Help solve a mystery?

One of the dangers of writing is getting lost in research. Because I am a geek and I do love doing research.

Today for my WIP I was looking up some stuff about Northwest Portland in the 1960s. It’s only a very minor plot point, actually, but I like to be accurate. I discovered the city has a great blog of vintage photos. You can check it out here.

While I was poking around, thoroughly distracted from my original task, I found this photo of a building in what’s now the Pearl District:


That’s the Pacific Coast Biscuit Factory in 1917. The reason why it caught my eye is that this is a photo I took in Portland a couple of weeks ago:


Yep, same building, 99 years later. I took the picture because Colin, one of the MCs in my WIP, lives in a Pearl District loft. I thought this building (which is actually a parking garage) looked exactly like what I imagined for him.

So here’s the mystery part. The Vintage Portland post claims that the top floor was removed from the building at some point after 1917. But I don’t see that–it looks to me like it’s intact. But my photo’s not the greatest and I’m now 700 miles away, so I can’t check for myself.

What do you think? If you’re nearby and want to check it out in person, it’s at NW 12th & Davis–conveniently close to Powell’s Books.

And yeah, the solution to the mystery is irrelevant to my book. But it’s bugging me.

PS–Notice how there’s a thumbprint near the bottom right of the 1917 photo! I wonder whose. That’s another mystery!

ETA: I’ve solved the mystery! Can you? Hint: I used Google maps.

2 thoughts on “Help solve a mystery?”

  1. I finally figured out what was missing, after lining up the appropriate Google Street View photo to match the exact angle of the old photograph. Question is, why was the top storey removed on half of the building?

    1. I resorted to Google Street View to solve the mystery also. But now we have a new mystery–why did they remove the top floor–and for only half the building?

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