W Burnside & 19th, 1938

Traffic is heavy where W. Burnside meets SW 18th and 19th Avenues and Alder Street in this 1938 photo. Hard to tell what traffic control system they had in place at that time but it looks like all directions are on the move, including pedestrians. Part of Portland Firefighters Park can be seen on the left.

A2005-001.138 W Burnside and SW 19th northwest 1938(City of Portland Archives)

7 thoughts on “W Burnside & 19th, 1938

  1. I like this post today–from October, 2006 through late January, 2011, I rode the 15 bus through this intersection on the way home from work. Thanks!

  2. You can see footage posted by Dan Haneckow on YouTube from one year later at this intersection:

    I believe the building in the center burned a year or two after this photo was shot. Later it was converted to the Stadium apartments.

  3. Somehow, this seems much flatter than it is now. I live just over on NW 21st and Flanders, and walk or ride my bike through here quite often going to the MAX or to downtown. All-in-all, it definitely looks a bit different nowadays. Am I right that the big building block straight ahead on the left is now that giant high-rise complex with the (now gone) Thai and Smoothie restaurants, and the Hot Lips Pizza on the back side across from the stadium?

    Given early videos of Portland automobile traffic, there may not have been much of any traffic control system – things were pretty fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants back then it seems.

  4. Dave, believe it or not, this film was made after traffic improvements to this intersection. I understood these films were made as part of a citywide traffic study. Some films Dan has posted on YouTube appear to be of intersections with no improvements. Definitely you were on your own if you were a pedestrian back then. Check out the 6th and Morrison or the Broadway and Interstate videos…Looks like a free for all at times!

  5. It appears that signals were added in 1939, one year later as this photo taken from 18th and Morrison shows:

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