Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Book Review: "Taylor: A Brief History of a Short Street"

When I heard that there had been a history written of the street we recently moved to, I knew I'd have to seek out a copy so I could read it (never having lived, to my knowledge, on a street which had been the subject of a history before!). Thankfully one of the local Portland bookstores, Longfellow Books, still had a couple copies on hand.

John K. Jones' Taylor: A Brief History of a Short Street (2004) provides as comprehensive an account of this one-block-long street as anyone's ever likely to. First he outlines the process by which the street came to be (created out of a single family's land in the late 1870s), and then offers short residential histories of each of the houses. Jones provides details on the construction, architectural style, and occupation of all twenty buildings on the street, drawing on deed records, city directories and other such handy local sources.

Since all of the original buildings are still extant, it's possible (and was even the author's intention) to use the book as a sort of walking tour of the street. Pretty nifty, and quite a fun way to spend a summer afternoon!