11 thoughts on “Hawthorne Bridge, circa 1914

  1. I used to sit on the bench on the bridge and study between classes at PCC. Probably my favorite downtown bridge.

  2. I would like to be in the operators shack on the top of the lift span when it goes up. I remember when there was a guard shack and guard at each gate before automation..

  3. I remember the Steel Bridge always being black…the Broadway always being a ruby-rust, but when did the Hawthorne Bridge become the medium olive green color it is today? Didn’t it used to be black as well…or dark gray…you know…way back when?

  4. From wiki:

    “The original color of the bridge was black, lasting until 1964, when it was repainted yellow ochre.[10] During the 1998-99 renovation, the color was changed to green with red trim.[1]”

    There’s a photo from the ochre era on the wiki page, looking rather light-brownish.

  5. Behind the lifted span, in what would be today’s South Waterfront. Does anyone know what that large black blob is? It’s doesn’t look like a building or storage tank. It’s not smoke and it has a lighter colored base. Could it be an ancient tree? If it were too scale it would be over 200 feet tall (at least). Even more perplexing, it appears there is a spire or something to its left, that’s even taller…in 1914! Any thoughts, info?

  6. Brian…

    Now I remember that color…that yellow ochre…it always made the bridge look kinda dirty.
    I think the medium olive green color it is today suits the bridge very well.


  7. This picture maybe from the summer of 1911.

    I am with Andrew on this. Like he pointed out, the counterweights are all they way down. Although the Mayor declared the bridge open for traffic in Dec of 1910, the bridge was having problems, including the lift span getting stuck, counterweights unbalanced, joints swelling in the summer heat and more. The bridge was opened, but accepted on condition of all problems being fixed. At one point, the Oregonian reported on 7/14/1911, the summer heat was so hot it swelled the bridge and it refused to lower. “Sun Makes Bridge Swell”, The fireboat was called and it poured “streams of water on the structure for more than an hour”

    Here is an article indicating the piers in the picture were removed by Oct 18, 1911.

    Repairs on Hawthorne Bridge Ordered Before Acceptance.”
    “The City Engineer was instructed to notify the contractors to begin work at once on removal of the sunken pier that obstructs the channel under the span, and to take up with the contractors on the superstructure the prosecution of repairs on the bridge itself. Several minor repairs of flaws for which the contractors are not held responsible, will be done by the city. Among these will be the installation of additional shrinkage joints in the car tracks, prevent recurrence of the trouble from expansion of the rails which interfered with the raising and lowering of the draw several times this Summer.”
    Oregonian, September 12, 1911, page 12

    Major McIndoo Reports Hawthorne Span as Complete.
    That the foundation of the old Madison Street bridge, and all obstructions at the new Hawthorne Bridge have now been removed from the Willamette River, and that the bridge is ready for the approval of the War Department, is in substance, the statement made by Major J. L. McIndoo in a letter to the City Auditor Barbur, filed yesterday. Major McIndoo says:”

    “Referring to my letter of August 2, 1911, and your reply of August 7, relative to the removal of false work and old piers of the Hawthorne-avenue bridge, I beg to advise you that the final inspection was made by one of my assistants October 18th and he reports the completion of the removal of these obstructions.”

    “I have therefore this day reported to the Chief of Engineers that the bridge has been completed in accordance with the plans approved by the War Department on June 26, 1909, and that all conditions upon which the approval was given have been satisfactorily complied with.”
    Oregonian, October 25, 1911, Page 13

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