Yale Laundry built by founder Charles F. Brown Opens
After opening industrial laundries in Superior, Wisconsin and Duluth, Minnesota, laundryman Charles F. Brown moved to Portland and built the Yale Laundry Company for $80,000.
When it was first constructed in 1908, the building consisted of two floors plus a basement, which contained boilers to heat wash-water. The central portion of the first floor was constructed with strong support beams underneath to support heavy washers. Both the first and second floors were originally designed with large open windows to allow for light and circulation. (National Register of Historic Places Registration Form – Yale Union Laundry Building, p. 14)
The building would later receive additions to accommodate delivery trucks and the growing need for worker accommodations brought on by union pressure.
A large addition was added in 1927, and another in 1929. The expansion was needed to accommodate trucks that were used for home delivery. The addition also included a lunchroom and restrooms for employees, and was built to comply with established union concerns regarding wages and working conditions. (ibid.)