16 Jan A Basement Once Used to Print Newspapers is Now a Major Fiber Optic Interchange
Home to the city’s first electrical substation when it opened 98 years ago, the eight-story Pittock building in downtown Portland now hosts a plethora of Internet cables in its basement that make it one of the most wired spots in the state. In fact, it is a major Internet hub for the entire region.
In addition to the fiber optic cables of every major US network carrier, the basement of the Pittock building also hosts another story. On the same wall where the fiber-optic comes through, there is an assortment of newspaper photos from the early 1900s glued to the walls, a small gallery of pin-up girls, and even faded WWI campaign maps. So, what exactly used to be located here?
Building managers have long believed The Oregonian used to print its newspaper in the Pittock basement. Headlines plastered on the wall, along with scribbles referring to “pressmen,” appear to confirm this tale. But, historical evidence suggests that the newspaper printed continuously at another site – the old Oregonian Building at Southwest Sixth and Alder – from the 1890s until almost 1950. Although no one knows for sure the original use of this building’s basement, the Pittock building today represents both an era past and one looking forward.
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