Vanport City Aerial, 1943

Vanport City was newly constructed in 1943, home to about 40,000 wartime workers in the Portland and Vancouver Kaiser Shipyards. Volumes have been written about Vanport and the flood which destroyed it on May 30, 1948. This area is now home to Heron Lakes Golf Course (in the distance) and Portland International Raceway. The racetrack follows the pattern of some Vanport streets and natural features and can be easily imagined in this terrific aerial photo.

(City of Portland Archives)

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9 Responses to “Vanport City Aerial, 1943”

  1. muttville1 Says:

    Well I can tell you 1 thing that’s left from that area, the road (now trail) on the far left running East & West with the Columbia Slough just coming into view in the upper left. + the square structure that is below (East) the railroad trestle on the waters edge is still there, some type of pump house maybe? Also N. Broadacre Rd. is still accessible.

  2. Dave Brunker (@dbrunker) Says:

    Turns out Bing maps can do some really nice things with aerial images. Here’s what Vanport looks like today: http://binged.it/J7uysf

    Also, Willamette Week had a slide show of old Portland pictures. http://wweek.ftp-wehaa.com/river/

  3. howardsgirlfriend Says:

    Dbrunker, you probably won’t see this, but didn’t you say you lived in a salvaged Vanport duplex? I didn’t think any buildings survived until I read that post. Do you know of any other buildings that were salvaged?

  4. Dave Brunker (@dbrunker) Says:

    howardsgirlfriend: Sure I’ll see it! I’m afraid I don’t know anything about other buildings. The one I live in is really small though; I can see how it would have been intended for temporary housing.

  5. howardsgirlfriend Says:

    Dbrunker: I’d love to see the exterior of such a historic building.

  6. Dave Brunker (@dbrunker) Says:

    howardsgirlfriend:
    I don’t live in these houses but there are two of them here:
    http://g.co/maps/ebh7u

  7. howardsgirlfriend Says:

    Oooohhhh (clapping hand)–thank you!

    I’m fascinated with Vanport. Must do a drive-by.

    BTW, I was mistaken about living in the Commercial ave house. I lived in a look-alike house across the street and down a couple of doors.

  8. Eleanor Siebert Says:

    It just amazes me that (the majority of) the streets of Vanport became the track for PIR. :)

    I’m at PIR often, and always see remnants of driveways!

  9. John Winn Says:

    Me and my sister dug through the dirt pushed around dying construction of the BK over there. It was the first thing constructed, other than PM. found lots of colored bottles and glass.

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