NEW: Portland (Oregon) 1932-1987

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NEW: Portland (Oregon) 1932-1987

Post by Groceteria » 04 Aug 2019 11:35

This is one I've been wanting to add for quite some time!

https://www.groceteria.com/place/oregon/portland-or/

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Re: NEW: Portland (Oregon) 1932-1987

Post by klkla » 04 Aug 2019 21:13

After reading this I was curious about Tradewell, a chain I remember when I lived in Seattle as a child.

I found this interesting article which barely mentions Tradewell but has the interesting history of a chain called 'Groceteria' of all things.

Not sure if this has already been posted on this message board but hopefully some will find it interesting:

http://ba-kground.com/seattle-groceteri ... well-pt-3/

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Re: NEW: Portland (Oregon) 1932-1987

Post by Groceteria » 04 Aug 2019 22:34

Actually the author of that article is a Seattle historian who has contributed to the message board and interacts with the Twitter feed as well. It’s a great article; he’s done some great research in Seattle.

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Re: NEW: Portland (Oregon) 1932-1987

Post by Andrew T. » 05 Aug 2019 11:43

Wow, this is great!

One of the key elements that stimulated my interest in supermarkets years ago was Beverly Cleary's 1952 children's novel Henry and Beezus. An entire chapter of the book dealt with the opening of the "Colossal Market" in Portland. The store sounded...amazing:
Beverly Cleary wrote: After making sure his bike was still in the shop, Henry moved on. He was still trying to think of something he could do in the Rose Festival parade. Across the street from the supermarket he stopped to look at the new Colossal Market building that had just been finished. It covered a whole city block, and Henry had heard that the market would sell not only meats, groceries, and drugs, but would also have a filling station, a soda fountain, a florist's stand, a beauty shop, a hardware store, and almost anything else you could think of.

TONITE
GRAND OPENING
MODERN ONE-STOP SHOPPING
DELUXE NEW COLOSSAL MARKET
NOW READY TO SERVE YOU
25 FREE DOOR PRIZES 25
FREE SAMPLES
FREE GARDENIAS FOR LADIES
FREE BALLOONS FOR KIDDIES
ENTERTAINMENT!
According to Walking With Ramona: Exploring Beverly Cleary's Portland, the model for the Colossal Market was the Fred Meyer store at Hancock and 41st...that true to the book, covered an entire block and operated from 1931 to 1999. Because of its...well, colossal footprint, it seems that the city and the directory publishers couldn't make up their mind what address to give the location: It was listed variously at 4133, 4145, 4145-4151, and 4161 NE Sandy Blvd, and at 1831 and 1844 NE 41st Ave.

Also interestingly, there was a Safeway store on the other side of Sandy when Fred Meyer opened in the early 1930s. This corroborates the reference in Henry and Beezus to the Colossal Market being "across the street from the supermarket." Yes, Beverly Cleary thought of everything!

Incredibly, she's also still alive today at 103 years old.
"The pale pastels which have been featured in most food stores during the past 20 years are no longer in tune with the mood of the 1970s."
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Re: NEW: Portland (Oregon) 1932-1987

Post by Groceteria » 05 Aug 2019 17:48

Andrew T. wrote:
05 Aug 2019 11:43
Because of its...well, colossal footprint, it seems that the city and the directory publishers couldn't make up their mind what address to give the location: It was listed variously at 4133, 4145, 4145-4151, and 4161 NE Sandy Blvd, and at 1831 and 1844 NE 41st Ave.
Actually, the original Fred Meyer complex at that address was in an expanding and shifting collection of pre-existing buildings, one of which had been a Van de Kamp's bakery and retained its trademark windmill. That's why I left them as separate entries rather than consolidating as I usually do (though I should add notes to the 41st Avenue addresses). The new store with its rooftop parking was built around them (so they could stay open during construction) in sections in about 1949-50.

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Re: NEW: Portland (Oregon) 1932-1987

Post by Andrew T. » 06 Aug 2019 21:38

Groceteria wrote:
05 Aug 2019 17:48
Actually, the original Fred Meyer complex at that address was in an expanding and shifting collection of pre-existing buildings, one of which had been a Van de Kamp's bakery and retained its trademark windmill. That's why I left them as separate entries rather than consolidating as I usually do (though I should add notes to the 41st Avenue addresses). The new store with its rooftop parking was built around them (so they could stay open during construction) in sections in about 1949-50.
Well, that makes the store even more interesting. I wonder whether it was the 1931 opening or the 1950 opening that provided most of the basis for what's in the book? Given the timing, it was probably the latter.

I also wonder what could have been the model for the Portland "Shop-Rite Market" described in Cleary's follow-up novels from the 1980s. Probably anything.
"The pale pastels which have been featured in most food stores during the past 20 years are no longer in tune with the mood of the 1970s."
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Re: NEW: Portland (Oregon) 1932-1987

Post by Andrew T. » 07 Aug 2019 00:00

The Fred Meyer complex might be Portland's most historically-interesting supermarket location, but the two most aesthetically-pleasing supermarkets might be the Safeways at 6125 SE 52nd Avenue and 1335 N Mason St. Both of these are early-1950s buildings with a pylon, barrel roof, and the characteristic ridged brick pattern that virtually all the earliest Safeway pylon stores had on the side! If you've seen a lot of old Safeways, you'll know exactly what I'm talking about:

⋮⋮⋮ ⋮⋮⋮ ⋮⋮⋮ ☰☰☰☰☰☰☰☰☰

52nd Ave is now occupied by Goodwill, while Mason Street is now occupied by Harbor Freight Tools. Both buildings survive in very good condition.
"The pale pastels which have been featured in most food stores during the past 20 years are no longer in tune with the mood of the 1970s."
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Re: NEW: Portland (Oregon) 1932-1987

Post by Super S » 11 Aug 2019 21:16

Andrew T. wrote:
07 Aug 2019 00:00
The Fred Meyer complex might be Portland's most historically-interesting supermarket location, but the two most aesthetically-pleasing supermarkets might be the Safeways at 6125 SE 52nd Avenue and 1335 N Mason St. Both of these are early-1950s buildings with a pylon, barrel roof, and the characteristic ridged brick pattern that virtually all the earliest Safeway pylon stores had on the side! If you've seen a lot of old Safeways, you'll know exactly what I'm talking about:

⋮⋮⋮ ⋮⋮⋮ ⋮⋮⋮ ☰☰☰☰☰☰☰☰☰

52nd Ave is now occupied by Goodwill, while Mason Street is now occupied by Harbor Freight Tools. Both buildings survive in very good condition.
Also interesting was the Fred Meyer at 6939 NE Sandy (which is now a parking lot for a Safeway just to the west at 6901 NE Sandy) There was one house where the owner refused to sell to make way for the store, and Fred Meyer basically built the store around it. A picture can be found here: https://roseway.org/neighborhood-history/

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Re: NEW: Portland (Oregon) 1932-1987

Post by Groceteria » 11 Aug 2019 21:54

Super S wrote:
11 Aug 2019 21:16
Also interesting was the Fred Meyer at 6939 NE Sandy (which is now a parking lot for a Safeway just to the west at 6901 NE Sandy) There was one house where the owner refused to sell to make way for the store, and Fred Meyer basically built the store around it. A picture can be found here: https://roseway.org/neighborhood-history/
I read about that one in Fred Meyer's biography. That was a great story...

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