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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.