Vice Commission Map, 1913

The City of Portland Vice Commission created a map of known and suspected immoral dwellings and businesses in the downtown area in 1913. The map has apparently faded to nothing but markers on a white page but by turning, scaling and fitting the known elements (Irving Street, 23rd Avenue, etc.) I was able to overlay the vice map on top of a modern Google map of the city. The resultant composite gives a pretty accurate indication of where much of Portland’s immoral activity took place. Click here to see a raw version of the original map. As always, click on any image to see a larger, more detailed version.

Legend:

Composite:

(City of Portland Archives/Google Maps)

Illustrated Aerial Map, 1890

This richly colored 1890 bird’s-eye view illustration of Portland showed the city from the industrial Northwest to South Portland and included Albina and East Portland. It also featured detailed views of select homes and businesses. A key at the bottom located many other properties.

(Library of Congress/City of Portland)

Couch’s Addition Map, 1891

There’s a lot of detail of this 1891 map of the Northwest Portland area now known as the Alphabet District, including Old Town/Chinatown and the Pearl District. The rail yards would eventually expand to the west but at this time they covered much of what is now the Post Office property. Note that the park blocks were bounded by “N. East Park” and “N. West Park” with “N. Eighth” to the west. Hand-lettered notations in red renumber the streets as we know them today.

(City of Portland Archives)