Before & After: St. Johns 1977: N. Edison at Burlington Ave


Before & After: N. Ivanhoe, 1975


We return to the wasteland of St. Johns in 1975, here at  the corner of N. Ivanhoe and  John St. Today a USPS office and safeway occupy the vacant lot.

Before & After: Vermont @ 30th 1975

This picture reminds me how few I have of SW. A real shame as we can see here, the changes are more subtle but still interesting.

Some things I noticed: the old bus stop signs and shelter. Passing was allowed in strange places in 1975. This intersection was signalized and curbed probably shortly after. The fire hydrant is unchanged. The powerlines are more annoying now.

Before & After: Broadway @ Glisan, 1978


Here is another view of the “temporary” Trailways intercity bus station erected on this long-vacant lot on NW Broadway at Glisan St. This was not used for Greyhound. That station, that I have previously written about, was located on SW Taylor. The two were combined upon completion of the present bus station in 1984. This is clearly an example of how low property values had fallen in Old Town by this time. Although nominally temporary, this building looks to be semi-permanent with landscaping and would be more at home on a rural byway rather than a major city-center.


Before & After: Division @ 32nd, 1977

Such a shame what happened to this once humble neighborhood, now teeming with corporate relocates and culture vultures. I really think someday we will regret all this sloppy construction.


Before & After: N Salem Ave @ Burlington, 1979

There’s just something timeless about these Weston Special apartments hanging on throughout the city, practically unchanged in the 40 years since construction. Shadows of a different age when the city was emptying out and land was cheap, the developments were spearheaded by local businessman and philanthropist, Joe Weston. Today, with a staff of 175 running American Property Management, he holds a small empire of affordable housing, self-storage and office space scattered across Portland. With wildly inaccurate names like “The Berkshire”, you can spot his affordable housing properties a mile away by their rich yellow-gold paint, recycled brick veneer, free-form juniper bushes surrounded broad swaths of barren bark dust and surface parking. Being utilitarian and cheap in nature, there is significant pressure to redevelop these quadplexes into higher density housing. And with that some of the last remaining cheap rents in the city evaporate into thin air.