17 thoughts on “Pioneer Place Mall, circa 1990

  1. I’m sure others have already waded in and their comments are awaiting release, but, respectfully, the caption and date are wrong. This is construction work on Pioneer Courthouse Square, not Pioneer Place mall. Portland’s living room was completed in 1984. not 1990. The mall would be built where the two buildings behind the courthouse are situated in this photo. The taller building was the Corbett Office Tower and the shorter building was the Goodnough Building.

  2. You can see the old retaining walls to the left and right used by the parking garage. I wouldn’t be surprised if they dated back to the Portland Hotel, and that they are probably still there.

  3. Pingback: Pioneer Place Mall, circa 1990 – Urban Fishing Pole Lifestyle

  4. Given the crowds and atmosphere of celebration, I can speculate that this photo is documenting the laying of the cornerstone.

  5. Pioneer Square opened on April 6, 1984. History of the site:

    KGW8 5/30/2014 story on items unearthed that had been buried when the square opened 30 years earlier:
    As the square celebrates its 30th anniversary, Portland Parks Commissioner Amanda Fritz and members of the Oregon Historical Society presided over the opening of a time capsule buried in 1985.

    The city of Portland earned a name for itself in the 1980s when the community rallied behind the idea of turning a downtown parking lot into a public plaza, now known as ‘Portland s living room.’

    The capsule’s contents were found in relatively good condition, according to Theresa Vetsch-Sandoval of Pioneer Courthouse Square Inc., the nonprofit that manages the square’s operations. Some of the clothing items, however, showed the impact of Portland s penetrable liquid sunshine, staff said.

    Among the treasures unearthed Friday were:

    A property tax assessment for the square
    A price guide from Kienow’s food stores
    A phone book from Pacific Northwest Bell
    A copy of the Oregonian, the Willamette Week, the Downtowner and the Oregon Journal
    A Ghetto Blaster radio
    A menu from Dan and Louis Oyster Bar
    A bottle of beer from Blitz-Weinhard’s Brewery
    Some bottles of (now) vintage Oregon pinot noir
    A book of predictions of what will happen in Portland in 25 years
    Yearbooks from all the city high schools
    Pioneer Courthouse Square Inc. is getting ready to bury a new time capsule scheduled to open on the square’s 50th Anniversary in 2034.

  6. Those walls were in fact the block foundation walls of the Portland Hotel.

    They are still visible on the west end of the structure, and until recently still painted the cream and blue of the service station at the parking lot.

  7. I’d love to know the predictions in that book. The future of the past is always cool.

    Those of you who remember your calendars have probably already realized that one of those items is not like the others…

  8. Agree @all
    Great link @wp
    Circa? Circa?? Never thought I’d hear that for a year I was alive. @VP
    What is the “Pingback” link above? @VP/all

    I imagine the Central School.

    And the Portland Hotel.

    And Liberty Temple.

  9. In efiles.gov the photo is in the container which includes photos from the opening of Pioneer Place Mall from March 1990. The rest of the photos in that container seem right for that grand opening but this obviously isn’t because Pioneer Courthouse Square is not finished. One clue is that the Chase Bank building (at the right) is undergoing some remodel that requires a chute. I looked for permits related to that but can only find ones going back to 2000 in PortlandMaps.com. I also haven’t been able to find the construction timeline for the Square. Efiles contains some microfilm records about the construction (not digitized).

  10. Given the state of the construction and the date of the Grand Opening of the Square (April, 1984) my best guess is summer, 1981.

  11. The crowded and closed street of SW Morrison and SW 6th were a stumper, but using the 1981 clue from ssssteven I believe this photo is showing the September weekend when “Artquake” took place. East -West streets from Yamhill to Burnside were blocked as was the 6th ave. transit. A schedule of events indicated that stage for performances was located at SW 6th & Yamhill as shown in this photo.

  12. The Corbett Building (the one on left behind the Pioneer Courthouse) was demolished by implosion in 1988, after the three Corbett Brothers who built it in 1907 were no longer alive, to make way for Pioneer Place Mall. Another of the buildings the three brothers erected, the Pacific Building, built by them in 1925 on the half block behind the Sen. H.W.Corbett house where his widow and their grandmother still lived, where her so called “Million Dollar Cow Pasture” was situated for grazing her cow, immediately to the right of Pioneer Courthouse in the photo where the A.E.Doyle designed (with a young Pietro Belluschi) Pacific Building still fortunately enhances Portland today.

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