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Portland Then/Now: Southwest Park Ave. and Yamhill Street

Thursday, December 04, 2014

 

SW Park and Morrison

Southwest Park Avenue and Morrison Street, circa 1964. City of Portland Archives. A2010-002.647

SW Park and Morrison

Southwest Park Avenue and Morrison Street. 2014. Photo by Byron Beck.

Portland Then/Now: Southwest Park Avenue and Yamhill Street. The center of the city is undergoing some major changes. Major. 

THEN: The year was 1964 and the city was bustling. Perhaps no more so than on Southwest Park Avenue.

On this particular corner was Pigeon Hole Parking. This parking structure looked a bit temporary if not downright scary considering that an old Ford or Chevy could have easily plowed the partition that separated the parking spaces from the ground below.

Just a block down the street was the infamous Embers Nightclub. The upstairs bar and lounge was a hopping hot spot and a great one of the few places it was okay to be yourself, even if yourself just so happened to be gay. 

Downstairs was the boite spot known as the Virginia Cafe which catered to everyone, especially younger folks, in the downtown core.  Both have moved on. Embers is now located on Northwest Broadway and the "V.C." found a new home on Southwest Tenth Avenue.

NOW:  Pigeon Hole Parking is now home to the expansive and always busy Director Park. And Virgina Cafe (one of the longest survivors on this stretch of Southwest Park) is being replaced by the Park Avenue West Tower.

This 30-story, 546,000 square foot mixed-use development is Portland’s newest tower and will include 13 stories of office space, 15 floors of residential units, and feature unobstructed, 360-degree views from virtually every floor. The tower was on hold for a few years, but is on track to be completed in the near future.  

When it is completed, Park Avenue West will be Portland’s third tallest building and is shaping up to be among its greenest. 

 

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