September 23rd, 2022 Portland Abandoned Buildings Drive
October 4th, 2022
On the morning of September 23rd, 2022 I decided on a whim to go on a drive to Portland to visit some old haunts of mine. As some of you may know, I used to live in Portland proper in just about every quadrant (except for NW.) The city has changed a lot in the time I have lived in the Portland area, and I wanted to see what has changed over the past decade. This has resulted in both relief and heartbreak- it is nice to see prior homes of mine still intact, but tragic to see old familiar businesses and neighborhoods torn up and looking nothing like they used to. It's definitely a bittersweet sensation, but I wanted to share some of the photographs I took of abandoned buildings I came across while driving. This will not be the last entry on the subject- I actually came up with this idea while driving and coming across a couple of abandoned buildings, and realized how picturesque they appeared. Some people love nature photography, but I love urban decay and scenes of everyday life.
Lindbergh's Beach, Swan Island
Is supposedly closed, but there were many tents along the beach. I wouldn't swim in the river though- the old shipyards at Swan Island leached lead and various other heavy metals into the water. That is why the sand "sparkles."
McDonald's, Swan Island
I went to this drive-thru about three years ago but it is now shuttered.
Located on the corner of Wall Avenue and Lombard Street. I used to frequent this 7-Eleven and it was always a bit sketch. To the left, which is now an empty lot, used to be a crack house/apartment building that was torn down a couple of years ago.
Dollar Tree, St. Johns
My apologies for the terrible image with glare. This Dollar Tree was open as recently as 2020, but is now boarded up and vandalized.
Patti's Home Plate Café, St. Johns
It was sad to see this place go, but it surprised no-one. It was a mixture of thrift store and diner- while you sat at the counter eating your eggs and undercooked hash browns, you could look back and see what wares they had for sale. The smell was that of musty books and grease- all the items for sale had caked on grease and dust, and left your hands with a film that only degreaser could remove. It felt like going to a hoarder's house and having them cook breakfast for you.
Unknown Soft Serve Stand, Northwest Portland
This is an abandoned soft serve stand located at the intersection of Germantown Road and Skyline Boulevard in Northwest Portland. Mysteriously, every Christmas there are lights and a tree put up in the building, so somebody still owns and maintains the property. I feel that this location would be PERFECT for a food stand, but there are perhaps other reasons why this place is no longer open.
To the left is a video that I produced on TikTok and posted to YouTube shorts. Includes some video I also took of these abandoned spots.
As mentioned prior, this will not be the only piece I write on abandoned buildings in Portland. I know of many, many more places but had limited time that day as it was a last minute trip. Do you have any recommendations? If so, please email me at email@example.com and I will give you credit for recommending a location.