Thursday, October 30, 2008


Glade Hotel, 1900

This hand-painted, vertical "Rooms" sign is certainly on a smaller scale than most signs I've featured here. I took the black-and-white photo of the "Hotel Glade - Weekly - Monthly - Steam Heat" in 1971 when this area was ground zero for Portland's flophouses. The current photo shows that the adjoining Fritz Hotel to the right has been restored to its original brick and glass configuration.

This is on NW 3rd, just north of West Burnside.



Tuesday, October 28, 2008


Seamen's Bethel, 1881

Sandwiched between the old Seamen's Bethel building and the Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Society building is this unknown sign. It stretches the whole width of the west face of the Seamen's Bethel building but only a sliver of it can be seen from the street. What's visible might be a "5c Cigar" ad, and above that, "Rooming House." See for yourself on NW Davis between 3rd and 4th.


Thursday, October 23, 2008

Wild Rose Brand

Modern Confectionery Building, 1907

I had previously featured the Modern Confectionery building but had failed to see the small items flanking the second floor windows. Though extremely faded, I was able to determine that these were logos for "Wild Rose Brand Pure Lard." It was also painted on the band above the second floor windows, probably before "Modern Confectionery" was painted over it; the word "Lard" can still be seen to the far right.

You can see this from the corner of NW 13th and Hoyt.

Here is a detailed history of the Carton Services Studios from the Portland Art Studios website.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Irving Street Lofts

Blumauer-Frank Building, 1924

The Irving Street Lofts sign is one of of the pioneers of the transition from the industrial district to what we know as the Pearl District today.

A short history of the building:
1924: Built for the Blumauer-Frank Drug Company, a wholesale pharmaceutical company.
1937: McKesson Robbins, another drug company, bought it to warehouse supplies.
late 1980s: Converted to rentals and artists lofts.
1995: Converted to loft condominiums by Grancorp, Inc.

This view is from NW 14th and Hoyt.


Thursday, October 16, 2008

Whaling Wall Mural

Fox Theater, 1911-1997

The "Orcas of the Oregon Coast" mural was painted by the artist Wyland on the back of the Fox Theater wall in 1993. At 120 feet long by 60 feet high, it towered over Vat and Tonsure, Crocodile Records, Rock 'n Roll Fashions, The Spot, and Hamburger Mary's (a favorite breakfast spot of mine).

The entire block was demolished in 1997 to make way for the 27-floor Fox Tower, opened in 2000. This view is from SW 9th and Taylor.



Thanks one more time to thrift store cowboy for use of his "before" photo.

Here's a Portland Mercury interview with the Greg Higgins who was the Heathman Hotel's executive chef during the late 1980s. Near the end of the interview he talks about what this area was like then.

If you're in the mood for more reminiscing, here are some more people talking about what we've lost in the downtown core over the last couple of decades.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008



As advertised, this building at one time housed Umbra Penumbra, Avalon and Magpie as well as the Salvation Army Greenhouse School, an alternative school for street youth. They are all gone now, along with the signs. The building is now home to New Avenues for Youth drop-in education case management center. This view is from SW 9th and Stark.



Thanks again to thrift store cowboy for use of his "before" photo.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Danmoore Hotel

Danmoore Hotel, 1912 (west half), 1924 (east half)

The Danmoore Hotel at SW 12th and Morrison was built in two stages. The top two photos show the "FREE GARAGE - HOTEL" sign on the newer eastern half of the building and the completed hotel. When that part of the building was demolished in 2005 (lower photo), it exposed the original outer wall of the older west end; "HOTEL" and "ON THE CORNER" signs are clearly visible.

The Danmoore came down in 2005 to make way for the First Presbyterian Church's garden and underground parking garage.


2005 - east half (photo: thrift store cowboy):

2008 - east half:

2005 - west half (photo: thrift store cowboy):

2008 - west half:

Thanks again to thrift store cowboy for use of his 2005 photos.