NE Russell Street, 1933

Workers laying tracks during the widening project of NE Union Avenue (Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard). This view is near NE Russell Street, 1933. Some of the business owners in this part of the project area lost as much as ten feet from the front of their buildings and re-construction work can be seen in this image.


City of Portland Archives, Oregon, A2009-009.1646

City of Portland Archives, Oregon, A2009-009.1646


View this image in Efiles by clicking here.

6 thoughts on “NE Russell Street, 1933

  1. My paper route for Portland Reporter was in that area. If I’m remembering correctly, Lampus Furniture was on that corner. There were still a lot of businesses on Union in the 60s.

  2. Another great pic! No doubt all glad to have work. Not sure if the boss in the vest is glad about the photographer as he beams at him. Then again, maybe he is.

  3. I’m not sure, but I seem to recall that Fuller’s coffee shop later occupied the space to the left of the Egyptian Theater. This would have been before they moved to their current location on NW 9th.

  4. Workers here are laying a “sho-fly” track, a temporary track around an area they plan to excavate or otherwise disturb the trolley track. This will permit the work to proceed “under traffic” allowing uninterrupted street car service. I surmise that as a second switch is under construction behind the truck,
    However a second possibility is that a siding is being built to hold a portable sub station to be in place permitting the replacement of those transformers overhead again “under traffic”, and the relocation of the those power poles.
    We await further evidence.

  5. Wonder what was with the different streetlight designs. There is one type close to the camera on the left and three examples of a different type back by the Alberta streetcar. The streetlight on the right side of the picture has been de-globed for some reason. Perhaps it had just been reinstalled but not yet activated after the street was widened at that spot? The light above the streetcar appears to be one of the old call lights used by the streetcar company when they wanted an employee to call in.

  6. Mike: Last time I was in Fuller’s they had the pictures of the previous locations on the wall.

    Re: Shoo-flies. I have seen them in use today in San Francisco on the streetcar lines, for temporary work. The new ones are all welded together, but essentially similar. But, unlike the practice here of piling dirt on them so traffic could get over them, in SF they just coned them off so people wouldn’t drive over them.

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