14 thoughts on “SW Front Avenue, 1944

  1. Almost everything’s changed, but I think this might be the best approximation of location, autumn 2014 from on the bridge on ramps:

  2. I’ve enjoyed seeing these photos and have learned a lot from the exchanges people make here – but I have quit making contributions since you’ve DECLINED to post most of my remarks??! I don’t try to post controversial things or be contentious. I just don’t get it. Sad.

  3. Hello Debby, I sorry some of your comments have not come through. I looked back through past comments and I’m not seeing any from you that have not been approved. If you think a comment has been missed feel free to reach out, and we can try to figure out what the issue is.

  4. In four years, the Public Market on the right will house the Oregon Journal newspaper, including reporter Dick Fagan, originator of Mill Ends Park. The poles in the road are in oblong islands with sawtooth ridges, and just two or three poles away in today’s photo, at SW Taylor, will be the pole-less island that becomes the world’s smallest park. You can see the matching island in this photo from then original dedication:

    More: https://pdxccentric.wordpress.com/a8-mill-ends/

    Also, the left billboard atop the buildings says Richfield, the oil company also responsible for the world’s biggest sign atop the West Hills that not many know about:

    More: http://multnomahhistorical.com/worlds-largest-sign/

    Meanwhile, the 41st Infantry Division, loaded with locals, is leading the US effort to push back the Japanese island by island across the Pacific, among the first to occupy an incinerated Hiroshima in 1945. Two years after this photo, we named Highway 26 the Sunset in their honor.

    More: https://www.oregonencyclopedia.org/articles/41st_infantry/#.ZBnNvS-B1QI

  5. Events elsewhere on this day…
    President Roosevelt announces he’ll be running for a fourth term.

    “Tuesday, July 11, 1944
    The days that marked the Battle of Normandy
    The Germans, who have just lost the city of Caen the day before, launch an offensive in the Cotentin Peninsula, aware that the Americans are trampling in the bocage rather favorable to defense and that they are not really in a position of strength. They have a clear advantage: they are the master of the air. The Germans decided to carry their attack in the direction of Saint-Jean-de-la-Daye, in the center of the American front and directly north of Saint-Lô. They precede their assault with a bombardment of their artillery which continues northward at the time of the attack, given in the first part of the night.
    At the same time, the Americans of the 9th and 39th infantry divisions were opposed to the German forces of the Panzer Lehr by a courageous resistance, and they did not bend against the enemy’s device, and heavy tank fighting took place in the Normandy hedgerow. At the end of the morning, they even regain the advantage by launching a counter-offensive directed towards Saint-Lô, and then they progress like the previous days, meters after meter, at the price of heavy losses.

    The British do not take the time to savor their victory north of Caen and already the 2nd Army of General Dempsey continues its offensive towards Hill 112, still defended by the Panzergruppe West commanded by Eberbach.”

  6. On the left edge of the photo a banner on the building reads Dunne–13 X Yes. This is a banner for Joe E. Dunne who was running for Mayor in the May 19, 1944 primary election, I’am not sure why some candidates running for office had a number, but there were only 5-6 running for Mayor. Dunne had been in The Oregon Senate for 8 years and one of his accomplishment while in the senate was to get the yearly vehicle registration fee lowered to $5.00 from the current fee of $22.50 to $70.00. ($389 to $1210 in 2023 dollars)
    Joe E Dunne lost to Earl Riley by more than 18,000 votes.

  7. I wonder if the “Dunne for Mayor” sign on the left relates to my family. My grandfather was T. Morris Dunne, whose family also owned Dunne Paints in Portland. Any information from VP sleuths would be appreciated.

  8. Jay— The VP photo from May 4, 2010 has a map of the 1943 streetcar and bus routes, and this map shows that the (HA) Hawthorne streetcar was still in use.

  9. I thought by 1944 the street signs would be the new style implemented in 1937 but it doesn’t look like it there on the left. Fire alarm box on the pole.

  10. Jay: yes, they were very much still in use. In 1944, those tracks carried Portland’s last two interurban lines to Oregon City and Gresham. The Gresham line was cut back to Bellrose (SE 136th Ave.) in 1949, and all interurban service ended in 1958.

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