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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Pendleton in Umatilla County, Oregon — The American West (Northwest)
 

The Empire Block

 
 
The Empire Block Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, June 30, 2017
1. The Empire Block Marker
Inscription. Constructed in 1907, Henry Schwarz and Frank Greulich named the building The Empire Block for their business, the Empire Meat Market. At the dissolution of the Schwarz and Greulich partnership in 1916, the building was purchased by Frank Greulich and was maintained by his heirs for many years. The five ground floor store fronts were occupied by many different retail businesses. On the second floor, the Empire Rooming House, later named Spur Hotel, was of questionable reputation, the proprietress being jailed in 1916 for immoral behavior.
Ironically, the preservation of the original store fronts is primarily due to the low rent tenants in the building for many years who weren’t interested in remodeling as the tenants on Main Street were. The result being that all five of the store fronts are essentially original.
The basement network interlinked access for the seamy enterprises of the era: prostitution, prohibition, gambling and persecution. All is now the core of the Pendleton Underground. Together with the Hendrick's Building and Empire Meat market to the east and the Masonic Hall Association Building across the street, this block provides a remarkable glimpse into Pendleton's history.
 
Location. 45° 40.228′ N, 118° 47.219′ W. Marker is in
The Empire Block Marker image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, June 24, 1997
2. The Empire Block Marker
Pendleton, Oregon, in Umatilla County. Touch for map. The marker is on the exterior wall to the left of the main entrance. Marker is at or near this postal address: 21-37 SW Emigrant Avenue, Pendleton OR 97801, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Masonic Hall Building (within shouting distance of this marker); Empire Meat Market (within shouting distance of this marker); Hendricks Building (within shouting distance of this marker); Rivoli Theater (within shouting distance of this marker); Griggs & Tryon Bldg (within shouting distance of this marker); Matlock - Brownfield Bldg (within shouting distance of this marker); Ferguson Building (within shouting distance of this marker); Bowman Hotel (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Pendleton.
 
More about this marker. The Empire Block building is open for Underground Tours as it has underground tunnels and rooms built by Chinese immigrants and the upstairs had been a brothel.
 
Categories. Industry & Commerce
 
The Empire Block Building-Underground Tours image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, June 24, 1997
3. The Empire Block Building-Underground Tours
Upstairs in the Empire Block Building image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, June 24, 1997
4. Upstairs in the Empire Block Building
Empire Rooming House of questionable behavior.
Upstairs in the Empire Block Building-brothel bedroom image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, June 24, 1997
5. Upstairs in the Empire Block Building-brothel bedroom
The Empire Block Building-Underground Rooms built by the Chinese image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, June 24, 1997
6. The Empire Block Building-Underground Rooms built by the Chinese
Chinese Laundry underground
The Empire Block Building-Underground Gambling Parlor image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, June 24, 1997
7. The Empire Block Building-Underground Gambling Parlor
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on December 16, 2017. This page originally submitted on August 14, 2016, by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Md 21234. This page has been viewed 172 times since then and 74 times this year. Photos:   1. submitted on December 16, 2017, by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California.   2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7. submitted on August 14, 2016, by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Md 21234. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.
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