The History of Eastport Plaza
TIMELINE - see below for 'FUN HISTORICAL FACTS'
Current SF Leasable space = 406,661
HISTORICAL FUN FACTS
Original developer/owner: E. Phillip Lyon & Edward Meltzer broke ground to begin building Eastport Plaza Shopping Center and officially opened for business in October 1960.
One of the major construction projects of the Pacific Northwest – the $5million Eastport Plaza – systematically moved into high gear last week during its grand opening October 27, 1060.
Thousands of Portlanders and visitors from throughout Oregon and Southern Washington strolled leisurely among the nearly 40 stores ready for the opening.
Thousands of dollars worth of gifts and prizes were given away and grand opening sales and bargains continued to lure thousands to the gigantic one-stop shopping complex.
Among the most attracting features shoppers and visitors alike were impressed with was the 400 foot long covered mall – longest such creation in the Pacific Northwest.
High over the heads of the Plaza visitors, a shell shaped reinforced concrete roof which admits light but no rain or snow shields the walkers below as they safely walk from one store to another without care of inclement weather.
On the mall deck, several planters with blooms, evergreens and tolerant plants beautify the storefronts and provide a restful oasis like aura for the passersby. Around each planter, rib like stationary benches for pedestrians are situated and our shoppers could relax.
All that glitters is not gold and not all that may be seen from the mall is entirety of the Plaza Shopping area for, in actuality, there are three floors of displays around the Plaza. Some of the stores have second floors and several have lower levels. In the case of the latter, the walls are only temporary and can be moved back for latter expansion.
Surrounding the giant Shopping Center are marked off parking stall capable of handling 2,100 automobiles no farther than just a few feet from the nearest store.
In its entirety, the Eastport Plaza Shopping Center is located on 29 acres of land so situated that 170,000 East Portland shoppers are with a 3 ½ mile radius of the center.
Construction of the Eastport Plaza Shopping Center did not evolve from a flash-in-the-pan daydream, but through a carefully planned series of moves based on architectural and engineering know how.
The Portland Beaver baseball team with the idea of moving its franchise to the southeast side when a new baseball stadium was built purchased once the Plaza site.
However, costs, it turned out, became prohibitive and eventually the site was sold. Being miles away from downtown Portland, it seemed conceivable that with as many homes that were being constructed in East Portland, the proximity of nearby cities and towns in outer Multnomah and Clackamas counties, with the increasing amount of vehicular traffic passing the site everyday, that a multi million dollar, one stop Shopping Center was feasible.
Architects and engineers were consulted and it was learned that 17,000 cars daily pass the site on 82nd Avenue between 6:am and 6:pm, and that another 12,000 cars daily pass the corner of 82nd Avenue and Powell Boulevard during the same hours.
Everything looked favorable for the building of the Eastport Plaza Shopping Center on October 20, 1959; construction of the Plaza by the Anderson – Westfall Construction Company began.
For the past 11 months, some 150 men, including contractors and subcontractors spent about 250,000 man-hours in erecting the Pacific Northwest’s second largest Shopping Center.
Eastport Plaza Shopping Center Visit Planned by Famous Sailor! Popeye the Sailor Man will cruise Eastport Plaza’s 400 foot mall handing out Dock Dollars on behalf of the Docks Development Bonds measure on the election ballot.
The Dollars will be representative of economic benefits of improved docks and shipping in Portland.
The crusty spinach eater has been cruising various sections of Portland during the week and will climax his junket sailing right in to the 4th entrance of the City Hall!
In the Pacific Northwest has heard about the Eastport Plaza Shopping Center, but few will mount a pair of roller skates on Portland’s west side, skate across the Ross Island bridge and out the Avenues to the new one-stop Shopping Center, because they’re excited about it. Bill Davis, center, disc jockey for radio station KGW, did just that last week however. He got welcome and cup of coffee from Louis Perkins of JC Penny’s and Clarence Miller of Lipmans.
