This 1929 photo shows a row of magnificent cast-iron fronted buildings along the east side of SW Front Avenue at the foot of Vine Street. Vine no longer exists but is a part of Ankeny Plaza between Ankeny and Ash Streets. From the left, the buildings are Dodd Block (1888), Cooks’ Building (1882), Ankeny & Watson Building (1868), and Central Block (1879) on the corner at Ash Street. All were demolished in 1942.
This rather Gothic industrial scene shows the Portland Gas Company complex in Northwest Portland in 1912. We’re facing southeast, with Front Avenue going off to the right and Flanders Street making its unimproved way to the Willamette River on the left. As rough as the Boss Saloon probably was, the little building seemed to have some nice architectural details. The 1894 Burnside Bridge can be seen in the background.
The Failing Building, on the northwest corner of SW 1st and Oak Street, looks much the same here in the 1950s as it did when constructed in 1886. Besides paint and signage, it’s still largely intact today, a fine example of 19th Century architecture with cast-iron details.
Yesterday’s post showed the intact Union Block in 1955 shortly before its demolition. Today’s photo is the same corner, SW 2nd and Stark, during demolition. Not much remains of the staid old building. Here a pedestrian walks past the cast-iron-fronted corner entrance.
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.
A fantastic aerial photo from circa 1938 showing old South Portland, from today’s Riverplace area and PSU campus through Duniway Park and the Veteran’s Hospital in the distance. The large industrial complex at lower center is the old Smith & Watson Iron Works, makers of cast iron architectural pieces for many of Portland’s early commercial buildings, as well as fire hydrants that can be found today.