller lobby heated by an oil stove. The rooms were rented through a small caged window which was in front of our living quarters.
    I can only remember one older women as a permanent resident. There were many veterans. For Chistmas, my mother would wrap two packs of cigarettes as a gift to the residents. We lived there duing the early 60s. There weren’t people sleeping on the streets. (Sometimes, yes)
    It was a safe world. At 8 and 9 years of age, my friend and I would walk downtown to go to the library on 10th Avenue. My mother also displayed a photo of Kennedy.

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