The Failing Building, on the northwest corner of SW 1st and Oak Street, looks much the same here in the 1950s as it did when constructed in 1886. Besides paint and signage, it’s still largely intact today, a fine example of 19th Century architecture with cast-iron details.
We’ve seen this area several times before but never from this unique aerial perspective. We’re looking north on SW 18th Avenue with SW Morrison at the bottom and W Burnside at the top. It’s interesting to see the mid-lane parking on SW 18th; cars are parked facing both directions.
You could stand on SE 12th Avenue near Division Street today, squint, and just about imagine this scene. That 76 station no longer pumps gas but the building is still there. In 1937 Elliot Avenue met this intersection directly from the northeast; now it jogs slightly to the west joining 12th a bit to the north of Division. See another angle on that gas station here.
This view looks east on W. Burnside from NW 11th Avenue. It’s still a pretty recognizable area after all these years. We’d be looking into the coffee shop at Powell’s City of Books in the lower left corner today instead of a new car showroom.
There are many classic signs to be savored in this 1939 photo of a popular Portland intersection; the Wentworth & Irwin logo at far left is a beauty. The view is east on W Burnside and 10th Avenue, with SW Oak angling off to the right. I believe you can see one of the surviving “Great Light Way” arches down Oak at 3rd Street.
The Multnomah Block once stood at the north end of Civic Stadium (PGE Park), bounded by W. Burnside and SW Morrison, SW 18-19th and 20th. This view is east down Morrison to 18th. It housed Roy Burnett Motors and several other businesses when it suffered a fire in 1941. In 1944 the shell was converted to The Civic Court Apartments. That in turn was demolished in the mid 2000s and replaced with The Civic condo and The Morrison apartment buildings.