Aerial View, SW Broadway, 1960

Interesting perspective in this photo looking straight down on SW Broadway as it cuts through the heart of downtown in 1960 (south is up). The parking lot just left of center will become Pioneer Courthouse Square a quarter-century later. Very few blocks have escaped change in the last 50 years.

(City of Portland Archives)

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9 Responses to “Aerial View, SW Broadway, 1960”

  1. Mike Slama Says:

    I see another of those “pigeon-hole” parking structures on Park Ave. where Director Park is now. I also see 3 gas stations…No problem finding a quick fill up for your 10 mpg Caddy! There is actually a fourth place to ‘drive in’ and get a fill up. Hint- if it was still there today, you could stop for a hair cut on the way out the door. Any guesses?

  2. Tad Says:

    No idea, but… what’s up with the weird diagonal lines in the crosswalks?

  3. Reid Beels Says:

    Neat!

    I threw together an approximately georectified KML overlay of this image: http://reidbeels.com/temp/sw-broadway-aerial-view-1960.kml

  4. Jim Says:

    @Tad: Maybe Portland was ahead of the times in terms of psychodelic public art?

    Speaking of, how about those twisted Whos on the bus mall? Horton probably doesn’t want to hear them.

  5. Jim Says:

    Erm, I meant psychEdelic art; except for the twisted Whos. They’re psychOdelic art.

  6. tina of forrestina vintage Says:

    Fun vantage point — reminds me of the vintage photos of Portland that hang in the Burgerville over on lower Hawthorne. :)

  7. Roxanne Says:

    You know, that is kind of interesting, only the one street has those odd diagonal lines, but it has them in every crosswalk visible in the photo..

  8. Dan Faulkner Says:

    My first thought was that the diagonals were intended to create “lanes” to funnel pedestrians crossing in opposite directions.

  9. Brian Says:

    I think Dan Faulkner is right. It was my first thought as well that they were used at busy pedestrian intersections to separate opposite flows of people. You can see them more clearly in a couple photos in (I think…) the book Historic Photos of Portland by Donald R. Nelson. Those street-level views show small arrows pointing out from the curb at the wide-end (left side) of the crosswalks presumably to tell pedestrians which side of the line to walk on.

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