14 thoughts on “SW Kingston Avenue, 1935

  1. The tennis courts located across from the current Japanese Garden entrance are visible on the left side of Kingston.

  2. “APPROPRIATIONS URGED FOR MINOR PROJECTS: Appropriations of $1676 out of the civic emergency fund, financed by the remainder of the bonds authorized sometime ago, has been recommended for a number of projects by the committee and Commissioner Bean to the council. SERA labor will do the work, the city appropriation being for overhead, including truck hire. … The city will spend… $958 on the Arlington Heights and Southwest Kingston avenue drainage sewer.” — Oregonian, 2/17/1935, p.9

    Perhaps the decision to work on the drainage sewer was prompted by the incidents described in the following:

    “TWO SUITS FILED AGAINST PORTLAND: Two damage actions were filed in the circuit court yesterday as the outgrowth of a slide of earth, mud and other debris which occurred on Kingston avenue near Southwest Parkside drive on December 22, 1933.
    “Anna M. Riddell, who charged that the city was negligent in failing to put in proper drains at a point where a fill was put in across a ravine on Kingston avenue, asked for $10,500 from the city for damage to her residence property.

    “Signe Elde, whose residence was below the Riddell home, made the city of Portland and Alex G. and Anna M. Riddell defendants in a suit for $22,350. She charged the city with negligence in connection with drainage of water from the gully and in addition accused the Riddells of having put in improper retaining walls…. The slide resulted in the Riddell property being undermined and the ground, house and retaining walls to move down the embankment, Mrs. Riddell charged in her complaint. Mrs. Elde charged that her house was damaged as a result of debris from the Riddell property, and she herself was injured.” — Oregonian, 12/22/1935 p. 2

    That the mudslide occurred on December 22, 1933 and the story about the ensuing suit was printed exactly two years later is curious. It could be pure coincidence, or perhaps some misprint or misreading by the optical character recognition employed by the database?

  3. The two young trees planted at the curb of the corner house didn’t make it, but there have been many more trees planted along the way, since then.

    Looks like morning break-time for most of the men; while a couple of men have got back at it. The guy leaning on the shovel with a cigarette in the opposite hand looks very comfortable in his role within the group – he looks like “a talker”.

  4. well, here they’re actually reconstructing the curb, not building a drain tunnel (pedant mode off) the previously-laid drain is now filled; in 2004 or so they dug a deeper line in the street and abandoned this one. pdf of work available on portlandmaps.

  5. Commissioner Ormond Bean was the person who lead the way to install those blue and White street signs there on the corner.

  6. No excavating machines, just strong backs and shovels. Construction barrier is stacks of cement blocks and a couple of 2×6’s. Some old school roadwork going on here.

  7. Liz after the 1933 slide destroyed the home of Iver and Signe Elbe at 325 SW Marconi which no longer exist as a Portland address and since 1935 they were living at 2147 NW Glisan. Alex and Anna Riddell’s house was above the the Elbe home at 288 SW Parkside Dr. The Riddell house and the site where the Elde once stood was featured in a VP photo on October 22, 2020 from 1940, and today is the location of the “Secret Garden” in Washington Park.

  8. Dennis,,, yes the ‘secret garden’. I used to lay in the sun there some 20 yrs ago and it was a real secret, never saw hardly anyone walk through.

  9. The statute of limitations for a negligence claim is two years. Not uncommon to wait to file until all your damages are ascertained. Or maybe they were trying to negotiate a settlement, which was unsuccessful.

  10. Very interesting, Dennis! I did a little research after my earlier post, trying to find out what happened to the lawsuits, but didn’t find anything. However, Mr. Riddell’s life is frequently reported on in the Oregonian. He liked to play Santa Claus at charity holiday parties. His wife Anna (one of three wives he had in sequence) was referred to as “Dr. Anna Riddell” with an office in the Platt Building downtown. The house at 2147 NW Glisan is across the street from Trader Joe’s there.

  11. If you followed Kingston past the tennis courts and to the left you would find the “Terrible Portland Zoo”; I was so glad as a child in the late ’50s to get into the new zoo as it was being built and see how expansive it was going to be.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s