South Park Blocks Aerial, c1938

It appears engineers used this circa 1938 aerial photo of the South Park Blocks area to pencil in a potential route for the Stadium Freeway. The area would grow into the PSU campus we know today. The 1911 Lincoln High School building, bottom-center between SW Broadway and Park, would be the college’s first building on campus.

A2010-001.92  Aerial of SW Portland centered on South Park Blocks c1938(City of Portland Archives)

14 thoughts on “South Park Blocks Aerial, c1938

  1. I can remember those old houses along Broadway slowly disappearing as the PSU campus was expanding in the ’60’s.

  2. Great pic.

    Questions for the class:

    As it presumably predates PSC/PSU, why was College St. so named?

    Why was the Park ave overpass build so wide?

  3. Re: College St…I believe in older photos and lithographs there was a college on College St. Which one…not sure. I know St Helens Hall and Catlin Gable were both moved from this area/location because of the freeway. Look at the grassy hill behind Piggots. Pre stilt house technology.

  4. The Park overpass was built wide because it was originally a Park Block and therefore it incorporates some planters and plants.

  5. Old Church, St. Mary’s, lots of other nice details. Including the two houses on the site that became Ione Plaza… I thought they faced Park though?

  6. Regarding “College Street”…Eugene Snyder in “Portland Names & Neighborhoods” notes that the name was platted in 1864 and, as Jane said above, there were several nearby schools but there is not a definitive connection. Hall Street, a block to the north, is believed to be named after St Helens Hall (Catlin Gable).

  7. I attended PSU in the early 90s, so this aerial is great to see all the changes over the years. I noticed it looks like Ione Plaza unfortunately took out a couple stately homes on Park and Montgomery.

    Also, right below the 10th and College intersection is a large tree just off the Park Blocks. When the current PSU library expanded, they saved that large tree and designed the library to wrap around it in windows.

    Nice aerial, there are a lot of details to look over and a lot of changes in the South Park blocks over the years.

  8. The old Portland Academy, at SW Thirteenth between Montgomery and Hall, can be seen in this photo. It was built ca. 1896 and, after 1936, used as the preschool for St. Helen’s Hall. It was located at 1826 SW 13th Ave until demolished in 1954.

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