NW Lovejoy Ramp, 1939

The NW Lovejoy ramp once met the west end of the Broadway Bridge and then came down to grade level at NW 14th Avenue. The ramp, here looking east, and most of what we see in this 1939 photo, is gone, replaced by Pearl District development. A bit of Union Station, featured yesterday, can be seen at the extreme upper edge.

A2005-001.391 NW Lovejoy Ramp and 10th Ave east 1939(City of Portland Archives)

16 thoughts on “NW Lovejoy Ramp, 1939

  1. Up there on the ramp coming off the bridge, in front of Union Station, are those two triangular shapes in the lanes of the ramp ways for pedestrians to board and disembark from streetcars? Buses? Like the ones I’ve seen in that film of traffic at the other end of the Broadway Bridge? I can’t remember where I saw the film, but it’s amazing, as is this photo. Thanks!

  2. Top ramp is the Broadway ramp southbound. The long building just to the West was the Southern Pacific Freight Station. I work there from about 1950 to 1958. The asphalt strip next to it was where they loaded and unloaded celebrities such as Elvis, Beatles etc.

  3. There are 2 steam locomotives apparently sitting in the dirt at left – are these the ones currently at Oregon Rail Heritage? Also, it looks like the Oregon Pony is just visible in the traffic circle at upper right, or is that something else?


  4. This 1939 picture to me is quite interesting. It doesn’t reflect the turntable that was later located b/w Marshall & Northrup on NW 9th street. It does though reflect there was a turntable which I never knew about at east of NW 9th & Kearney.

    Anybody know when the turntable was constructed b/w Marshall & Northrup on NW 9th..?? Burlington Northern was using it as late as 1995 when I lived @ McCormick Pier. They had quite a fuel depot with this turntable. It was interesting to bicycle down to watch the activities in the evenings.

  5. The SP&S roundhouse and turntable were there in the 1950s. I am surprised to find they hadn’t been built yet in 1939.

    Another cool discovery: the pedestrian bridge from the Broadway ramp to Union Station.

  6. Notice the fleet of delivery trucks at the split at the end of the bridge. U.S. mail? By the way, I’m new to this site an really enjoy it- thanks!

  7. I think the old Lovejoy ramp lasted until 1999. When I worked downtown in the early 90s I used to park down there and walk to work when I was feeling broke because the parking meters stopped at Kearney. 🙂

    Lynette, I think the triangular shapes are entrances to pedestrian subways, so I think you’re right about those being bus/streetcar islands. Actually that looks like an electric bus on the Broadway viaduct just south of the junction.

  8. @Bailey. The turntable in this view was for the rare occasions that it was needed to turn one of the switchers serving the passenger terminal. It was owned by the terminal company and was removed in the 40’s, The northern roads (GN/NP/SP&S) roundhouse turn table, much larger, is out of view. That engine terminal site dates from the 1880’s and the turntable on site was lengthened or replaced several times over the years,

    @wi. The two locomotives you refer to were SP&S switch engines and they are parked at the yard office and crew facility serving the freight houses both scrapped as they were displaced by diesels,

    There were stairs up to the transit stops at several locations on these ramps.Those delivery trucks are at the Railway Express Company shop and dock. Before Brown put them out of business.

    Interestingly Lovejoy below the ramp remained a public thoroughfare.

  9. I miss driving Lovejoy toward NW 21st or 23rd from
    Broadway. It was smooth sailing.
    You bypassed Burnside traffic
    and got there mighty quick.
    That was back in pre-invasion days.

  10. I used to use that ramp from Lovejoy onto 14th to go to Powell’s when I was a student at UofP in the early 1990s.
    It had a left turn signal from 14th back onto Lovejoy westbound that felt like days between greens, as so little traffic went that way.

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