Downtown, 1975

Standing atop the parking garage at SW 1st and Jefferson, we get a good view to the south and a changing Portland skyline of 1975. Newer buildings south of Clay are still standing today, while those north of Clay have been replaced. Notice the tunnels leading under the street where the Marriott Hotel site is being excavated.

Downtown parking garage 1975(City of Portland Archives)

SW 2nd & Market, c1965

These two old rooming houses seem isolated and perhaps even in an industrial area. The truth is, however, that the shadow falling from the left side of the top image is the old Municipal Auditorium and we’re looking northeast at SW 2nd & Market Street. The land behind the photographer had been cleared for South Auditorium Urban Renewal. The area can be seen quite clearly in this earlier VP aerial photo. Thanks again to John for another great photo.



SW 1st & Lincoln, 1963

Virtually unrecognizable as we know it today was the intersection of SW 1st and Lincoln Street, looking north, in 1963. The South Auditorium Urban Renewal area had been completely cleared and streets were being rebuilt and repaved here. The pre-remodeled auditorium can be seen in the distance. The intersection can be seen in this aerial view of the area from 1935 (pre-urban renewal), just below photo center. Light rail will be coming through this intersection in the future.

(City of Portland Archives)

Urban Renewal, 1965

The c1892 Coeur d’Alene Building and the 1883 Spaulding Building on SW 1st Avenue between Clay and Columbia are highlighted in this feature article in The Oregonian of August 1, 1965. The one-page feature, outlining plans for the a second urban renewal project just north of the South Auditorium Urban Renewal District, can be seen here.

(The Oregonian. Retrieved from

South Auditorium, Area II, 1967

The original South Auditorium Urban Renewal District demolished 54 blocks south of Market between Front and 4th in the early 1960s. A second related, and much smaller scale, project in the late 1960s was known as Area II. It covered the area between Front and 4th, Market and Jefferson. A series in The Oregonian featured the problem of relocating the area’s low income residents and businesses; read Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3.

(The Oregonian. Retrieved from

Municipal Auditorium, 1958

Portland’s Municipal Auditorium was built in 1917 facing SW 3rd between Clay and Market. Known over the years as Portland Municipal Auditorium and Portland Public Auditorium, it was extensively remodeled in 1968 and renamed Portland Civic Auditorium. In 2000 it was renamed Keller Auditorium. This 1958 view is south on SW 3rd at Clay.

(University of Oregon Libraries)

South Auditorium Urban Renewal Area Demolition

The Oregonian of January 17, 1960 featured a pictorial page and article covering progress of the South Audutorium Urban Renewal Area demolition. Interesting reading.

(The Oregonian. Retrieved from