Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Broadway - Portland, Oregon

This section of Broadway in Portland has never been my favorite.  It seems stark and traffic oriented, although it looks a little more appealing in this early 1900s view. On the left, you see the Hotel Oregon, which no longer exists. An annex was built onto the Hotel Oregon in 1913, and was initially called the New Oregon Hotel and later the Benson Hotel. In 1959, the original Hotel Oregon was demolished to make way for a new addition to the Benson Hotel.

At the time this postcard was printed, the U.S. National Bank Building (below on the right) had not yet been built.  It was completed in 1917,with major additions in 1925. A.E. Doyle, the building's architect, was a devoted classicist who also designed Portland's Central Public Library, the Meier & Frank Building, the Lipman Building, the original Reed College buildings, and the Benson Hotel.
Here's the modern view:

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And here's the back of the card, with a message to Viola in Grant's Pass, Oregon that reads:
Dear Viola
Thanks for the seeds. I shall look patiently for the pretty flowers. I do think Asters are such choice flowers. Haven't heard from your mother since she left guess she is having the time of her life. I guess Vada is pretty well considering.  _______will have another job with time. Celia


  1. How annoying when the post-office stamps the picture side of the card.

    It often strikes me how much work you must put into this blog. It's not just the number of postcards - it's the amount of background information you gather to go with them.


  2. It looks more 'interesting' and has more character in the postcard. I like the slogan cancellation.

  3. I think the Post Office stamp can actually add character to a postcard, as it shows it for what it is, and where it's been.

  4. It is unfortunate that this section of Broadway has lost much of its character, I'm sure it has been a bit of a negative for clientele of the Benson, which is fairly swanky. Then again, the Benson addition that replaced the original Hotel Oregon may have approximated the materials and form of the Benson, but it lacks any of the design skill and detailing that made the original elegant- so part of the loss of character is of their own making.

  5. The scene from the postcard is fabulous! Postcards capturing the fashion of the time are so priceless.

  6. mpm210,
    I agree that the cancellation can be a nice addition. in this case, a little higher would have been nice, so as not to obscure the people crossing the street. :)

  7. I love visiting your blog. I just posted this one on my Oregon travel page - check it out: https://www.facebook.com/GoOregonNow



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