Eliot Neighborhood Trivia


Q1: What still in use structure on MLK had a bit part in a 1993 sleeper hit? What was the building? What was the movie? Bonus: What two word line (arguably one of the best in the movie) was uttered by an extra in that scene?

Q2: What used to be at the site of the Nike outlet store? What happened to it?

Q3: What is the name of the park adjoining Tubman School, and why is it hyphenated?


A1: The car wash on MLK and Fargo; Free Willy; “Nice Whale” from a wino walking by.  See it for yourself about 1:36 into the movie.

A2: A  public storage warehouse. It burnt down in the mid 90’s.

A3: Until 1947, this was known as Albina Park, since it is in what was once the City of Albina. In 1941, some residents requested that the park be renamed Mike Lillis Park. Michael Edward Lillis was a police officer on the Albina Park beat who was well-liked in that neighborhood. He had been a strong advocate for the park and the children in that area. Other neighbors felt that the park should keep its original name. In 1947, there was a compromise and since then the park has been named Lillis-Albina Park.

Scene from the movie Free Willy at a carwash on MLK

One thought on “Eliot Neighborhood Trivia

  1. But there is more to the second question! The storage place was originally a furniture company. The owners lived in Eliot and their children attended school here. They owned most of the block I think. Immediately adjacent to the store on Knott was a two-story building that was originally a stage coach roadhouse and bakery. Until Nike acquired the site, the original stables and a very large brick oven (garage sized!), were still behind the building, although seriously decrept. The road house had been converted to SRO-type apartments mostly rented by people who were down but not yet out, if you know what I mean. It was going to be demolished to make way for Nike, but yours truely relocated it one block south to 544 NE Russell. It is listed on the Historic Register due to it being one (if not the only one) of a type of building that was common along MLK at the turn of the 20th Century (it was built in 1912). It now houses 5 apartments and the former bakery storefront is still evident.


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