13 thoughts on “SE Division Street, 1939

  1. This stretch of Division, between Grand and SE 10th, was part of Union Avenue at one time. There used to be 6-8 curb stamps that indicated Union, but with new construction along there, not sure if any still left.

  2. Followup VP topic: the old Central Eastside street plan.

    If this used to be Union, I gather that the name changes at the bend deviating from east/west. Broadway Rules (it’s in 4 quadrants) wouldn’t work here because of duplicate addresses in SE, but I appreciate the irony of Union leading to Division.

    Which street does the 99E viaduct belong to, then? There’s a case to make for both Grand and McLoughlin.

  3. I took a look at the Sanborn maps. That angled stretch of Division doesn’t exist on the 1924-1928 map. On the 1950 map, it is labelled as Division from 3rd to 10th, but it’s also labelled as “SE Union Ave” in smaller type, indicating a older name. So some time between 1924 and 1939, that angled stretch was built, and was known as Union Ave. It appears that the address numbering was N-S when it was Union, and then switched to E-W when it became Division. My guess is that it was changed to Division when the viaduct was built in 1936.

    On the 1950 map, the dividing line between Union and McLoughlin was Mill St.

  4. When the 1936 viaduct was built it was much smoother than the new one, which may be the roughest stretch of state highway in OR when it opened. I’m sure whoever signed off on the contract being complete would become unemployed in the private sector. Same with whoever put out the contract for the Morrison bridge decking that barely made ten years.

  5. The street name change data base (source Portland Transportation) shows that Union changed to Division on December 8, 1937 with Ordinance #70325.

  6. The viaduct was built on fill that included sawdust from the big Inman-Poulsen sawmill nearby. This may account for the deterioration with time of the road surface after each rebuilding or repair of the viaduct.

  7. Kenn:
    In 1996 I discovered there were nine Union stamps. Two years later, after curb ramps were installed (and stamps were not changed to both names per city policy), three were obliterated (blank, no name), three were updated to Division only, and three were outside the curb ramp area and they remained. In 1998 they were under the MLK viaduct, at SE Lincoln and at SE 8th on the north side.

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