Hippo Hardware

Dear Liza,

It is pretty hard to miss Hippo Hardware. Up on East Burnside and 11th, this 1907 building has happy cartoon-ish hippos painted on the pillars out front and the loading dock in back.

The odd two-story shape with its giant porch is caused by a widening of Burnside in the 1920s that led to ( I am not kidding) chopping the front 15 feet off the first floor of buildings on both sides of the street. They left the second story, through some kind of compromise.

Inside, it is a trip down someone’s memory lane. The inventory is reclaimed from old buildings, homes and businesses. If you are looking for a couple of light fixtures from 1927, this shop has them. Need a mauve toilet lid? They’ve got you covered.

Besides stocking impossible to find items, this shop made me laugh. The hippos outside give you a hint, then come the giant legs busting through the ceiling from the floor above and hundreds of smaller hippos hanging around inside.

Ceramic hands formed into soap holders and towel racks is both elegant and creepy,

and the nun in the claw foot tub is just a crack up!

Always finding a way to have fun!


Grandma Judy

Author: Judy

I am a new transplant to Portland from Salinas, a small city in Central California. This is a blog about my new city.

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