4th Street Extension, 1932

This nifty photo shows construction of Barbur Blvd. as an extension of SW 4th Street in 1932. 4th and Sheridan is the main intersection at top left and just below that is what we know today as Duniway Park. This area was originally a gully carrying runoff from the hills to the river (see last Friday’s map at far right between Sheridan and Arthur Streets). Today Barbur Blvd. is flat, and Duniway Park is almost street level, so lots of fill was moved into this area. The old YMCA building is now in the area where the shacks in the foreground were.

(City of Portland Archives)

9 thoughts on “4th Street Extension, 1932

  1. This gulch had been crossed by a railway trestle. You can still see the remnants of it in this photo. Barbur Blvd., down to Bertha is routed over the old Southern Pacific line to Beaverton.

  2. The shacks where the YMCA building is now were some of Portland’s most notorious slums. There was quite a scandal when an investigation showed that many were owned by some of Portland’s most prominent citizens. On a lighter note- is that an early skate park in the lower center of the photo? Might those be two pioneer skater dudes standing there? “I say Niles, we could take some of that wood from the debris pile and make ourselves a radical jump from the base of Sheridan street” Alas, Niles and his unnamed partner never survived the jump. Soggy lumber had rendered the jump too weak for their exploits…

  3. Fascinating photo, Dan. I guess it was taken from Terwilliger? I lived in the Lair Hill area in the mid-70s and ran on the track in Duniway Park. Funny you should refer to the Y as “the old YMCA building” because it was built sometime in the 70s. I think of the “old YMCA” as the one that was located on 6th across from the Hilton. Is there a new Y?
    Thanks for posting.

  4. As I currently live in the Lair Hilll area I can confirm that the Y was sold about 4 years ago and is now owned by a private company, All Star. Interestingly enough, in the picture you can see the Hawthorne, the Morrison Bridge, the “new” Burnside Bridge, and the Steel Bridge.

  5. Thanks for the info, Dave & Todd. I went to the street view and sauntered down Barbur to Whitaker where I once lived. The old house is still standing.
    Yes, Todd,it’s a great display of the bridges through the mist.

  6. Dan-

    I have a shot of the trestle when it was still in place, but couldn’t find an e-mail to send you a scan of it.


  7. Sheldon – Leave the same note in the form on the Submit page. It’ll generate an email to me to which I can respond directly back to you, keeping everybody’s email address private.

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