Ghost Signs – Jefferson West Apartments (Cordova Hotel)

The businesses in this building at SW 11th and Jefferson began to dwindle and vanish right around the time I moved to Portland. The cheap apartments above the storefronts emptied out as well, being replaced by units in the Jeffrey a few blocks away.

Formerly home to the divey River City Saloon, a salon, a mail center, and a copy shop, one of the corner storefronts also served as an art and civic space called Field Work during the years between the closing of the businesses and the end of the story for the building.

I noticed a big bite had been taken out of the corner of the block in late August, exposing the interiors of some of the old apartments.

The rest has been coming down throughout September. Eventually the lot will be cleared and a new 15-story student housing development will be erected. Unfortunately, it follows the trend in private student housing of being heinously overpriced at a thousand a month for a shared room, and three hundred more if you’d like a private studio.

Whether or not the new development will be particularly useful to anyone other than transfer students with wealthy parents, it’s good to see the block redeveloped. If nothing else the luxury accommodations should soak up the moneyed kids and leave more of the older and/or PSU owned cheaper housing stock available for others; and the new construction will revitalize several block faces that have been empty and moribund for the better part of a decade.

The demolition exposed a painted sign on one of the formerly hidden walls of one of the original buildings in the conglomorate. Presumably this advertised the Cordova Hotel that was a historical occupant of the site. Besides the hotel, the building also played past host to Reed’s classrooms, several music venues, and a porno theater.

The Cars of Others – 196x Austin Seven, 1968 Plymouth Valiant, 199x Nissan NX

I’m not quite sure what year this lovely right hand drive Austin Seven (better known as the Morris Mini) is. Given its branding it predates 1962 since that year is when the Seven brand was dropped. The interior switch panel visible inside through the rear window places it as a 1960 or later model since the 1959 had a flat stamped panel rather than the later recessed one.

The 1959 Mini Registry site was very helpful in narrowing the year range, but unfortunately there’s not such an exhaustive reference for 1960-1961 models so I couldn’t peg it exactly.

It took me a while to identify this one, I placed it as mid-60s initially but it’s actually a 1968 model. A 1968 Plymouth Valiant Signet, to be exact. Neat to see something like this still on the road today, given the lack of collectibility such a mundane people mover has compared to its sportier contemporaries.

The strange looking Nissan NX was a flash in the pan for the North American market, only being sold between 1991 and 1993. I’d never seen one before and figured it must have been a grey market import at first. No idea what the exact year is since there’s precious little information available about this model’s variations over the years online.

Locked Up

Got 20 doors of the lockers from Hollywood Bowl installed in their new home and cleaned up a bit.

The ‘Entrance’ sign from the parking garage fits nicely up on top too.

I need to rewire it at some point since it still has the original crumbling cloth insulated wiring inside. Once it’s safely functional I’d like to hang it somewhere the layers of stickers and tags on the back can be shown off too.

Old dot matrix printed info card gives an idea of how long it’s been since some of these had been rented.

Lovely chrome, and painted logo.

The banks of lockers I bought are all probably all from when the place opened as Timber Lanes in 1962, based on their original color scheme. They started life a pale brownish color, with alternating rows painted the orange seen on the back of this door. At some point they were all painted over with the current color to match the newer Brunswick 2000 style lockers that were added to the space. I think I’d like to pick out a period appropriate palette and do a scatter of different colors on the doors eventually.

The objects in their natural habitat, prior to removal for preservation. I was a little surprised at the absence of certain prolific taggers’ work from the back of the entrance sign.

I also made some progress on another project. The new CNC cut control panel and Lexan top plate for my Konami Simpsons cab came in a little while ago. I got a chance to install it last week! Here’s the old…

…and the new…

So much better. The control panel art is a used original piece I picked up off someone on the KLOV forums, up close you can see an insane difference in the print quality and sharpness compared to the reproduction piece on the old control panel.