Eastport Plaza got off to a good start during their first Christmas; crowds were shopping at almost every hour of the day. It was so easy to shop at Eastport, and the selections were wonderful. Everyone seemed to be having a good time, and was finding exactly what they wanted. Even the weather cooperated to make this Christmas easy on shoppers. Beautiful Christmas carols floated through the center, coupled with Santa, the cinnamon bear plus a lot of good natured shoppers, really gave a festive air to the whole center.
Crowds waiting store openings, during recent Washington Birthday Sale in Eastport Plaza Shopping Center. Thousands of customers responded to the appeal of Eastport merchants to come and join in their first celebration of this big day which has become synonymous with exceptional values. Everyone had a good time and the hundreds of outstanding buys offered made countless new friends and customers for this beautiful new shopping center. Pre-Easter sale slated for this weekend is expected to again attract similar crowds of buyers eager to get the most for their shopping dollars.
The Portland Zoo Comes To You! Eastport Plaza Shopping Center extends a very special invitation to you, to bring your family, bring your neighbors, bring your relatives….don’t miss the big animal show, when the Portland Zoo comes to you at Eastport Plaza Shopping Center.
Eastport Plaza Grand Opening of Firestone Store was a fun occasion, with photographers and many well-wishers. Clyde Shreve the manager of Firestone Store was joined by Louis Perkins, Manager of JC Penny’s, Val Bachleitner representative of Western Airlines Counselaire, George Kohlert, manager of Lipmans and of course the first manager of Eastport Plaza, Peggy Boehnke.
Eastport Plaza celebrated its second birthday! Including merchant’s sales throughout the indoor mall.
Eastport Plaza covers 22 acres
It has a total of 183,576 square feet of buildings, with a total of 293,211 square feet of floor area.
951,783 feet of parking area and 77,122 square feet of mall and sidewalk.
Stores were open three nights a week for late shoppers, maintaining hours of 10 to 9 Mon., Thurs. and Friday, and 10 to 6 other days.
Special activities were planned at least once a month for the entertainment of customers, such as organ recitals, Easter parades, costume contests, dog, cat and flower shows, etc…
There were 40 stores, including large international chains as well as smaller specialty shops.
Lipman’s notes 115th Birthday: The Lipman stores were founded 115 years ago in Sacramento, CA but moved to Portland six years later. They are owned by a parent organization, Roberts Brothers, who established a retail business in Portland 75 years previous. This firm was owned by two great grandsons, Bill and Richard H. Roberts. The four Lipman stores are in Salem, Corvallis, downtown Portland and Eastport Plaza.
Timberliner Chorus Appears at Eastport Plaza! These melodious fellows are none other than the Mt. Hood Timberliners, and were members of the Society for the Preservation and Encouragement of Barber Shop Quartet Singing in America, of which there were 30,000 members and 675 chapters.
Peggy Boehnke observed her second year as manager of the Eastport Plaza Shopping Center. She was in advertising and promotions fields since she was 18 years old.
Eastport Plaza celebrates its 3rd Birthday! This included Entertainment, Music, Free Rides, Imported Car Displays, and the go-go Ball Contest Finals.
Santa came to Eastport Plaza and guess what? Five beautiful reindeer visited given patrons a chance to learn all about them!
Famed Clydesdales to Appear at Eastport Plaza Shopping Center! There’s a big thrill coming to Eastport Plaza Shopping Center on Wednesday September 22, 1965. The world-renowned Clydesdales are headed this way. Eight thundering tons of superbly trained and immaculately groomed horseflesh. In Grandfather’s day, they were actually used to deliver barrels of Budweiser. They’re Champions of Champions ….direct descendants of the powerful draft horses that originated in Clydesdale, Scotland. Their driver controls them by just a finger tip touch on the reins…yet they pull the gleaming six thousand pound wagon as if it were a toy. These beautiful animals, dwarfing any ordinary horse that stands next to them. Even their glistening, brass, trimmed harness is a sight to behold…worth ten thousand dollars alone! It isn’t often these days that you get a chance to admire such magnificent animals, although maybe you’ve watched them on TV. For a rare treat, be sure to take your family to see famous Budweiser Clydesdales at Eastport Plaza Shopping Center.
