14 thoughts on “NW Glisan Street, 1920

  1. Portland Gas and Coke Holder tank ( gasometer ) in the background there. Later the company became Northwest Natural Gas. That block is now where ODOT region 1 Headquarters building is.

  2. It’s fairly remarkable how it’s still possible to capture almost the same perspective of this area off Streetview. The man standing on the left margin looking into the scene helps generate an immediacy to this photograph that separates it from more conventional old photographs. I get the feeling that the photographer knew this person and placed him in the shot, on purpose (a good call).
    I wish there were more old photographs available of the old firehouse seen here. I’d like to see a good shot showing the front with the doors open, but really, the firehouse is positioned in an area that makes it somehow easy to miss in shots of this area.
    You almost feel a chill looking at the people standing on the sidewalk on the right; this day recalls many drizzly mornings I’ve had out walking in downtown Portland. The tall bridge lifts, the uprooted steel girders, damp pavement, and that imposing tank lets you know you are in a cold industrial area near the river. I like that “Gatley’s” sign painted on the side of the building.

  3. Also this accident was caused by a runaway street car. This started a movement to widen this intersection.

  4. Look on the left, just beyond the railing, is that a pantagraph on an electric locomotive passing by?

  5. Oregonian December 14, 1920 — page 1

    Runaway Streetcar Rams Building Front — Passengers who alighted escape possible death. — One man trolley crawls through brakes when left by motorman.

    Brakes on Irvington streetcar No. 241, a one man car in charge of G. H. Linville, motorman 1405 Vulcan street, failed to function on the Steele Bridge at 9:20 last night and as a result the car ran wild to the corner of Third and Glisan streets, crashed through a standard holding aloft the electric light arches and halted it’s spectacular career with the front end at the doors of the Auto Reconstruction company 121 Third street.
    There was no one in the car when it crept away from the motorman. He had just alighted after setting his brakes. to obtain the name and address of Bill Lecas, a truck driver who had skidded into the side of the streetcar on the bridge, injuring John Jouglas, 30 who was riding with him. He did not notice that the car was moving until it picked up speed and was unable to catch it.
    W. E. Drennan, motorcycle patrolman, and J Mattis, truckman of Engine No.2 of the fire department, witnessed the accident. Windows were shattered in the front of the building occupied by the Auto Reconstruction company, which is operated by G. H. Smith 11 East Hancock street, and in the store of Auto Leasing company, owned by N. Elfving, 220 North Seventh street. Motorman Linville told police that the brakes had been leaking. Three passengers had alighted at the far end of the bridge to take the Bridge Transfer car.

  6. DJ— KGW CH. 8 has a story online from August 11, 2017 that covers the fire at station No. 2 at 510 NW 3rd. Station No. 2 was in use from 1912 until 1950, and you can see a 1948 photo of the station in the VP photo from June 16, 2010, also the VP photo from November 17, 2016 shows the widening of Glisan street in 1924, and it appears that the building the streecar hit has been removed.

  7. JohnH— I believe what you are seeing is a “Portland Red Electric” which was a interurban passenger service from Portland to Eugene. If you Google “Portland Red Electric” Pdxhistory has more information and a route map, and photos.

  8. The new steel fabricated bridge approach ramp rails beat the old concrete ones for aesthetics hands down. But the old three-globe street lamps more than make up for it when compared to the new arched single-head fixtures, of course.

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