17 thoughts on “NW 3rd Avenue, 1948

  1. I always liked riding past the old fire station on MAX & I’m saddened to learn it was demolished. I would have liked to have seen it preserved in place & retrofitted into a cafe & coffee shop as it was near enough to the train station to be useful. I see the two station doors fully open & people sitting at tables. There also could have been outdoor tables scattered beneath the tree. This vision is of course is purely fictional, I’m sure there are lots of rules and regulations that wouldn’t allow a business to operate so near the tracks. It would have been nice though, I think; it was such a cool brick building the way it sat there, holding its ground through all the changes.

    The two men on the footpath are there for different reasons, one appears to be a workman, and the other is possibly a co-worker of the photographer who just wanted to “get out of the office for a while”.

    The three people on the right might all be tourists from out of town as one of the men looks to be snapping a photo of the bridge.

  2. The car parked towards the center looks like it might be a 1946 Chevrolet Fleetmaster 4dr Sedan.

  3. “May 30, 1948, was on a Sunday, Labor Day, so no work was going on.”
    I think the Vanport Flood from the Columbia River began on May 30,1948, Memorial Day, a Monday. This photograph would have been taken the day after along the Willamette.

  4. May 30, 1948, Memorial Day, was the day the levees broke out at Vanport, sending a 10-foot wall of water into the huge wartime housing complex out along the Columbia River. There was also minor flooding along the Willamette River, with high water through downtown Portland. Thus the presence of piles of sandbags in the photo. Because of flooding in the area of this photo, one of the streetcar lines had to be diverted from its usual route.

  5. This photo does’t show much work happening in this area, but I don’t think any city crews were kicking back and taking the day off, as the the river level on the day before was 27.5 feet and expected to reach 29.5 – 30 feet by Tuesday or Wednesday.

    Oregonian excerpt on the date of this photo 5/30/1948
    City engineer department crews continue the sandbagging operations they started Friday to keep the water out of an area bounded on the North by Hoyt street, on the South by Jefferson street, on the East by the harbor wall and on the West by an irregular high water area that zigzagged through the waterfront district.

  6. They tore down station 3? I can’t tell you how much that burns my you no what. You know I used to ride my bike all over Portland taking pictures of old buildings ,side walk dates, manufacturers etc. and I would say fully 75% of the cool old buildings and ghost signs etc. that I documented are gone. I started around 2003.

  7. DJ, I understand. This seems to me to have been inevitable, not only because of the fire station’s lack of accessibility, but also because a fire pretty much gutted the interior a few months before it was demolished.

    The recent one that really chaps my nether regions was the demolition of the Ancient Order of United Workmen’s temple.

  8. The Portland Fire Bureau shows the firehouse in the photo as old station #2 (1912-1950) 510 NW 3rd (NW 3rd & Glisan) also KGW TV has a story of a fire at the station on August 11, 2017. I don’t know if it burned again, but photo on 6/16/2010 shows the station during the 1948 flood.
    Station #3 still stands and has been restored, and looks to be a twin of old station #2, as they were built in the same era. The VP photo from 6/30/2011 has a photo of station #3 at 1425 NW Glisan.

  9. Before it was torn down, Fire Station 3 had suffered from more than 30 years of neglect, plus a fire that compromised the structure beyond saving in the last few months. While it would’ve been nice for it to have been saved, that would’ve had to have happened in the 1980s, as it was far too late to save the building by the time it was demolished.
    I had cause to be in the building in the early 2000s, and it was not economically salvageable at that point; after the fire, putting the old place out of its misery was the only option.

  10. The way Station 3 got hemmed in over the years didn’t leave much option for development, but still, such a bummer it got torn down. A lot of great history in that old building.

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