N Interstate & Greeley, 1940

Even in 1940 the intersection of N Interstate and Greeley was a maze of traffic dividers, directional signs and wires. Things haven’t gotten simpler in the intervening 70 years as we’ve now added freeway ramps, overpasses and light rail lines into the mix. There’s probably not a single thing in this photo that still exists.

(City of Portland Archives)

13 thoughts on “N Interstate & Greeley, 1940

  1. I noticed a train lantern on the island.

    Does that mean we are in a red light district?

    The old island and lantern reminds me when they use to use kerosine torches on the road, to warn drivers of construction.

  2. I was looking at the Island and noticed the lantern and it was hit by something. Like all the new ones they are putting in Portland, to make pedestrians feel safe. Even though they are not.

  3. I think it may have had a light above and when some one smacked it, it broke the wires or the light.

  4. My theory is that the post was hit, knocking out the light. So, the kerosene lantern was placed there to light the way temporarily. I don’t know if there’s anything specifically “train” about it. Kerosene lanterns were used by highway departments for warnings in the 1940s and 1950s as well, as noted. And yes it looks like there are trolley bus wires there. I’d like to find one of those light fixtures, which look like the post-mount version of an RLM fixture. I’m sure they were dark green.

  5. The house on the hillside, just to the left of the center of the photo, might still be there. There’s still a house in that area, but you can’t see if from this vantage point anymore, so it’s hard to tell if it’s the same one.

  6. The 99W sign seems to point east toward the street that that heads off to the right. What street is that? Cook?

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