I am not sure what prompted me, but I thought I’d look for historic photos of the neighborhood in the Portland Archives. Unfortunately, the full archives are only open 10-4 M-F, which are hours that do not work for me. Fortunately, they have a subset of their material online as something called Efiles. I was able to dig up a number of photos. In comparison, I am including Google Street View equivalents (because I was too lazy this weekend to go out and shoot more exact photos myself.)
Looking north on 52nd, at Foster — 1937
Our house is about two or three blocks up, on the right. The auto shop is now a used car lot. The vacant lot is now a kennel for cats and dogs.
Looking west at Foster and 50th — 1937
This is now the fast food intersection. KFC here, Taco Bell across the street, Burger King across the street and out of frame to the left. To the immediate right, also out of frame, is a strip club. I believe we have both four churches and four strip clubs within a few blocks of our place.
Powell and 39th, looking east — 1937
What used to be a pair of gas stations is now a Safeway and a strip-mall.
39th and Hawthorne, looking south — 1965
Two of the building are still there–the Fred Mayer building (just out of frame in the 2008 photo) and the Hawthorne Theater (although I have no idea if that is what they were back in the 60s.) One of the gas stations is a Jiffy Lube and the other is a Washington Mutual.
Hawthorne, looking toward the Bagdad — 1971
The buildings are all still there, The Bagdad looks to be the only business to remain the same.