Another view of the comfort station ventilator shown yesterday, this time from the opposite direction. The women’s entrance is on the right, men’s entrance on the left and Pioneer Courthouse is the backdrop. Except for the ventilator’s position (and lack of iron fence on the wall), this scene has changed very little in 99 years.
The “comfort stations” featured in the previous two posts were topped at street level by this combination ventilator shaft/drinking fountain. Although moved closer to the wall circling Pioneer Courthouse, it’s still there almost 100 years later. The handsome house on the opposite corner at 181 6th Avenue is long gone, and would have faced the Henry W. Corbett house off to our left. Jackson Tower is in the distance.
Going downstairs from yesterday’s restroom entrance would have taken you to this amazing underground “comfort station.” The women’s room provided an attendant, tile mosaics, steam heating, and marble stall dividers. The restrooms were “restored to original” during the transit mall construction in the 1970s but vandalism forced permanent closure shortly thereafter.
Early 20th Century Portland provided a pair of underground restrooms at SW 6th and Yamhill that were almost elegant, especially by today’s standards. This women’s room entrance looks west, with the Portland Hotel in the background and the Pioneer Courthouse to our immediate right. A matching men’s room is just around the corner on 6th. In fact these entrances, and restrooms below, still stand. Long closed, you can peek through the door cracks and see some wall tile details.
Mt. Tabor Park restroom building, 1957.
This view of SW 4th Ave. and Yamhill St. includes the exterior of the Public Employment Bureau, a men’s restroom, and a market storefront. The building formerly housed Portland’s Central Fire Station 1, which was built in 1890. Prior to the Central Fire Station occupying the site, it was home to the Volunteer Fire Department’s Vigilance Hook and Ladder dating back to the 1850s. This image was taken circa 1925.
This gorgeous photo features the brand-new Pacific Building, on SW Yamhill between 5th and 6th Avenues. Taken from the courtyard of the Portland Hotel (a bit of which peeks out from the right side), it also shows the Pioneer Courthouse and those comfort stations on the corner.