11 thoughts on “NE Union Avenue, circa 1929

  1. Looks like the two-story brick building on the left with all the lumber and construction going on might still be there today, Everything else has changed. I love all the old cars and the guy carefully trying to cross the busy street. Neat slice-of-life photo from 1929.

  2. Today’s view, and I agree with Robin, I think the building being constructed is still there today but that’s about it.

  3. I hadn’t heard of Red and White stores before, so I looked it up on Wikipedia.

    Red & White Corporation is a chain of independently owned and operated food stores operating in the United States and Canada. While it has been supplanted by supermarket chains in many of its locations, its signature red dot logo with the words Red & White can still be found on small independent grocers in many states & provinces.

    Red & White stores were independent grocery stores in small towns. The company did centralized buying and distribution for the small stores to allow them to compete against large chains that were consolidating their power in the 1920s. All members of this group had the words Red & White as part of their names, usually with the owner’s name or town name as well. The firm started around 1925.

    The corporation Red & White, headquartered in Chicago, procured branded products for the independent grocery stores. The headquarters were located at the Mercantile Exchange Building at 308 West Washington Street in the present day Chicago Loop. While in Canada, since the 1940s, the Red and White network of stores has been managed by food wholesaler Western Grocers, a division of Loblaws Inc.

  4. According to efiles the sign on the left says “Future home of the Auto Parts Company”. It also says the image was recorded on Dec 31, 1929. Locally, our only partially-homegrown president who spent his youth in Newberg, Herbert Hoover, is in office. Nationally the USA is just two months past Black Thursday, the start of the Great Depression. Globally, this particular New Year’s Eve marks Purna Swaraj, when India’s President Nehru declared independence from England soon followed by Gandhi’s campaign of nonviolent protests. All of it will have ripple effects on Portland in the following years, from economic impacts and WPA infrastructure projects to the Bonus Army and Civil Rights movement.

    Nothing much remains today, except for the former and current street names, Union and Martin Luther King Jr., both appropriately related to our past struggles and strides forward. Even Hancock Street–once named for Union General and Republican President Ulysses S. Grant, one of three Grant streets before the Great Renaming of 1891–was named for another Union General and 1880 Democratic Presidential Candidate, Winfield S. Hancock. Amazing how the footprints of history remain, even when you pave it over with asphalt and parking lots.

  5. I zeroed in on The Red And White Store. As a four year old in North Central Spokane in 1955 we lived about five blocks from a R&W store and, as my mother did not drive, we’d often walk there to do shopping. She would give me a few pennies and I would stand in front of the candy display taking forever to decide what to buy while she shopped. Fond memory.

  6. As noted, there is very little in this photo that remains today. The “Future Home of The Auto Parts Company” building is much smaller than the current building on that corner, so don’t think they are the same building. The only things I can see that might have survived to today are the manhole covers, which look to be in their original locations. All three remain, though the one on the far right now lives in the island formed by the merger between MLK and Grand.

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