Friday, March 27, 2009

Good Old Days?

Cast iron and I have a love at first site relationship. I love the period, the style and detail. I'd love to be able to go back and lobby to save all the buildings that have been lost, but the real question is, would anyone listen? Would I be man enough to even walk around in the old town district back then? These buildings have been so romanticized in their short life span (some less than 50 years) its easy to forget that many of them were poorly maintained and possibly damaged beyond saving. But in the end, hind site is 20/20 and we are left to lament the loss of these once grand structures. Minor White's lens romanticized these buildings so much its hard for us today to realize that there where more than a few issues.
Minor White is to dilapidated buildings as a glamor photographer is to unattractive people.
circa 1939

The reality is clear with the Moore Produce Company,
demolished 1954, photo circa 1953

Allen Music store, demolished for the World Trade Center. The building in the bottom right corner is the Mikado Block which is still standing.

The much beloved (and now restored) New Market Theater

Photos from U of O's Building Oregon Collection.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Stephens House

Located at 1825 SE 12th is one of Portland's oldest surviving homes. Built originally on the the river's edge in 1862 by James Stephens, who is credited with running the city's first ferry, and also "founding" East Portland. In 1845 Stephens acquired what is now East Portland from Dr. McLoughlin for $200 dollars. With inflation, that comes out to about $4400, which is still quite a deal. The house was moved in 1901 to its present day location, and during WWII it was divided into apartments for shipyard workers.

James and Elizabeth's grave in the Lone Fir cemetery, I think a Twilight fan visited the grave the previous night due to the tulips tied with black lace and the remnants of a candle.

James' father, the first interment in the cemetery

Located east of the Stephens plot is The Lone Fir.