Southwest Waterfront, 1940

Aerial of Battleship Oregon in its newly built park. It was located on the southwest waterfront at the foot of SW Jefferson Street just south of the Hawthorne Bridge, May 9, 1940.


City of Portland Archives, Oregon, A2000-025.1181

City of Portland Archives, Oregon, A2000-025.1181


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15 thoughts on “Southwest Waterfront, 1940

  1. I understand why she had to go, but oh how I wish we still had her around. The closest, age-wise, that is on display is the USS Texas, built a full 20 years after the Oregon. There are no early dreadnoughts left. Sad.

  2. A lone brave cyclist on the Hawthorne bridge, and the vestiges of what became the Esplanade. I didn’t realize that this was a dedicated area for the public this early. The complete USS Oregon would have been a nice memorial center piece today as well.

  3. I’d love it if we could figure out the mystery of what became of the Roosevelt Memorial that is in the circle in this photo. It was only there for couple of years and disappeared when it was supposed to be moved. Also of note – some people in town wanted to move Skidmore Fountain to that plaza in the late 1930s. Oy.

  4. @Robert: I too wish the old Bulldog was saved. But even if so, I wonder if she would’ve survived the ensuing years and economies. There is a survivor, however, the cruiser USS Olympia, the same age as the Oregon, (built next to her at Union Iron Works in San Fransisco in 1893), undergoing restoration in Philadelphia today.

    The Oregon was a “predreadnaught” class, launched in 1893, 12 years before the concept British battleship namesake of the type, HMS Dreadnaught, launched in 1906. She was third and last of the “Indiana Class”, as coastline defense battleships, given number BB-3.

  5. The whole Battleship Oregon WW2 saga is like a bad dream. It never did anything to contribute to the war effort as typically happens with knee jerk reactions. She was converted to a barge, never saw any war effort until late 1943 when she ended up in Guam. She was like the thing they had but never knew what to with her and she spent all of her war years slowly rusting away. If anything she was a hindrance to the WW2 war effort. She would have been better used to just sit where she was. Instead in the very darkest days of the war she tied up resources that would have been better used elsewhere and never did anything. In 1958 she was towed to Japan, that a scant 17 years years earlier had attacked us and involved us in a 4 year bloody war. The ultimate insult IMHO to a proud old warhorse. Sorry if I sound bitter about it but I can’t help it. It was a very badly managed situation.

  6. I enjoy being on your mailing list and Vintage Portland is one of most favorite posts. Can you suggest were I might find a picture of my grandfather’s shop which was on the North side of SW Clay between Front Avenue and First Avenue. The shop manufactured rubber products and was in a cast iron faced building. The shop had sign on the window “Jy’s Rubber Co” He was in business during the 1930’s and 1940’s. The building was destroyed during the South Auditorium Renew.

    On Fri, 10 Jun 2016 13:02:32 +0000 Vintage Portland

  7. Looks like almost nothing in this picture survives now except the bridge itself.
    What is the small “house” near the left tower? I know the house on the center span is where the bridge keeper hangs out.

  8. You can see where they carved out an “arc” on the shore that matches the ship’s hull shape. Kind of neat that the shape of the shore is still the same. I never knew the significance of that curve before. I thought it was just a natural feature of the river.

  9. Pingback: West End of Hawthorne Bridge 1980 | Faded Portland

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