Aerial View of Portland, 1933

Another amazing photo from the City of Portland Archives shows the inner Southwest and Northwest Portland in 1933. The west ends of the Steel, Burnside and Morrison bridges are along the top and we can see west to about Broadway. The riverfront had been tamed with the construction of the seawall but old Portland was essentially untouched at this point and almost no buildings had been razed for surface parking lots yet.

A2011-024.1 Aerial view Willamette and downtown Portland 1933(City of Portland Archives)

16 thoughts on “Aerial View of Portland, 1933

  1. This so makes me wish it were possible to walk the streets, as you can do on Google Maps. What sights could be seen! One can only imagine. And I can’t wait for the memories which some of you have to be shared! Thank to all of you who do so with each of these magnificent photos.

  2. If you look closely at Burnside, it looks like you can just make out the dividing line between the original street width and the amount added in the widening project.

    Looking at the harbor wall, it’s clear that tons of parking spaces were eliminated with the construction of harbor drive (intentional parking parking spaces, that is).

  3. what’s all the “stuff” piled up along the seawall between Steel and Burnside Bridges?

    You can see the Great Light Way arches on 3rd Ave.

    And a good view of the Hotel Multnomah. Speaking of that – I have a Q for you old-timers… I remember that place being empty and derelict from the late 80s until it was renovated for the Embassy Suites, but PDXHistory.com says it was Government offices. True?

  4. I count 15 street cars or electric buses in this photo.
    I assume that is what I’m seeing.
    On 3rd, 5th and Broadway. That’s a busy little city down there.

  5. That’s what I thought at first, but looking again I think this cuts off just before the Park blocks – the first block we see is Front, 3rd can be identified by the ‘x’ arches at intersections, and Broadway would be the last street at the bottom.

  6. When the Morrison Bridge connected directly to Morrison St! The Public Market aka Journal Building looks pretty happy in the sunshine on the waterfront. Great photo. Love the aerials, such a different perspective. Just noticed the gas tanks at the end of the Steele Bridge. I remember those and at one time in the 60’s the tanks had a neon gas flame on top for advertising. The neon flame always impressed me.

  7. @Jim: Do you mean the building that looks like the International Harvester logo, i.e., an “I” and an “H” superimposed on one another? That’s still there – an apartment building? The piano bar Portland Prime is on the ground floor.

  8. Kevin,

    I’m actually talking about a building that no longer exists. The one I’m asking about is now part of the US Bancorp Plaza. When the tower and plaza were built, both Ankeny and Pine ceased being through streets.from Fifth to Sixth. I think the building you’re thinking of is the Embassy Suites, a hotel.

  9. Speaking of old natural gas gas holder tanks, anyone know where I could find a picture of the tank that was just south of Jefferson high school on N Alberta on the south side of N Alberta? The area is now just a field. The only thing left is the little white concrete building in the field.

  10. Tad. I’m just now seeing this fantastic photo & it looks like you never got your answer to your question. The Multnomah Hotel was converted into office space. It was a government office building. Maybe Multnomah County. I can’t remember. I think they might’ve been converted in the late 60’s or early 70’s.

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