Portland, Eugene and Eastern streetcar for the Fairmount Street run, parked at the beginning of the line near the Southern Pacific Railroad Depot on the north end of Willamette Street. This is just prior to the construction of the Oregon Electric Station on the N.E. corner of this intersection. Two crew members pose in foreground. The tower of Shelton-McMurphey residence on a now forested Skinners Butte can be seen in background. The small cast concrete building on the right still stands, though enlarged with a second floor and rear extension it now houses the Jackalope Lounge after being a Chinese Restaurant for many years.
Similar to Villard Hall in its detailing, the observatory was built in 1889 atop Skinners Butte by local builder W. H. Abrams from a design by Portland Architect Warren H. Williams (Who also designed Villard Hall, the second building on the U of O campus). The Observatory cost the University $4782.78. Part of this coast was the $1,000 paid to Dr. T.W. Shelton who originally owned the property the observatory was built on. (A side note: Dr. Shelton at first did not want to sell but changed his mind in September 1888. Perhaps as he needed funds to rebuild his not yet completed mansion on the south side of the Butte after it had been burned nearly to the ground by a disgruntled worker.) Subject to vandalism and handicapped by its distance from the University, the building was abandoned by June 1898. In the early morning hours of May 12, 1905, the Observatory was covertly demolished with several charges of dynamite as it had become a serious liability to the University. If you walk to the view point at the east end of the parking lot atop the butte you can still the foundation of the structure.
In a previous post I mentioned the old University of Oregon Observatory that once stood on top of Skinners Butte. This photo of the Shelton-McMurphy-Johnson house from about 1895 shows the observatory perched on the east side of the hill top. Western Oregon with so many cloudy nights was not a good place for an astronomy class so after only a few years, use by the University was discontinued. It was soon thought of as a liability and was finally dynamited early one Sunday morning in 1905. I should note that the staircase seen in this photo leading from the front of the house down to the lower terrace is currently being restored by the City of Eugene. Unlike the original staircase which was off set to the west the new stairs will lead straight down from the original front steps to the porch and extend all the way to the street. Hopefully they will accommodate the remaining grade for the old carriage drive that once passed along the front of the property.
In the November 10th post I posted a view of Broadway at Oak St. looking east. Today's post is a view of the same intersection in 1924 looking north down Oak St. The building on the left is the IOOF (White Temple) Building. Beyond that is the Park blocks, the 1898 Courthouse and finally Skinners Butte.
This fabulous commercial building was built in 1888 by Albert Hovey on the N.E. corner of 8th and Willamette and was known as the Hovey Block. For many years it housed a Bank on the ground floor and offices of attorney's George Skipworth, Charles Wintermier and George Doris. Other tenants were Isaac Bingham Land Company and J.A. Mauwer Jewelers. The building was razed about 1920 after only standing 30 years. A very ugly parking structure has stood on this spot for the last 30 years. There certainly were a lot more people downtown 120 years ago than there are today.....
Here is a great shot of East Broadway from one of the upper floors of the old Eugene Hotel. The minor Building has been completed to the left. The roof of the Quackenbush building is just below it. Evidently the Texaco station on the corner has not been built yet as the lot appears empty. Downtown can be seen in the distance.
This view was most likely taken from the east side of Skinners Butte looking west toward the south approach of the second incarnation of the Ferry street Bridge. The large field in the left foreground is stacked with cord wood! One would think this would have supplied Eugene with fuel all winter. The only recognizable structure is the bungalow on the far right second from the bottom. It now sits on the edge of the cut made in the 1950's for the west entrance to the current bridge. Notice the north side of the Willamette is still undeveloped when this shot was taken.
This circa 1915 aerial view shows a very tree-less and unfamiliar view of Skinners Butte. It is hard to realize that the Butte was bare up until about 100 years ago. On the south side can be seen the Eugene "E" and the University of Oregon "O". Also visible atop the Butte are the remnants of the old University of Oregon observatory which was demolished in 1902 (some of the foundation still exists to the east of the parking area). To the east is the resevior which has not yet been covered. On the lower flank of the Butte is the familiar Shelton McMurphy house with its now mature landscaping already surprisingly well established (notice the grounds extended to the east where the Yapooha Terrace now stands). The family had an unfortunate view of a string of warehouse situated just north of the tracks. The park like grounds surrounding the Southern Pacific Depot were still intact when this shot was taken.