Santa came to Eastport and along with him came his reindeer! True to his nature of his fun-filled nature, Spud Murphy got into Santa’s Corral with all of the reindeer and let out a war-whoop, just for our benefit….The wonderful old guy takes care of Santa’s reindeer for him while they are at Eastport Plaza….and he never leaves them, either. Spud is dedicated to making other people happy regardless of cost or inconvenience. All his life he has been a lovable clown that has managed to capture the hearts of young and old alike.
Eastport Merchants Elect New Officers
The Eastport Plaza Merchants Association held their annual Board of Director’s meeting for the purpose of electing new officers for the year. Britton Smith, manager of Newberry’s was elected president; Bob O’Connell, manager of J.C. Penney’s vice-president; Phil Stewart, manager of Fabric House, secretary, and Bill Gaffney, manager of Pay N Save, treasurer. Newly elected to fill vacancies on the Board of Directors are Britton Smith, Bob O’Connell, Phil Stewart, and Ed Jose. The four members join the existing Board, which includes Dr. Chester O. Herrmann, Bill Gaffney, Jack Hargrove, Joe Herbst, and Harris Rosendahl.
Scouts Celebrate Anniversary at Eastport Plaza Shopping Center
The Sunrise District of the Columbia Pacific Council, Boy Scouts of America, is celebrating the 56th birthday of the Boy Scouts in a big way! They are moving into Eastport Plaza Shopping Center for their gigantic EASTPORT-O-RAMA, scheduled to happen on the Mall during the week of February 6 thru 12.
Window displays will be the order of the week, as Scouts display exhibits depicting the story of Scouting with flags, projects and achievements.
On Saturday, February 12, the boys, ranging in age from the eight-year-old Cub Scouts right on up to their bigger brothers in Explorer Scouts, will put on live outdoor demonstrations on the main Mall.
Using all their scouting knowledge, the boys will assemble towers, bridges to teach their audience a thing or two about outdoor cooking and put on a multitude of demonstrations that are part of their program.
The Saturday demonstration will also include the awards at about 1:30pm. Chairman for the big EASTPORT-O-RAMA IS Mr Tony D’Annibale. Don’t’ miss the big event, it promises to be one of the finest programs the Scouts have put on for Southeast residents and visitors.
Eastport Moonlight Madness Event Greatest Ever
Port of the huge crowd, which thronged the Eastport Plaza Shopping Center, awaiting start of recent Moonlight Madness sale. Merchants reported greater traffic ad increased sales over any previous moonlight event. Perfect weather and exceptional bargains contributed to success of this semi-annual Eastport activity.
Rusty Nails doesn’t know it yet, but he is WANTED. Alias Doc Rusty, Hob Nails, and Rusty the Clown, any information leading to his whereabouts will certainly be to your advantage. If seen approach with caution, with sense-o-humor ready to fire. Rusty Nails is wanted to help celebrate the sixth anniversary of Eastport Plaza Friday October 14!!
(Jim Allen (b. 1928 or 1929) was the host of various children's television shows 1957–1972 in the Portland, Oregon, U.S. television market. His program on KPTV was the second-longest running children's program in Portland, second only to Ramblin' Rod Anders.
He hosted shows on KOIN, KPTV, and KATU as "Rusty Nails" (originally known as Rusty the Clown), and at last report, still makes local appearances.
The Simpsons creator Matt Groening has stated in Simpsons DVD commentaries that his Krusty the Clown character is largely inspired by Rusty Nails, whom Groening watched while growing up in Portland).
Camp Fire Girls Visit Eastport Plaza Shopping Center
This week Camp Fire Girls throughout the country will be joining in various special activities as part of their 62nd Birthday celebration. Seven groups from the Lanemo Camp Fire District which covers all of East-Multnomah County, will visit Eastport Plaza Shopping Center this Thursday and Friday, March 23-24, from 1:PM to 5:PM. They will give demonstrations on some of their activities. There will be displays of cooking, crocheting, finger weaving, macramé and various other crafts. All of the demonstrations will take place on the center mall at Eastport Plaza Shopping Center and you’re invited to stop and see each and every one of them!
