NE Union Avenue, 1959

The construction of a temporary overpass during the construction of the NE Union Avenue viaduct (Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard), 1959.


City of Portland (OR) Archives, Union Ave. temporary overpass construction, 2010-30, 1959.

City of Portland (OR) Archives, Union Ave. temporary overpass construction, 2010-30, 1959.


View this image in Efiles by clicking here.

10 thoughts on “NE Union Avenue, 1959

  1. I’m confused here. Efiles has the following caption on the photo ” NE Union Ave [Martin Luther King Jr Blvd] looking south from viaduct, E Harbor Dr Underpass : Temporary overpass construction ” Well that doesn’t make any sense. Are they widening the Union overpass here? Building a new overpass? Or what?

  2. When they added the east-bound lanes and ramps that now go under MKL, they had to excavate some of the ground under the MLK / Everett intersection and extend the MLK viaduct south. Today you can see where that was done when passing under it on I-84. The northern park of MLK viaduct still has the original steel piers, while the southern half has concrete piers built at the time of this photo.

    For example, see this street view from I-84. You can see that Everett is partly supported by viaduct and you can see the transition between the old and late 50-s MLK viaduct.

  3. @Mike,

    Not only that, but this view is looking NW. That’s the Steel Bridge in the background with Centennial Mills behind it.

    P.S. I’m a different Jim than the person who previously posted.

  4. If the cold storage building is in the location I think, it was destroyed in a large and smokey fire some years ago. Because of the large amount of sawdust contained, it was a difficult fire to put out. It was right down the street from Sapporo Restaurant. Later, the street was widened to accommodate traffic with the site and Sapporo’s taken next to the Convention Center.

  5. The “Chrysler Emporium,” an antique auto repair business, was located here in the late 70’s early 80’s. A friend of mine was the lead mechanic there. We had a lot of fun in that building. Have always wondered what the name of the previous business was so I could research it.

  6. Strangely enough very shortly after the fire extinguished, Convention center started construction. Does anybody smell a burnt rat or is it just me ??

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