Although labeled NW 12th Avenue, this is actually NW 13th Avenue at Lovejoy looking south. Industrial Northwest Portland was in the business of freight, storage and other heavy industry; paved streets and sidewalks could always come later.
Long before the Pearl District became a trendy shopping and residential area, and even when it was a gritty industrial area, it contained single family homes and rooming houses. This circa 1925 photo shows NW 10th Avenue at Irving street looking north. The large structure on the far right is the back of what we know today as the Ecotrust building. And amazingly enough, a portion of the wall on the left, including door openings and steel shutters, still stands at the corner with Johnson Street. The block is in the center of this aerial photo taken in 1939 after the wooden structures had been removed.
In 1927 you may have come to the corner of West Burnside and NW 10th Avenue to stay at the hotel or do business with the Empire Transfer & Storage company. In the 1950s and 60s you might have watched your favorite KISN DJ through the “Window of the World.” Today you’re likely to buy your Dr. Martens shoes here.
This view facing east on W. Burnside at 10th and Oak doesn’t look much different from the air today. Perhaps the greatest change is the addition of two large buildings on the blocks northeast and southwest of SW 9th & Oak. The shadow at the very bottom indicates this photo may have been taken from a blimp.