Here is the main entrance of the then recently completed Eugene Hotel with the Hotel shuttle bus parked in front. This view was taken circa 1928 and illustrates how little the structure has changed over the last 8o-odd years.
This shot was taken one block West of the one in yesterdays post, from the intersection of Willamette and Broadway. Nothing on this block remains today. The four story "White Temple" building on the left was replaced with the First National (Now Wells Fargo)Bank Building circa 1960. All the others, substantial brick buildings were torn town and replaced with very mediocre one story store fronts in the 1950's.
What a shame the two nice turn of the century commercial buildings on the NE and SE corners of Broadway and Oak were demolished and replaced the with ugly 1970's concrete monstrosities that stand there today. This street scape lost all is continuity with their removal. At the time this photo was taken in October 1928 they housed two competing grocery stores, one being Safeway. Further down Broadway on the right can be seen the Minor Building which at that time housed Applegate's Furniture on the ground floor. Other business's on the block were Crown Drug and Jensen's Cafe.
This little Eastlake gem once stood at 165 W 5th Avenue, now the location of the Lane county jail. It was built in the 1880's by Charles F. Littlefield and was one of many charming Victorian homes that once stood on W 5th St. I have no other information on Mr. Littlefield other than he passed away in Polk County in July 1915. The second floor porch with it round opening is of particular note.
This panorama of East Eugene featuring Franklin Blvd. appears to have been taken from the Hendrick's Park vicinity. There is virtually nothing familiar in this shot until you look to the left of the near smokestack and see the roof of Villard Hall on the University of Oregon campus. The Eugene Hotel and the Minor Building loom in the distance along with Skinners Butte to the right. The open area in the foreground is approximately where Joe Romania Chevrolet was to locate years later with is distinctive "Fish Bowel" Showroom. Most of what you see in this shot was replaced in the 1950's and 60's with restaurants and Motels to accommodate travelers from the newly completed Interstate I-5.
Here is a slightly later view of the Eugene Hotel looking South East showing a closer view of the great hanging neon sigh. Notice all the other neon signage around and on top of the building. Also to the right is the Texaco service station mentioned in the November 2 post. This site has been a parking lot for many years now.
This view of the then new Lane County courthouse was taken from the park blocks looking N.E. Notice this was before the large 1970's addition to the south of the building as the "quansite" awning was still in place. Also notice all the old beat up cars parked downtown!
The Osborn Hotel was built in 1910 on the N.W. corner of 8th and Pearl streets. The main entrance faced 8th Ave. It was Eugene's largest and finest Hotel until the completion of the Eugene Hotel in 1925. The Osborn had both ladies and gentleman's parlors which were elaborately furnished, a billiard room and a huge dining room. Several pieces from the Osborn, namely the beautiful Chinese chair are now in the collection of the Lane County Pioneer Museum.
Here is a day time view of East Broadway looking toward the view point of yesterdays post. This shot was probably taken a decade earlier judging buy the age of the cars. The two major buildings on the left are the Eugene Hotel and the Medical- Dental Building on the next block. In yesterdays post I surmised that the S.W. corner of Broadway and Pearl was a parking lot as it remains to this day. It appears there was a Texaco Station in operation when this photo was taken. At the far right can be seen the building that now houses Lee Travel which then was home to a Dry Cleaners. In the distance can be seen the White Temple which is featured in an earlier post. Out of view to the right would be the First Baptist Church which now houses the Shedd.
I love this shot of East Broadway at night (Probably late 50's). All the neon makes makes it look like the "Happening" part of town. On the right is the 1902 Quackenbush building and the building that now houses Ambrosia. It looks like the corner was a surface parking lot even then. Next is the Eugene Hotel with its neon sign still hanging diagonally over the intersection of Pearl and Broadway. The one story buildings on the left are probably today's existing buildings still in some semblance of their original configuration.