PORTLAND PRESS HERALD DARKROOM
Dilapidated Portland

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    Dilapidated Portland - Portland Press Herald photo courtesy Portland Public Library Special Collections and Archives | of | Share this photo

    1938: Bill Powers stands outside his shack in Shanty Town the day after the City Council decided to evict the squatters and raze the buildings that were built on the Back Bay dump which stretched along the southern edge of the water. Powers and his wife paid $30 for the shack which they had lived in over the winter.

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    1937: This door at City Hall formerly bore the legend 'Welfare Department' but the overwhelmed department which was attempting to deal with a need that was nine times what it was in 1927, renamed itself. Its new name, the paper noted, was more 'in line with the department's policy of calling a spade a spade.'

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    1938: The main street of the so-called Shanty Town which was created by unemployed and poor Portlanders. The city was planning to create a scenic drive along Marginal Way and this haphazard community of shacks was in the way.

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    Dilapidated Portland - Portland Press Herald photo courtesy Portland Public Library Special Collections and Archives | of | Share this photo

    1939: Two tenement houses with alley in between.

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    1939: A rear view of the two tenement houses with an alley in between.

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    1941: Children in soup kitchen, holding tin mugs. Sign in background: "Those that wish bread must have ticket."

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    Dilapidated Portland - Portland Press Herald photo courtesy Portland Public Library Special Collections and Archives | of | Share this photo

    1941: A man and a woman distribute food to children.

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    1948 : This building at 10 Laurel Lane (which no longer exists) housed three families. Its dangerous and unsanitary condition moved city officials to call for its condemnation.

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    Dilapidated Portland - Portland Press Herald photo courtesy Portland Public Library Special Collections and Archives | of | Share this photo

    1948: A group of building inspectors view a brick house with buckled exterior wall. An Evening Express series on substandard housing noted: 'Shocking conditions beyond the knowledge of the average citizen of the city were found in many parts of Portland. Lack of water, toilets shared by many families, bulging walls, falling plaster, homemade electrical wiring, leaking roofs, open cellars, broken and missing window panes and sashes were all found by Evening Express reporters and photographers.'

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    Dilapidated Portland - Portland Press Herald photo courtesy Portland Public Library Special Collections and Archives | of | Share this photo

    1948: Four children and two adults slept in this room. A fire ruined the apartment beneath this one. The kitchen could not heat the whole apartment because of the cold downstairs. There is a window, sash and all, missing in this room.

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    Dilapidated Portland - Portland Press Herald photo courtesy Portland Public Library Special Collections and Archives | of | Share this photo

    1948: A bedroom with a city housing inspector standing to the left.

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    1948: Kitchen sink in a building that was photographed by an Evening Express photographer as part as an exposé on dangerous housing.

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    Dilapidated Portland - Portland Press Herald photo courtesy Portland Public Library Special Collections and Archives | of | Share this photo

    1948: Staircase with broken railing.

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    1948: Evening Express photographers documented substandard housing in a series that was published in December. Living area.

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    1948: Basement views showing toilet paper hanging from pipes and wires, a consequence of the broken and overflowing toilets on the floors above. A baby living in the building was found to have maggots in its legs.

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    1948: Eating area of a kitchen. With only one exception, no addresses of the 'slum dwellings' shown in the series were given and the owners of the buildings were not identified. One owner blamed the tenants for not having enough money to heat their apartments properly.

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    Dilapidated Portland - Portland Press Herald photo courtesy Portland Public Library Special Collections and Archives | of | Share this photo

    1948: The kitchen of a $12 a month apartment. A windstorm blew down part of a chimney and started a leak in the roof. Subsequent rains brought down the ceiling and short-circuited the lights. The stove no longer would draw. The landlord's answer to a request for repairs was 'If you don't like it, get out.'

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    Dilapidated Portland - Portland Press Herald photo courtesy Portland Public Library Special Collections and Archives | of | Share this photo

    1948: Detail of bedroom with missing window. This photograph and the others from 1948 were taken in the month of December.

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    Dilapidated Portland - Portland Press Herald photo courtesy Portland Public Library Special Collections and Archives | of | Share this photo

    1948: Woodframe house, with debris in front yard.

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    1958: View of tenement building.

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    Dilapidated Portland - Portland Press Herald photo courtesy Portland Public Library Special Collections and Archives | of | Share this photo

    1958: Abandoned houses in Bayside

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