10 thoughts on “Front Avenue Sewer, circa 1928

  1. I’m fascinated by the rows and rows of pilings that are in many of our waterways. Some of the ones in this photo are especially close together. They are random heights, so they probably weren’t meant to support a building. Does anyone know how the pilings were put into place? Purpose(s)? I’d love to know more.

  2. As mentioned in a previous post, this photo is looking towards where the pumping station currently sits, just South of the Burnside Bridge.

    Lois, as you can see in the linked photo, those pilings were indeed holding up wharves. I would imagine the demolition process displaced many of the pilings in today’s photo. Fun fact: the majority of Venice, Italy is built on closely-packed wooden pilings. The anaerobic environment of the mud in which the pilings are set keeps them from rotting.

  3. The building with the painted ad for the Holman Transfer Company (which still exists as Holman Distribution) was the Dodd Block on Ankeny and Front, the building to its left was the gorgeous Cooks’ Building. To see their pretty sides, just search this site for Dodd or Cook.

  4. It looks like the pilings are being used as temporary shoring to complete the sewer project. The steam shovel is dropping fill into the water right below the bucket. Notice the efficient work by the shovel operator with the scoop marks on the empty barge. A new barge with fresh fill is waiting for docking. Love the Stimson tug boat.

  5. Imagine getting title insurance on your 4-5 story brick building sitting on bankfill over the edge of the Willamette, shored by old pilings…don’t think that would fly today. And I don’t even want to get into floodplain issues….

  6. If you’re interested, you can to link back to earlier postings by using the “search” feature. “Sewer”, “seawall”, “Front Avenue” and “waterfront” yield some interesting photos and comments. Have fun.

  7. @Tom

    Up in the Cascades is a lake called Clear Lake. 10,000 years ago a volcano erupted and burnt black a forest of trees. A stream was blocked off and the area filled with water which became Clear Lake. You can still see the chard trees just a couple feet under the water.

  8. Pretty sure this is taken from the Burnside bridge looking west at what is today, the old sewer treatment plant.
    IF this link works, you can see the Bing maps “birds eye” view. (I don’t normally use Bing, but prefer Google)


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