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)

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)

Building Demolition, c1930 – Help Us Out!

The City of Portland Archives provided this photo enlisting your help in finding the identity and location of this building. The photo comes from the Portland Fire Bureau and is dated circa 1930. It’s a fine example of Portland’s early inventory of cast-iron architecture that obviously didn’t survive. This is a tough one as there is very little to go on and this does not appear to be one of the better known cast-iron buildings. I have my own theory, let’s see what you come up with. Enjoy and good luck!

Found: Zeta Psi Building, NW Front Ave. & Davis St.

(City of Portland Archives)

Glisan’s Building, 1976

The 1889 Glisan’s Building was the last cast-iron building constructed in Portland. It stands on the east side of SW 2nd Ave. between Ash and Pine Streets. At the time of this photo, the area was still home to many industrial-type companies, such as Chown Electrical Supply Co. pictured here. Now a more commercial and entertainment area, the building is home to Kell’s Irish Restaurant and Pub.

(University of Oregon Libraries)

Mikado Block, 1963

The 1880 Mikado Block on the northwest corner of SW 1st and Taylor is one of Portland’s cast-iron survivors. Its corner cast-iron columns were removed for this “modernization” effort but were replaced during a later restoration of the building. The cast-iron lion’s head seen over the entryway at right was stolen in 1971.

(University of Oregon Libraries)

Webb’s Shop, 1959

Hard to tell if Webb’s barber shop was in a stand-alone building or if it was a part of the building to the right, which I believe was the 1876 Coulter & Church building. They share some first floor cast-iron pieces but that’s all they have in common. The pretty little building was at 67 SW Morrison, between Front and 1st Avenue, in this 1959 photo.

(University of Oregon Libraries)