Larrabee and Albina Then and Now

The Albina Building 1927

The Albina Building, Larrabee and Albina, 1927.  Portland Archives A2009-009.2471.
The Albina Building, Larrabee and Albina, 1927. Portland Archives A2009-009.2471.

This building on the corner of Larrabee (Interstate) and Albina was originally built as a hotel in the late 1890’s or early 1900’s.  The building looks like it was a triangle, however it was actually shaped like a “V”.  At the top of the building, over the corner entrance, are the words “The Albina”.  It appears there is additional text above in the shadows, but it is unreadable – or perhaps it is ornamentation.  In 1929, The Albina was home to the “Ideal Cafeteria” and the “Baxter Apartments”.

Hotel Medley 1945

Hotel Medley 1945.  Portland Archives A2005-001.318
Hotel Medley 1945. Portland Archives A2005-001.318

By 1945 there were a few changes to the building.  The name of the building was removed, the corner entrance was gone, and the primary businesses were “Hotel Medley” and the “Medley Cafe”.  Due to the depression, in 1931 William D Allen and his wife Lillian Medley closed their hotel for African American guests in Northwest Portland and re-opened it here naming it after Lillian.  During World War II it was owned by Stephen Wright and provided hard-to-find lodging for African Americans working for the war effort.

The building to the right is the Gotham Building which is still standing.  To the left you can see a few houses.

Empty Lot 2015

Interstate and Albina 2015
Interstate and Albina 2015

The wonderful building was demolished and is now just an empty lot.  At times it has served as parking, or a Christmas tree stand around the holidays.

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