NE Union Avenue, 1929

A number man on the corner of NE Union Avenue (Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard) at NE Davis Street, looking southwest, 1929.


121-135 NE Union Avenue  [Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd] at NE Davis Street, looking southwest, 1929: A2009-009.1767

121-135 NE Union Avenue [Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd] at NE Davis Street, looking southwest, 1929: A2009-009.1767

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NW Davis St. & 14th, 1917

A century ago, crossing NW 14th Avenue west on Davis Street would lead you to a row of residential homes and apartments. Today you’d take your life in your hands crossing an off-ramp from I-405 and then a fence would stop you from accessing what’s left of that block.

A2000-003.50 SE corner NW 14th Ave & NW Davis St. 1917(City of Portland Archives)

NW Front & Davis, c1930

Our Number Man probably could never conceive that the lot behind him would eventually hold a four-level parking structure with a helipad on the roof. He’s standing on the northwest corner of NW Front Avenue and Davis Street in this circa 1930 photo.

A2009-009.2484 Wood Lot NW Front Ave and Davis St c1930(City of Portland Archives)

Atkinson School, 1941

Atkinson School, highlighted yesterday, went through a lot in its 70+ years. It was in the “new and commodious room in the North school building,¬†with the most excellent patent seats” when it opened in 1869. By 1903 it was called a “wreck,” a “rathole,” and “the terror of our childhood” after a City Federation of Women’s Clubs inspection. It housed returning First World War soldiers in 1919, and was the school for the Old Town’s Chinese and Japanese students beginning in the 1920s. This photo shows it just before demolition began in 1941.

atkinson school demolished 19410405(The Oregonian. Retrieved from

Atkinson School, c1892

Atkinson School was Portland’s first high school; it opened in 1869¬†with 45 students and two teachers. Originally called North School, another school was built even farther north in about 1890, creating confusion. The school took up the entire block between NW 11th & 12th Avenues, Couch and Davis Streets. This view is southwest at 11th and Davis. It was demolished in 1941.

A2004-002.3077 atkinson public school c1892(City of Portland Archives)

NW Davis & 8th, 1962

Probably not the most dramatic Columbus Day Storm photo you’ll see today but this gives us a little insight into what the North Park Blocks looked like in 1962. The three buildings in the distance are still standing. The one on the right provides a hint of what lurks below it’s cladding installed during a modernization attempt. This view is northwest from NW Davis & 8th.

(City of Portland Archives)