Candidate’s Fair at Eastport Plaza Shopping Center
The Southeast Metro Jaycees are sponsoring a “Meet Your Candidates Fair” on May 20, from 1:PM to 4:PM at Eastport Plaza Shopping Center. Over 100 candidates have been invited to participate. Included are all major candidates for whom voters in the southeast area are eligible to vote. Their offices range from Presidential, State Representatives to City Council and Multnomah County District Attorney. The event is planned to be similar to an old-fashioned county fair. Each candidate will have a booth from which to campaign from. All campaign activities will be restricted to the booths. One week after investigation were mailed over 10% affirmative responses have been received. Included are several incumbents and their major opponents.
It’s time for the “Carni” once more at Eastport Plaza Shopping Center and it promises to be one of the most exciting events of the entire year at Eastport Plaza Shopping Center. Anyone who has attended the big annual July Carnival Clearance before will want to attend again for another opportunity for some fantastic dollars and cents savings at the biggest clearance sale of the year in the Cit of Portland. It’s a big one and you’ll just have to see it to believe it! There are plenty of bargains and most of them will be displayed on the Mall when merchants set up tables of merchandise in the true spirit of the carnival. The Sidewalk Carnival Clearance will take plan on Thursday, Friday and Saturday July 13-15.
The buying staffs in all of the stores have been planning this event for the past year and not only will they be displaying and selling clearance items, but there are plenty of “special order” items you’ll find a t rock bottom prices. Along with the wonderful opportunity, to save lots of money there is plenty of fun in store as well and you’ll want to join in on it! - of course, you’re invited! All of the merchants, managers, sales clerks, and other store personnel will the event off to a rip-roarin’ start on Thursday by donning costumes. Everyone has a great imagination and each year’s costumes have been funnier than the year before!
All employees of the Plaza are invited to attend the big Pancake Breakfast at Holland House Restaurant between 7:AM and 9:AM. Patrons of Eastport Plaza Shopping Center, too, are welcome to join them at a minimum cost for breakfast. Following he big pancake fee there will be a hilarious costume parade starting at 9:AM down the center mall, with judges selecting the best two male and the best two female costumes. Winners will each receive a $25.00 merchandise certificate redeemable at any store in Eastport Plaza Shopping Center. All employees who wish to compete for the prizes must participate in the parade. Those who do not join the parade will not be eligible for a prize. Entrants will gather at 9:AM sharp in front of Pay’n Save. Following the parade and costume judging, stores will begin selling their wares on the Mall at regular store hours, 10:AM until 9:PM.
We urge our readers who really want to take advantage of the best bargains and find the best selections to shop early on Thursday….just bring your track shoes and join the crowds of happy shoppers! Along with the fantastic carnival happening on the mall there is also another full-blown carnival on the parking lot! The colossal LION-O-RAMA is already in progress sponsored by the Southeast Lions with proceeds going to assist their charity program in Southeast Portland. Featured are some of the newest and most exciting rides you’ll find anywhere. Special discount tickets for all of the rides are available in any Eastport Plaza Shopping Center store priced at just 6 for $1. The tickets are good for any rides. All rides are priced at just one ticket each so you see this is an especially good bargain – and you’ll be helping a worthy cause as well as having fun. The whole family will have a great time at Eastport Plaza’s annual July sidewalk Carnival Clearance this Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Don’t miss it!
The big sale after Christmas in all of the stores is always a good one, but the January Clearance Sale at Eastport Plaza Shopping Center this week-end is even bigger and better than ever! All of the stores are clearing out merchandise right of their shelves to make room for new spring stock coming in. And, it’s a perfect opportunity for you to ‘cash in’ on all kinds of savings since they’ve slashed prices to rock bottom in many cases. Take your BankAmericard, Master Charge or charge cards and make your payments later! You’ll be please with all of your purchases if they come from Eastport Plaza Shopping Center.
