SW Harbor Drive, 1969

The Morrison Bridge crosses over SW Harbor Drive in this 1969 photo. Governor Tom McCall had initiated a task force to study replacement of Harbor Drive in 1968, and removal began in 1974. Instead of this stretch of asphalt, Tom McCall Waterfront Park provides a green auto-free zone here today.

(City of Portland Archives)

14 thoughts on “SW Harbor Drive, 1969

  1. We were very fortunate to have McCall – and later Goldschmidt – for governors in that era. I miss the landmark Public Market building on the waterfront but sure don’t miss Harbor Drive.
    What’s that car doing on the sidewalk?

  2. Chuck, maybe they missed their exit? Should have turned left at Albuquerque? Didn’t want to pay for parking? Harbor Drive didn’t provide enough freeway? The possibilities are endless. πŸ˜‰

  3. Cars of that era were about the same size as small Navy vessels. I’m guessing this one just wanted to be in proximity to its natural habitat. πŸ˜‰

  4. Because of a slight miscalculation on the part of their alien captors, Barney and Betty suddenly found themselves speeding down the sidewalk at 70 miles per hour.

    /Gary Larson

  5. Tom McCall park could not have been possible, without the building of I-5 and the I-405 exchange.

    I recall many times being stuck on Capital Highway just to later be stalled on Harbor drive and the Steel bridge, trying to get to Union and Grand to get to the Banfield freeway.

  6. Tad says: “Looks like it has β€œE” plates – publicly-owned vehicle.”

    Good catch. In fact I’m going to take a guess and say that the car is either a city or county car and belongs to the photographer who took this shot. I’m guessing that because 1969 is the year the Public Market was torn down by the city in preparation for widening Harbor Drive. It would make sense for the city or county planners to collect some photographs of the area. Also I’m led to make that guess based on the less-than-picturesque (except perhaps to a highway geek like me!) nature of the scene. It’s basically just Harbor Drive passing under the Morrison Bridge — not your typical postcard shot, to be sure.

    Oh, and a trivia question, of sorts: What is the vantage point of this photo?

  7. I’m thinking maybe the vantage point was from that pedestrian bridge that was in the photo of the Public Market demolition, 1969 that Dan posted.

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