Aerial of Downtown, 1938

This 1938 aerial image of downtown shows an artist’s rendering along the west side waterfront. It was probably used as a device to envision placement of Harbor Drive. This particular version left intact the Portland Public Market building on the right.

A2010-001.104 Aerial of SW Waterfront centered on the Public Market 1938(City of Portland Archives)

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9 Responses to “Aerial of Downtown, 1938”

  1. Robert Says:

    If only they had actually done it that way – most of the great cast iron buildings in Old Town between Front and the river might still be standing.

  2. Lynette Says:

    Once again, I wish for the ability to walk these streets as they are in this fabulous photo. Thanks!

  3. Ben Says:

    And we still see the downtown poop flowing from under the Burnside Bridge…Was that way for years, 24/7, Nasty to think of it now…

  4. George Says:

    I see two streetcars on 2nd Ave. that look big enough to be interurban cars. I rode them into town a few times before the route was cut short on the east side.

  5. Jane Says:

    I want to start a petition to resurrect the beautiful arched intersection lights on 3rd Ave!

  6. Eli Fleming Says:

    That little diagonally facing garage at bottom center looks like something out of a Robert Crumb drawing…

  7. Kevin Rietmann Says:

    I was just reading this post about The Portland of Robert Moses, as envisioned in 1943. Interesting details about what he advocated vs what actually was built. For Harbor Drive he kept the Market/Journal building as well, but bulldozed on north, with a wide meridian throughout. Looks like an elevated expressway leads a mile or more along the river to a Fremont Bridge somewhat further north than the one which was built, connecting to the Going St Gulch. Park benches along the seawall, and trees. The stone stairs leading up to the Steel Bridge put me in mind of the design of various MAX stations.

    In “Bridges of Portland” there’s a picture of a float promoting the building of a “Fremont Bridge” – this in a parade taking place in 1930. You have to think long term!

  8. joan Says:

    The little diagonal structure that Eli mentioned was gone by the late 60s. I think there was an L shaped structure with a parking lot in front – that was the Swiss Cleaners ( I think they are still in business in the Pearl).

  9. joan Says:

    I think this is one of the best street level views posted previously:

    I used to buy my comic books at Plummer drugs for 12cents. Further south, this block or the next was a saddle shop.

    The NW corner of 2nd & Jefferson was a garage where my father parked his car. They had a stage coach parked inside. (no joke).

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