34 thoughts on “Portland International Airport, circa 1960

  1. I thought I read that the original terminal building was what is now the fire department in the lower right of the picture. Is that true?

    I would have thought that 82nd would have been the original approach to the airport, but it doesn’t look as if 82nd comes down to the airport in the picture. If I were driving to catch a flight in 1960 what road would I have taken to get there?

  2. I can’t remember the name of that houseboat moorage there by the airport but the port paid to build a new moorage farther east along the river due to noise issues. Also that little lake east of the airport is still there although now not as nice.

  3. Looks like eight C-82 ‘Flying Boxcars’ at what I assume is the military hangers at the SW edge of the field.

  4. We see a number of moorages on the Columbia slough. Some for boathouse, some houseboat, as the mix changed over the years the majority moved to other area of the river. Sea Scout Base and Ski Dock Moorage were the two largest we see at the bottom of the photo. As the Port sought to clear the river of structures (and potential lawsuits) they agreed to loan the final compilation of owner (Lemon Island Moorage located at 94th and Marine Drive) the money to build a new residence moorage at 189th. I lived aboard one of those houseboats from `65-89 and helped design and site the new moorage called The Islands. Fun times.

  5. In the lower left corner of the field we see the NOAA headquarters and the Columbia Aviation Country Club facilities.

  6. Igor: The original terminal facilities were on the north side, between Marine Drive and the airfield (lower left). The current fire department facility (the “ARFF”, for Aircraft Rescue and Fire Fighting) is a more recent structure located just west of those old terminal buildings in the image (i.e. towards the bottom), but a couple of the smaller buildings are still there as various utility structures.

    At the original airfield, there was no single “terminal” – each airline had their own facility. The largest structure there (the hangar in the image) was United Air Lines; others with smaller facilities included West Coast Airlines, Northwest Airlines, Western Air Lines (possibly not all at the same time).

    There is a small collection of vintage photos of the airport in the reception area of PDX’s new Lost & Found / Security Badging office at the north end of the mezzanine level. There are photos spanning from the 40s to the early 70s, some aerials, some plane shots and some people. Check it out next time you are at the airport.

  7. Re: 82nd, it actually appears that 82nd is in fact the road that curves into the east end of Airport Way. (This would be before the current S-curve to the east, north of the intersection with Alderwood.) If you follow that road to the right, you can see the interchanges where it goes under Columbia Boulevard and the UP, and then Killingsworth.

  8. 47th was the west end and 82nd the east, 47th shows well here. The present tower in the center of the airport is at old 82nd. The north ends of these two roads are still evident as Marine Drive is off the dike between the two.

  9. Its my theory that the beloved replaced carpet icon is representative of the original runway layouts prior to the construction of runways 10-28L/Rs. Certainly this archived photo eludes to this.

  10. We also get a good look at the Oregon National Guard facility, both Army and Air force on Cornfoot Rd. We also get a glance at the original Colwood Golf Club before it was butchered .
    I believe President Eisenhower’s plane landed at Portland Air Base and not at Portland Airport and that is the reason his route was via 47th as that was the main route from the Airbase. Just a guess. 82nd to Airport Way served the civilian airport.A lot of airport traffic particularly commercial trucks and taxi’s, used NE Alderwood through the golf coarse as a shortcut even before all the present development.

  11. Area along the river between the dike and Marine drive was “Dittler’s” beach when I was in high school. We would go down there on Friday and/or Saturday nights to drink beer and then we would go cruise “Broadway” in our 67 GTO’s etc.

  12. Ike’s plane landed at Portland International in October of 56 to 5000 well wishers. 100 thousand along the motorcade route.

  13. @Rod what is different about today’s Colwood than what we’re seeing in this picture? Looks the same from I can see.

  14. rod taylor, you could well be right about Portland Air Base and Eisenhower’s flight, I’m not sure but seems reasonable. But in 1956 the new terminal that is shown here wasn’t built yet (opened in `1958) and thus wasn’t connected to 82nd (as shown above), so 82nd wouldn’t have been the civilian route either.

    The primary route from the old terminal complex on the north side to downtown then would ave been Marine Dr. to 47th, up the hill and connecting overpass to 42nd, then on to Sandy.

  15. Half or more of Colwood’s property was sold last year. They’ve turned it into a 9 hole course with a driving range. While it sucks the original Colwood is no more, they were going to scrap the whole thing and elected to keep the 9 holes. I’ll take it!

  16. I’ve always found it interesting that locals call the M James Gleason Boat Ramp the “42nd St Ramp.” There is no 42nd street near Marine Drive any more.

  17. The Air National Guard ramp in the distance is full of F89j Scorpions, I think the ramp in the middle right is a transient ramp and appears to be a squadron of F-102 Delta daggers.

  18. The F102s on the ramp at the south side of the field are of the 337th Fighter Group (Air Defense) stationed at Portland Air National Guard Base from 18 August 1955 to 30 March 1966.

  19. mark: Yes. Other options would have been Rainer/Longview bridge or Cascade Locks/Bridge of the Gods in 1960.

  20. @ Robert. Sometime in the 70’s or 80’s a large strip of the east side of the front nine was shaved off resulting in the narrowing of the fairways and moving of at least one tee and one green as I recall. During this period many sand traps were removed. Also an ice storm in 78 or 79 resulted in lot’s of damage to trees that were never replaced.
    @ Brian.Just a guess on my part. In fact I was not living here at the time. But. The trip was covered by the armed forces news reel service and it was shown at our local propaganda dispensary, oops, I mean post movie theater in France. I remember it because it was the one and only time during my entire 3 year tour in Europe that I ever saw any mention of my home town or state in any news media. Just a snipit of Ike riding in a convertible. But hey look guys that’s my town.

  21. October 18th Oregonian article..”.Lets all greet Ike at Portland International airport when he arrives in the “Columbine” at 2pm Thursday”. Also a complete map of the route is shown. And no I don’t have a life. LOL.

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