Ross Island Bridge, circa 1926

Construction on the west approach to the Ross Island Bridge looking east, circa 1926. You can see the same construction site looking to the west in a previous post by clicking here.


City of Portland (OR) Archives, A2009-009.483.


View this image in Efiles by clicking here.

14 thoughts on “Ross Island Bridge, circa 1926

  1. old coot in white hat: “‘there goes the neighborhood’ wasn’t funny the first time you said it, frank”

    this may be the most well-documented project in portland history. i wish we had this many angles of other locations in town!

  2. Those cars are parked kind of close together. Hope the guy in the middle doesn’t need to leave anytime soon!

  3. To me those two old friends enjoying a talk together amidst all that destruction/construction sort of make the picture. What a mess! A major disruption and change for an old Portland neighborhood. But it all came together with the opening of the Ross Island Bridge, a very important connection between SW and SE Portland, later that year.

  4. Merlin, the London like air pollution in the Portland area in the old days was caused by the thousand upon thousands of wood burning stoves and the waterfront industries smoke coupled with the geography of the area. Unlike the LA area, it was a problem in Portland before the ascendancy of the automobile. Having been born in 1951 and living in the area all my life I can attest the air pollution today is much less than it used to be.

  5. I’m wondering if the twin church spires in the distance at far left are those from the old St. Francis church in SE Portland. You pretty much have to blow up the photo to see them, fyi. Any thoughts?

  6. Great pic of old cars.
    Notice the last guy parked with wheels turned and perhaps a block on its rear tyre.
    But barely any room to stand in front to crank its motor !

  7. Almost positive that’s the St.Francis spires in the distance. I read a wind storm in ’31 is what did them in. And yes I agree also about the air quality. Bad.

  8. John Killen: I believe you are correct that this circa 1926 photo has captured the St. Francis church spires. If you check out two additional Vintage Portland photos from February 2011 the church is shown. From 2/11/2011 there is a 1912 panorama of Portland and the church is very prominent, and from 2/9/2011 there is a short news story with a photo that tells of the spires being damage in a wind storm on Monday January 5,1931, and the need remove them due to the storm damage. A comment from 2/9/2011 says that the entire church was razed.

  9. The VP post of October 29, 2010, has an interesting aerial view of the west end of the Ross Island bridge, 1932. Before all the ramps were built & there is a trolley
    car on SW 1st or Front.
    The name of the contractors painted on the sawhorses “EDLEFSEN & WYGANT is still visible on curb stampings all over town.

  10. Billy: The October 29, 2010 1932 photo shows the completed West side of the Ross Island Bridge. The Bridge was dedicated, and opened at least 5 years prior on December 27, 1926, but what exist today is not the original bridge exit-approach.

  11. Cars parked on street in the photo appear to be: (in rear) 1924 Fors Model T Runabout, (middle) 1925 Hertz D-1, (front) 1925 Ford Model T Coupe. The car parked (in the distance) 1925 Chrysler Imperial E80 Touring.

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