CHANGES THROUGH TIME
Steve Sauer and Kevin Wellnitz
The block located between NE Broadway and NE Sandy and NE 42nd and NE 43rd is in the heart of the business core in the Hollywood district. Many of the neighborhoods prominent businesses and icons have called this block home at one time including the original home of Steigerwald Dairy (7UP sign), the Hollywood Library, and the Hollywood Boosters Association. Paulsen's Pharmacy and Hollywood Burger Bar continue to operate on this block.
Prior to the establishment of the Hollywood Neighborhood, Eastern Portland was a transportation crossroads and home to members of the Kilickitat and Multnomah Tribes. In 1850 the East Side of Portland was divided by grids into land claims. The 160acre land claim of Irish immigrant John Quinn includes the present day Hollywood area.
The advent of the streetcar in the early 20th century connected the East Side to downtown and sparked new construction in the vacant Hollywood area. There were no mercantile establishments west of 42nd street before 1912 with the typical block supporting an average of only two houses. The Vincent Business addition on the NE corner of 43rd and Sandy started construction in 1913 and was the tallest building in Rose City Park at the time. The trolley hub built in the 1920s, now the Burger Bar building, attracted both businesses and residential homes to spring up in the area.
In 1926, voters approved a bond to improve the roads in hopes of increasing traffic flow thereby stimulating the business economy. New business opportunities brought by the popularity of the automobile quickly filled the block with shops and homes. The Oregon State Bank building on the corner of 42nd and Sandy was built in 1926 and featured a vault and personal safety deposit boxes. The Depression slowed growth on the block. The only change included JC Penny's moving into the Kelly Building.
Post World War II brought a commercial boom to the area as businesses began to replace houses. The block reached the height of its growth in the late 1950s as commercial development and parking filled the block. Growth of the area finally slowed in the 1960s when other shopping centers such as Lloyd Center opened its doors.
Though the block has seen many changes over time Paulsen's Pharmacy has remained a constant presence in the neighborhood, opening as Nichol's in 1918 and changing to Paulsen's in 1923. Famous for having an operating 1920s style soda fountain, Paulsen's offers old style customer service along with all the latest in consumer products. The pharmacy retains the title as the longest continuously running business in Rose City Park. The Burger Bar established in 1954 is another long time resident on the block. Owner operated by Inka and Craig Elliott, the restaurant has served the areas regulars and tourists for over 40 years.
Today the block stands as a mix of the old and new. The Oregon State Bank and Vincent buildings on the two corners of Sandy serve as reminders of the past while grocery chain Trader Joe's, and newcomer Savory Tart show evidence of the constant evolution of the block.