West End Ross Island Bridge, 1932

The western approach to the Ross Island Bridge (here looking east) was a somewhat less complicated affair in 1932 than it is now. A tangle of streets and ramps now covers the bare lots on the left of this image, and I-5 now cuts under the bridge approach, all along the top of the photo. Corbett Avenue crosses the very end of the bridge ramp while Front Avenue, with the streetcar, crosses the bottom of the photo.

(City of Portland Archives)

SW Morrison & 5th, 1907

Portland appeared to be a busy, progressive and prosperous city in this 1907 street scene looking west on SW Morrison at 5th Avenue. Pioneer Courthouse is on the immediate left and the Portland Hotel, site of today’s Pioneer Courthouse Square, looms in the distance beyond that. Meier & Frank would build their flagship store on the block to the immediate right.

(City of Portland Archives)

Fremont Bridge Center Span, 1972

The component parts for the main span of the Fremont Bridge were built in California but the final assembly was done on Swan Island, as shown here. It would be lifted into place on March 16, 1973, connecting the east and west banks of the Willamette River. At the time it was the heaviest lift, at 6000 tons, ever completed, and it is the second longest tied arch bridge in the world. Here’s a photo of the east and west ramps under construction, before the center span lift.

(City of Portland Archives)

SW Harbor Drive Aerial View, 1952

Today’s photo shows the old SW Harbor Drive as it enters downtown from the south. This area is just south of the Hawthorne Bridge (see the bridge tower at the bottom). Two previous Vintage Portland photos show this area’s progression over the years, here in 1928 (shown just last week) and here in 1939. From its rough waterfront beginnings, this part of town is now populated with banks, luxury hotels and high rise apartments. Notice the Battleship Oregon’s mast in the small park before its move to its present location just south of the Burnside Bridge.

(City of Portland Archives)

SW 3rd & Jefferson, 1953

This old building featuring some cast-iron elements stood on the northwest corner of SW 3rd and Jefferson. It, along with everything else on the block, was demolished in the early 1970s. Terry Schrunk Plaza now covers the block.

(University of Oregon Libraries)