Barbur Blvd. 1932

Looking west at SW Barbur Blvd, Slavin Road no longer snakes down from the north to meet on the east side of the highway, but Capital Highway still comes down the hill from the west. The Chart House restaurant is on Terwilliger Blvd in the upper right, the I-5 freeway now runs along the old railroad right-of-way just east of Barbur, and SW Corbett Ave slices across the bottom of this 1932 photo.

A1999-004.535   Aerial view of Barbur Blvd at SW Slavin Rd 1932 4k(City of Portland Archives)

19 thoughts on “Barbur Blvd. 1932

  1. When Capitiol Highway was first opened in 1916, it followed the line of Terwilliger Blvd from where they intersect in this view, as it made its way downtown. This view was taken within months of the completion of Barbur Blvd on the right of way of the old S&P Red Electric. The rail bed further down hill belonged to the Oregon Electric, I believe.

  2. Slavin Road is still there, but that segment is cut off, blocked a bit south of the Rasmussen Village apartments. The extant portion is accessible from the north end of the Corbett Avenue viaduct over I-5. Slavin built the road to access his quarry in Hillsdale, but I’ve never seen any maps or descriptions indicating where that quarry was. I assume the overhead ramp that connects Capitol Highway with Barbur was built when traffic increases made it impossible to turn left onto Barbur.

  3. @ Ken, the rail bed further down hill was part of the Fulton line owned by the Metropolitan railway company. It was laid in 1890 but then rerouted in 1900 to run down Corbett. Oregon Electric may have owned several lines but definitely owned the one a quarter mile toward the river where the trolley runs from Oswego to Spaghetti Factory. Looks to me in this photo as though the rail line on the future I-5 r.o.w. is being removed?

    And thanks for a definitive resource for Terwilliger being a part of the Pacific Highway routing. I had read about it but never seen a map. This photo shows that old routing from Capitol Highway to Terwilliger beautifully.

  4. Ken could be right about early path of Capitol Hwy but I doubt it. This section of Capitol Hwy took over the existing Slavin Road r-o-w which had existed since the late 1870’s. It started as Mr. Slavin’s access road before becoming a County Road that extended down the hill to Corbett. It was an early market road for the the dairymen of SW Portland. Terwilliger Blvd was in part a gift to the Parks Department from the Terwilliger family and included covenants against carrying commercial traffic.

  5. @ Brian: the rail line halfway up the hill is definitely the OE. The OE approached Portland from Tigard by running up to Garden Home, then down what is now Multnomah Blvd. to I-5, then along the present I-5 right of way into downtown Portland. The Willamette Shore Line wasn’t OE at all; instead, like the right of way that’s now Barbur Blvd., it carried the rival Red Electrics, operated by Southern Pacific.

  6. When Capitol Highway opened in October 1916 it joined Terwilliger Blvd at what remains its current intersection, and was paved in concrete from there west. The downhill portion of Slavin was not paved and the early accounts all speak of riding on it in conjunction with that end of Terwilliger. I’m not sure if the state highway designation included the latter or not.
    “Scenes Along Capitol Highway, Now Paved and Open from Portland via Terwilliger Boulevard to County Line at Tigard,” The Sunday Oregonian; 10-22-1916; p. 12. (with three photos)

  7. The intersection of Capital Highway and Terwilliger Boulevard looks a little more complicated than it is today, with almost a 180 degree right turn onto Terwilliger from Capital highway eastbound. Also interesting to note that there used to be what appears to be a gas station and several other structures on the northwest corner of the intersection. Now there is only a concrete retaining wall painted with a colorful mural at that location.

  8. I believe the house on Burlingame Ave that slid down its embankment about three years ago is visible in the top left in between two other houses. You can see the Polanski’s house which was opposite the Hillvilla. They owned the restaurant. I was hoping for about another inch of photo at the top to see my parents house on Westwood Dr that was built in1928. All these grand homes (and they are really magnificent places) were built between 1925 and 1930. Imagine how peaceful the environment was then without the din of freeway noise. Such a bad choice for freeway development. What a pity. Thank goodness Terwilliger is preserved from development forever????

  9. @Ian, the original intersection was very different…. Until about 1928 Terwilliger stopped at Capitol Hwy. When they extended it south the intersection was like a narrow X. Probably pretty scary. It was a curvy, narrow road. There was a gas station there and few homes. The Terwilliger extension incurred several significant landslides in the 30’s & 40’s. A WPA project reworked the drainage. When Capitol Hwy was widened in the late 50’s the intersection was moved west & uphill. This meant demolishing the gas station and adding a lot more fill on the south side. Much safer but the City is planning a slight realignment in the next few years after Water & Sewer projects are done.

  10. Not 1932…there is traffic on Barbur. Barbur (named after a City commisioner) was opened in 1933. So, this must be at least 1933, perhaps a year or two later. Any chime-ins here?

  11. Anybody know details about the mansion in the upper left corner? Was Burlingame their driveway? I bet they had a great view there. Great site, thanks.

  12. Thanks for the info Jim! I am always amazed at the wealth of knowledge held by the commenters on this site.

  13. Interesting that the retaining wall that was recently demolished for the I-5 viaduct replacement project is not visible in this photo. I recall that it was marked with a date something like 1914.

  14. @Tad: I think the retaining wall is visible … it is just all overgrown. You can see it to the left of the lowest trestle and it appears to extend all the way to the left edge of the photo.

  15. @Chris – you may be right about it being overgrown… but the wall I’m referring to was on the other (north) side of the overpass.🙂

  16. @Adam – I think the mansion is actually three homes … 6434, 6438 and 6442 SW Burlingame. All three were built in 1929.

  17. 6438(the middle house)SW Burlingame was the unfortunate residence that slid down the hill, pancaking a house below it on the 6300 block of Southwest Terwilliger Boulevard back in 2008.

  18. The house in the upper left is now 6415 SW Parkhill Way and according to Portlandmaps.com was built in 1933, again suggesting that this picture was later than 1932.

  19. very likely slavin was an alternate routing of pacific highway,pretty common back then to do that. the old greyhound bus garage recently torn down was described as having been constructed on main route out of town. you can follow old corbett right of way for a short distance across a parking lot before its buried under later road construction. and corbett leads directly to slavin rd.

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