Union Block, 1955

The once-impressive Union Block covered the full block between SW 1st and 2nd Avenues, Stark and Oak Streets. Built in stages between 1879 and 1881, the building featured fine cast-iron pieces from Willamette Iron Works. It was demolished in 1955. This view is northeast across SW 2nd and Stark.

union block 9806 1955(University of Oregon Libraries)

New Market Theater, c1872

The New Market Theater is shown here on SW 1st between Ankeny and Ash Streets, probably in 1872, the year it was completed. Construction appears to be just starting for the New Market Block, North Wing, which was completed the following year. The North Wing was demolished in 1956 but the cast-iron arches were saved and are in place today. It will be another 16 years before the Skidmore Fountain makes its appearance. It would be placed probably about at the end of the wooden sidewalk at lower center of the photo.

New Market Theater & North Wing LOC c1873(Library of Congress)

Bird’s-eye View of Portland, 1879

E.S. Glover’s 1879 bird’s-eye view of Portland is pretty spectacular. It accurately portrays the early buildings and landscape in this growing city. It also shows some natural features such as Tanner Creek, the gullies of South Portland, and the creek outflow near present-day OMSI, that are all filled today. As always, click for hi-res version.

(Library of Congress)

Pioneer Courthouse, 1875

Portland’s Pioneer Courthouse, just a few years old when this photo was taken circa 1875, is now the oldest federal building in the Pacific Northwest. This east elevation view shows the intersection of SW 5th and Yamhill, the streets still unpaved. Central School, now the site of Pioneer Courthouse Square, stands in the background.

(Library of Congress Archives)