Corbett Building, 1954

The 1870 Corbett Building was the first fully cast-iron fronted building in the city. It was also the only building to have its cast-iron pieces come from Baltimore, shipped around Cape Horn. Demolished two years after this photo, it was on SW 1st Avenue between Alder and Washington.

corbett building 8028 1954(University of Oregon Libraries)

Ladd Block, c1960

We’ve seen the 1881 Ladd Block before; this gives a bit of a closer look at this once-fine building in its later years. This view is to the north up SW 1st Avenue from Columbia Street.

ladd block sw 1st and columbia 19191 c1960(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)

Osborn Hotel, c1980s

By the 1980s, the 1890 Osborn Hotel building at SE Grand and Ash Street had seen better days. Years of neglect could have doomed this building but it would see better days again, as the building is nicely restored today.

osborn hotel 205 se grand 5753(University of Oregon Libraries)

Westside Seawall Construction, 1928

Construction of the westside seawall and sewer continues in this 1928 photo. All this activity is taking place between the Burnside (behind) and Morrison Bridges, with the Hawthorne Bridge even farther to the south. The building at right is the 1882 Starr block, on Pine Street, demolished in 1942.

A1999-004.92 Front Ave Sewer  view of waterfront sewer 1928(City of Portland Archives)

Smith & Watson Building, c1973

The 1883 Smith & Watson Building on the northeast corner of SW 1st & Main was one of the last cast-iron-fronted buildings to be demolished in Portland. VP fan Bud Holland was lucky enough to have taken these photos of the building shortly before its demise. And we’re lucky that Bud has passed these on for us all to enjoy.

smith-watson-c1975-04

smith-watson-c1975-02

smith-watson-c1975-03

smith-watson-c1975-01(Bud Holland)

Ainsworth Block Demolition, 1955

When we last visited the 1881 Ainsworth Block it was enjoying its final intact days. In this photo shortly after demolition began in 1955, the third floor had already been removed and the second floor was not far behind. The site of one of Portland’s grandest cast-iron structures is still a surface parking lot at SW 3rd and Oak.

ainsworth block 4118 1955(University of Oregon Libraries)