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Portland Then/Now: Southwest Fourth Avenue & Madison Street

Thursday, December 11, 2014

 

4th Avenue

SW 4th Ave. and Madison St., 1940: City of Portland Archive. A2009-009.560

4th Avenue

SW 4th Ave. and Madison St., 2014. Photo by Byron Beck.

Portland Then/Now: Southwest Fourth Avenue & Madison Street. 

The Multnomah County Courthouse, visible in both these photos, was built in two phases between 1909 and 1914, and at the time was the largest courthouse on the west coast and served also as county seat and county jail.

THEN: This photo was shot in 1940 at the corner of Southwest Fourth Avenue and Madison Street at the time when McElroy’s Spanish Ballroom was located just a block away on Main Street.  

The photo also features Chapman Square, "originally designed for the exclusive use of women and children." The adjacent Lownsdale Square was to be the "gentlemen's gathering place" according to Portland Parks and Rec.

NOW: Located in the center of the city the Multnomah County Courthouse currently includes 39 courtrooms, 36 of which are district courts and two are traffic courts.

The Michael Graves-designed Portland Building (the first post-modern building in the world) has replaced the ballroom.

Many of the structures in the distance in the earlier photo have been replaced by high rise buildings and parking structures. 

What still seems to be standing in both Chapman and Lownsdale Squares are the trees, which have grown in to quite handsome foilage. 

 

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