Sellwood Bridge Area, 1981

I sort of miss the death-defying adventure that was the old Sellwood Bridge. Lanes so narrow a RV wont fit and unsound structure so weak busses weren’t allowed. Even riding a bike across it was a minor adventure.

Oh well… I guess this one won’t fall down in the next quake.




1980s proposal to redesign NW 23rd @ Burnside

Though I am unsure the exact date on this project, I would estimate sometime in the mid eighties as the property at the lower righthand corner: Barbra Sue Seal real estate office on the corner of NW 23rd and Burnside was drawn in the plan.

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Shocker: City planned to gut Hollywood for massive interchange

These slides were missfiled in my collection, but take a gander at this horrific plan to gut the Hollywood District for a massive grade separated interchange at Sandy and 39th.

Though undated, I estimate this is from the late 30s. Old enough for Steigerwald Dairy bottle to be standing and for traffic congestion to be a thing.

Thank god they decided not to go forward with the plan, however the rendering is pretty refined indicating that they were far enough along in the process to be pumping out visuals for the public. It is shocking to remember how willing to destroy their neighborhoods for ease of traffic people were. Sort of reminds me of how we treat the internet today.

The accompanying aerial clearly shows little traffic, so this must have been purely anticipatory destruction. Even better!

Hollywood District, Jan. 1977 and Redlining

You really get a sense of the middle class, hustle-bustle of Portland’s Hollywood District in these pics from January 1977. Unlike other areas, Hollywood and neighboring Grant Park, have always been fairly stable neighborhoods, spared the worst ravages of crime, real (or imagined in the case of block busting) and consequent cratering home values. And except for Hollywood East, a soviet-styled nightmare at 45th and Broadway, the district never really succumbed to “urban renewal”.

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Tri-Met 1990 Annual Report

Ok guys, just wanted to share something a bit different from the usual pics from my slide collection. I recently discovered a nice little treasure trove of TriMet paraphernalia holed up in the county library’s closed stacks.

Here is one such gem: the Tri-Met 1990 Annual Report. There are others but I found this one particularly interesting for the discussion of the of Westside MAX planning then taking shape. 1990 was a red-letter year for TriMet as it was bestowed the American Public Transit Assoc. “Best Transit System” award. A mark of distinction proudly emblazoned on all MAX vehicles where they remained visible until being repainted in the new white/yellow/blue livery. These were heady times for TriMet with near universal praise for MAX and huge projects in the hopper.

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Potourri: Around Town in 1986

Just a random collection of slides I am not sure quite what to do with but thought I might as well throw them online. All of these were taken in August, 1986

Structure of a Good Neighborhood, 1965

This slide from 1965 was mixed in my collection and provides a humorous, if depressing, notion of what Portland city planners once thought constituted the “ideal” neighborhood. Not particularly innovative, this concept built around traffic management was already quite old by this point and thankfully never fully realized in Portland proper.

There is a fair bit of this in East Portland and I would wager, the defining reason why most people would prefer not to live there. For being designed completely post-auto, the area is striking hard to travel by car  or otherwise. Though it wouldn’t be annexed by Portland until the 1980s and was not the hand of Portland city planning, plenty of these super blocks were created from the 1950s-1970s. The ramifications of this development pattern we are only now beginning to grapple with and the permanently depressed housing prices will leave a legacy for many generations to come.



Sandy at 12th

Here are a couple of views of Sandy Blvd at Burnside separated by nine years: 1977 and 1986. A bevy of real estate billboards entertained drivers as they sat idling at this notoriously confusing intersection.

Sadly, on this corner now stands a hideously overwrought and poorly executed mixed-use building: The Linden. Designed by LA firm, KTGY, it was designed as a 55+ community on land owned by Portland Foursquare. Apparently the siren call of the market and associated profit proved too tempting and it ended up yet another overpriced development.

NW Broadway Near Union Station, 1978

Looks like a warm summer day back in 1978 when these pics looking north on Broadway near Portland Union Station were shot. Amazingly that block at NW Glisan and Broadway has remained empty ever since the demolition of the “temporary” inter-city bus depot in 1986. For a pic of the east side of this depot, see here. Interesting that they prohibited any turning movements on NW Broadway at both Glisan and Hoyt. This is no longer the case.