Rare real estate maps of Portland Oregon

E. Quackenbush, President / Busong & Co., Map Engravers, Map of Piedmont PORTLAND OREGON. Portland, ca. 1901. [and on verso:] J. Thornburn Ross / C. H. Crocker Co. Lith., MAP OF PORTLAND OREGON. Portland, 1901.
Maps printed in color on recto and verso of 32"h x 29"w sheet. Both sides with minor pencil annotations. Fold reinforcements and edge repairs, and Portland city plan appears to have an extremely fine layer of tissue added for stability.

A very rare promotional plan for part of the Piedmont development in Portland, Oregon, backed by a large plan of the city.

I quote extensively from the web site of the Piedmont Neighborhood Association:

“The Piedmont subdivision was platted in 1889 by Edward Quackenbush and promoted in an early flyer as “The Emerald, Portland’s Evergreen Suburb, Devoted Exclusively to Dwellings, A Place of Homes.” The original subdivision is now known as “Historic Piedmont”, and includes parts of the Humboldt and King Neighborhoods, as well as the modern Piedmont neighborhood south of Rosa Parks Way (formerly Portland Boulevard).


“The quarter section of land which later became Piedmont was granted to Henry Walsh by the United States Government on March 10, 1866. Pursuant to an 1885 act of Congress, this land was a Bounty Land Claim for his military service in the Mexican-American War. After changing hands several times between 1870 and 1888 with many legal questions over ownership, the entire parcel was sold for $24,000 to The Investment Company on June 22, 1888.


“Before this purchase, The Investment Company was incorporated on October 1, 1887, by Edward Quackenbush, William M. Ladd, William Wadhams, and S. P. Lee with the primary intention of investing $25,000 in real estate. This tract was called “Piedmont” due to its topography and mountain views. The Investment Company invited the Portland and Vancouver Railway Company to extend its tracks to Piedmont. This was done by deeding the railway company a 20 foot strip of land along Piedmont’s eastern edge under the condition that a railway line be built and maintained within that strip which is now Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard. In September 1888, the first rails were laid and ran east of the Piedmont Subdivision up to Portland Boulevard (now named Rosa Parks Way) where the route angled northeast into the Woodlawn area and on to the Columbia River.


“On October 15, 1889 Piedmont was officially platted and deed restrictions and conditions of sales recorded for those desiring to settle in perhaps Portland’s first planned community. The plat included 15 feet wide alleys that ran north to south. All water, gas, and sewer pipes as well as all electric, telegraph, and telephone lines except where absolutely necessary for street lights, were confined to the alleys. Electric and horse cars were allowed on any street as long as there was consent of two-thirds of the street’s property owners. The electric system was provided through an exclusive contract between The Investment Company and the City of Albina. This franchise was the last civic act of the independent City of Albina before it incorporated with Portland and East Portland in 1891.


“The Investment Company also established a local water system to serve the Piedmont area. The Company drilled a 200 foot well and erected a large wooded water tower on Portland Boulevard and Williams Avenue. The structure itself became a well-known landmark. The water tower was over 100 foot high and also contained an observation deck and an assembly hall. The water tower was destroyed in 1917 by an act of arson.


“The amenities provided by the developers were accompanied with development regulations and deed restrictions that were designed to create a high quality, strictly residential neighborhood. Homes had to be built at least 25’ from the street and 15’ from the side lot line. A minimum construction price for a house was set, depending on the lot, at $2,500 or $3,000. Industrial and commercial buildings were excluded from the neighborhood. Also evident is the strict prohibitionist viewpoint of Edward Quackenbush, president of The Investment Company and organizer of the Portland Anti-Saloon League, which precluded any piece of Piedmont property to be used “for the purpose of manufacturing or vending intoxicating liquors for drinking purposes.” The Piedmont Subdivision was one of the first instances of such amenities and regulations in the Albina community. Other areas that developed in this similar pattern are Irvington and Mock’s Crest Subdivision in the Arbor Lodge Neighborhood.


“Development of the entire subdivision was rapid. Between 1891 and 1907, each of the boundary streets were extended, except Commercial Avenue. By 1909, over 140 dwellings had been erected. The residents were primarily upper-middle class professionals who owned their own homes. Most of the workers commuted into Portland, but a few were employed by the Swift Meat Packing Company and the Monarch Lumber Mill, both located in the Kenton neighborhood along the Columbia Slough.


“The pattern of primarily upper-middle class residents remained up until the 1940’s. During the second World War, Kaiser Shipbuilding Corporation recruited large numbers of workers into the area. Quite a few of these workers moved into the Piedmont area to be close to the shipyards at Swan Island. This introduced more renters and the area was no longer strictly owner occupied.


“Overall, most of the original large, single family dwellings remain in good condition. There has been very little incompatible mall development in the heart of the Piedmont Subdivision; less than ten structures. There have been about 100 houses scattered throughout the district, built between 1940 and 1967 that are compatible with the early homes. With the exception of the Piedmont Presbyterian Church and commercial structures along Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and Killingsworth Street, the area is exclusively a residential neighborhood. The houses in the Piedmont Subdivision were originally owned by upper-middle income residents.”

The promotional plan is undated, but the plan of Portland on the opposite side bears a copyright date of 1901.

OCLC 56900204 gives institutional holdings of the city plan at Harvard, Oregon Historical Society, State Library of Oregon, and Portland State University. I find no record of the Piedmont plat.