Aerial of Downtown, 1938

This 1938 aerial image of downtown shows an artist’s rendering along the west side waterfront. It was probably used as a device to envision placement of Harbor Drive. This particular version left intact the Portland Public Market building on the right.

A2010-001.104 Aerial of SW Waterfront centered on the Public Market 1938(City of Portland Archives)

9 thoughts on “Aerial of Downtown, 1938

  1. If only they had actually done it that way – most of the great cast iron buildings in Old Town between Front and the river might still be standing.

  2. And we still see the downtown poop flowing from under the Burnside Bridge…Was that way for years, 24/7, Nasty to think of it now…

  3. I see two streetcars on 2nd Ave. that look big enough to be interurban cars. I rode them into town a few times before the route was cut short on the east side.

  4. I was just reading this post about The Portland of Robert Moses, as envisioned in 1943. Interesting details about what he advocated vs what actually was built. For Harbor Drive he kept the Market/Journal building as well, but bulldozed on north, with a wide meridian throughout. Looks like an elevated expressway leads a mile or more along the river to a Fremont Bridge somewhat further north than the one which was built, connecting to the Going St Gulch. Park benches along the seawall, and trees. The stone stairs leading up to the Steel Bridge put me in mind of the design of various MAX stations.

    In “Bridges of Portland” there’s a picture of a float promoting the building of a “Fremont Bridge” – this in a parade taking place in 1930. You have to think long term!

  5. The little diagonal structure that Eli mentioned was gone by the late 60s. I think there was an L shaped structure with a parking lot in front – that was the Swiss Cleaners ( I think they are still in business in the Pearl).

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