It appears engineers used this circa 1938 aerial photo of the South Park Blocks area to pencil in a potential route for the Stadium Freeway. The area would grow into the PSU campus we know today. The 1911 Lincoln High School building, bottom-center between SW Broadway and Park, would be the college’s first building on campus.
Circa 1882 Portland was only on the west side of the river as Albina and East Portland had not yet been annexed. To call this North Portland, as the label states, makes sense but it’s most definitely Southwest Portland now. The view is similar to this earlier VP entry where we look north on the block between SW 11th and 12th; The Old Church is nearing completion in the center. There are some handsome mansions fronting the South Park Blocks on the right; the side-by-side white Italianate homes belonged to brothers Ralph and Isaac Jacobs.
The campus at Portland State College (now University) has undergone many changes over the decades. Vehicular traffic was still allowed on SW Park, now a pedestrian mall. Many buildings have either been replaced or drastically transformed; the Smith Memorial Student Union is now twice as tall as it was in 1959. This view looks north on SW Park from Harrison.
A sunny day at Portland State College brought out people to enjoy the South Park Blocks in this 1962 photo. We’re looking northwest toward Park & Hall across the way. The house in the center was home to the Vedanta Society of Portland for a number of years during this period.
There was a recent discussion about when Portland adopted a one-way grid downtown. Poncho gave the date of 1950 which is borne out by this photo showing new traffic control devices looking south on SW Broadway at Columbia. The one-way conversion had not been made south of this point. The Hungerford Hotel is now the Regency Apartments, and the Standard gas station only recently met it’s demise; it’s now an empty lot.
The Altamont Apartment Building graced the southwest corner of SW 5th Avenue and College Street for over 100 years. Probably not architecturally noteworthy, and certainly not historically significant, it was nonetheless one of the few remaining early 20th century buildings of any size left in this part of town. It was demolished this month, the site destined to become a 16-story housing unit for the Portland State University campus. The home to its right on College street, built in 1880, is gone too.