Although this photo is labeled as “SE” Water Avenue, a close examination of the stamped concrete on the corner shows this to be the intersection of Water and Columbia Street, which is on the west side. The vantage point today is roughly the center of the bowl in Waterfront Park at the foot of Columbia Street.
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.
Long before an elevated ramp connected the Hawthorne Bridge with SE Grand Avenue, traffic on SE Hawthorne Blvd traveled at grade level. Discussion is needed on “removing old trestle bents” at the bottom of this photo. This view looks west on Hawthorne from SE 3rd Ave.; a tower and crossing signals indicate the railroad right-of-way on SE 1st. That billboard to the right could be advertising the 1932 movie “Ladies of the Big House” starring Sylvia Sidney.
Standing atop the parking garage at SW 1st and Jefferson, we get a good view to the south and a changing Portland skyline of 1975. Newer buildings south of Clay are still standing today, while those north of Clay have been replaced. Notice the tunnels leading under the street where the Marriott Hotel site is being excavated.
VP fan Bud Holland attended the “surplus auction” about a week before the Oriental Theater fell to the wrecking ball in 1970 where he picked up a number of papier-mâché urns, cast-iron wall sconces, etc. He’s since sold most of the items but still has the program and an entry pass distributed during the theater’s grand opening December 31, 1927. Thanks again, Bud!
Looking west from the SW 1st Avenue overpass, construction crews are digging deep to excavate the I-405 freeway circa 1965. The Travelodge over on SW 4th is clearly visible here, as are other still extant buildings. You can see an aerial view of the overall area here.
Pedestrians along the westside seawall check out river levels during the 1948 flood. A little farther north city crews are hard at work continuing sandbagging operations to prevent flooding along SW Harbor Drive. This view is looking north from the Morrison Bridge sidewalk.