Marquam Bridge Construction, 1964

It’s almost hard to imagine today’s Riverplace and South Waterfront areas looked like this almost a half century ago. Construction of the west end of the Marquam Bridge passed over property that had seen highly industrial riverfront activity since Portland’s founding over a hundred years prior to this. The area once covered by Alaska Steel is still largely undeveloped but the SW Moody Project and TriMet’s light rail line signal further development.

(City of Portland Archives)

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9 Responses to “Marquam Bridge Construction, 1964”

  1. Bud Says:

    The old PP&L Lincoln Street steam plant sure stands out in this picture. How many ” old timers ” recall the huge hog fuel/ sawdust pile that stood just North of the plant for fueling the turbines ? Al;so, note the delayed construction on the East side approaches, etc. seems the Highway Dept. was still ” struggling ” with PGE in negotiating a ” landing site ” when this photo was taken. I recall the bridge sitting unfinished for quite a period of time before the East side landing site was secured over the old PGE Station ” L’ .

  2. oldwxwatcher Says:

    One month after this picture was taken the area was hit with a cold spell and quite a bit of snow, followed by a rapid warm-up and heavy rains which led to some pretty severe flooding. Wonder how that affected the area shown here.

  3. Brian Says:

    @oldwxwatcher: You can get some idea of how that area looked from this photo looking at the east bank north of the Hawthorne.

  4. chuck Says:

    Wow, Brian. Great photo. I remember almost getting sucked into the muck when my pal & I went down to Swan Island to check things out. It was during Christmas vacation.

  5. Ian Fraley Says:

    The OHSU Collaborative Life Sciences Building is now under construction on this site:

    http://www.ohsu.edu/xd/about/vision/collaborative-science-building.cfm

    And a little further south, closer to the Ross Island Bridge:

    http://zidell.com/the-yards/

  6. Tom Jones Says:

    I remember a dinner boat that was tied up in Sellwood ended up downtown during the flood. I think it was called the River Queen. I never ate aboard in Sellwood but I think I came back in the early ’70’s and ate aboard downtown on the east side of the river

  7. Kirk J. Poole ("Since '62!") Says:

    I remember it was sure cool watching Zidell break up the old escort carriers, liberty ships and whatever else between the Marquam and the Ross Island. I even remember the log rafts. But I’m a bit young to remember the powerplant down there.

  8. Karen Says:

    That powerplant was removed shortly before the Riverplace Mall (or whatever its called) was constructed, would have been late 1980s.
    I worked in shortly that plant about 1981, one of its de-commissioned layshaft generators was being removed as scrap.

  9. Karen Says:

    BTW, to Tom Jones,If I remember right, The River Queen was removed from the west side off Front ave sometime during 90s.
    Last I known, Its mouldering at a Sauvie Island marina in a limbo of ownership and responsibility.
    it was sold to investors who realised they were out of their league in their plans of refurbishment or whatever. Then they defaulted on their payments to the former owner Possibly whereabouts unknown..
    The former owner wants nothing to do with it as its a giant haz-mat problem of primarily asbestos and lead.
    I was involved with a man who was a relative of its owner while it was operated as River Queen. I managed to obtain a tour of the vessel and a dinner or two.
    It was a sad sight to see the deck below the dining room floor. When the floor for the dining room was built, Anything to do with the ship mechanicals that was above the level of the dining floor was cut off and simply dropped to the lower deck, All the pipes, steam engine parts, flywheels crank arms and everything. Just a jumble of cut up machinery, then floored over to create the dining room.

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