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Portland Then/Now: Southwest Fourth Avenue and Morrison Street

Thursday, September 18, 2014

 

SW 4th Ave looking north towards Morrison St

SW 4th Ave looking north towards Morrison Street, City of Portland Archives. A2005-001.863

SW 4th Ave looking north towards Morrison St

SW 4th Ave looking north towards Morrison Street from the viewpoint of the Pioneer Place skybridge

As much as streets change, some streets in downtown Portland stay the same. Sort of. 

Such is the case of Southwest Fourth Avenue and Morrison Street in 1939 and 2014. 

THEN: In 1939 Southwest Fourth Avenue was a bustling thoroughfare full of well-dressed pedestrians, big automobiles and open-air streetcars. Looking down Fourth toward what is now the Memorial Coliseum you'll notice Chown Hardware, Fred Meyer Toiletries and Remedies , Dr. J.J. Colton-Dentist and stores advertising "Chow Mein" and "Shoe Repair" in big, bold letters.

NOW: The dentist, movie and chow mein house were torn down to make way for a bare-bones parking garage. The Fred Meyer's Toiletries outlet was replaced by a Nordstrom Rack, and currently a Sephora store and a Starbucks. Chown Hardware was replaced for decades by Caplan's Sporting Goods and is now home to Joe's Burgers. But pedestrians still fill these streets due to the vicinity of Pioneer Place and Nike Downtown. And the MAX line still shuttles people up and down Southwest Morrison just like in the good old days. 

 

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