Portland Storage Company building turns 100


The 100-year-old Portland Storage Company building houses everything from clutter to artist studios and homeless people’s belongings.

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The 100-year-old Portland Storage Company building houses everything from clutter to artist studios and homeless people’s belongings.

The building was constructed in 1911 as the Northwestern distribution center for the John Deere Plow Company. It served in that capacity for five decades before converting to a general warehouse in 1963 and a public storage facility in the mid-’80s. Built to hold farm machinery, it has 14-inch-thick steel-reinforced floors and 110-foot columns running through its interior from base to roof.

Open one of the 800 doors in the Portland Storage Company building, and you’re as likely to find the clutter from someone’s basement as a photographer snapping pictures of a semi-clad stage performer.

Within the eight-story brick building, located pass-the-salt distance from the Morrison Bridge on the east side, you’ll find random junk from people’s garages, yes. But you’ll also find artist studios, ad agency headquarters, liquidation company offices and closet-sized units in which homeless people put their bedrolls during the day so they can wander the streets unencumbered.

Read about the Storage Company’s various tenants at Willamette Week.

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