Lions Buy Shoes for Needy Kids 1973
The Parkrose Lions did something really great just before Christmas for about 100 needy kids! They bought each of them a pair of shows at Gallenkamps in Eastport Plaza Shopping Center, much to their delight! Mel Smith, manager of the store is shown on the floor fitting shoes on several of the youngsters under the watchful eye of Denny Westover, member of the Parkrose Lions, who brought a car full of kids to the store for their big shoe-shopping spree.
Wishing Well Aids Victims 1973
The Wishing that Gallenkamp’s manager, Mel Smith, installed in the store awhile back to aid the Lions Sight Foundation has been has been converted, temporarily, to assist the earthquake victims in Managua, Nicaragua, through the Lions Disaster Fund. Mel said that many people have already been very generous in their donations and were happy to find a place where they could contribute to this worthwhile fund. He also said that the Disaster Fund would continue until the need ceases. Anyone who wishes to contribute cash to aid the plight of the stricken Nicaraguans can do so at Gallenkamp’s in Eastport Plaza Shopping Center.
Eastport Merchants Elect Slate
The Eastport Plaza Merchants Associations has elected its new slate of officers, Board of Directors and Promotions Committee.
New officers are Walter Block, president, manager of Lipmann’s; Harold Loewen vice-president, manager of Pay n Save, Marion Kleeman, secretary, manager of Van Duyn’s and Jane Grinnell, treasurer, manager of California Maternity Fashions.
The newly elected Board of Directors includes Bill Winge, J.C. Penney’s; Joe Herbst, Sleep Shop; Harold Loewe Pay n Save; Ed Zarones. Lerner Shops; Bob Peterson, J.K. Gill’s; Marion Kleeman, Van Duyn’s; Bob McAdam US Bank; Ed Josi, Aden & Jose; Dres Thiel, Newberry’s;Walter Block, Lipman’s; Jane Grinnell, California Maternity Fashions and Chuck Normand, Holland House.
The Promotions Committee consists of Art Bock, chairman, Eastport Plaza General Manager; Bill Winge, JC Penney’s; Harold Lowewen, Pay n Save; Marion Kleeman, Van Duyn’s; Bob McAdam, US Bank; Dres Thiel, Newman’s; Charles Gross, Sportman’s Specialties and Bill Patterson, Foreman & Clark.
Eastport Swings into Spring 1973
Eastport Plaza Shopping Center will swing into spring this week with some fantastic sales going on in all of the stores and some fun things for you to see on the Mall.
There’s nothing quite like a swimming pool to make you feel that warmer weather is on its way, so San Juan Swimming Pools are bringing two pools for you to see, the large one is 16; x 34; and the other is a 3’ x 6’ heated therapy pool. There will be three bikini-clad (weather permitting!) professional models from the Caryl Edline School passing out pamphlets from 11am til 5pm on Saturday too. The San Juan fiberglass pools will be located on the center mall Thursday thru Sunday, so be sure and see them. There will be a representative there to answer questions too.
Merchants of Eastport Plaza Shopping Center have gotten into the spirit of the outdoor life and they’ll be displaying lots of pool-side equipment beach balls and lots of pool toys. There will be lots to see at Eastport Plaza Shopping Center this week as everyone swings into spring!
Bring all of youngsters to Eastport Plaza Shopping Center to meet the real live Easter Bunnies; the Bunnies will be on the Mall from noon till 5pm passing out candy eggs to all of the kiddies. They are well stocked and will be looking forward to seeing you there April 14!
Portland’s first U Bank aka ATM “off premises” 24 hour banking facility goes into service at the entrance to the Eastport Plaza Shopping Center. The automated “U-Bank” installation is the third in the state placed away from a regular bank branch, making it the first in the Portland Metro Area. The first two were installed by U.S. Bank in June of 1975 in two Salem shopping Centers shortly after permitting legislation was passed by the Oregon legislature. Also at the U-Bank facility will be a telephone and there is something very special about this one. On purpose this phone was installed low enough so that handicapped people could reach it. A four-day public demonstration and cash “giveaway” was planned by the bank in February during regular shopping center hours.
Welcome to Eastport!