16 thoughts on “South Waterfront, 1934

  1. I’m having a hard time figuring out where this is, even with PMC’s post. Is that Barbur/4th across the bottom of the photo? Or?

  2. Those 3 tanks across the river were Manufactured Gas holding tanks of Portland Gas and Coke ( Now Northwest Natural Gas ) that were at SE 9th right near SE Powell. You’d think that the Ross Island Bridge would be in the frame of the picture.

  3. The curving road with the Texico station is SW Arthur St.

    Barbur Blvd, at the bottom of the picture, and Marquam Gulch (Arthur St) had just been filled and built the year before.

  4. You can locate this picture by noticing the old power plant which is now OMSI toward the left on the river. The Hawthorne Bridge is out of the frame on the left and the Ross Island Bridge is out of the frame on the right.

  5. The sleepy residential area pictured here has been carved up and obliterated to make room for a screwy network of roads, tech parks, high-density construction creating many pocketed “dead zones”.

    Billboards were certainly given full reign in these days, as were gas stations.

  6. Traveling through this area today, it is hard for me to realize that almost the entire area around SW Barbur and SW Arthur and surrounds is built on uncompacted fill. One wonders how that will perform when the “big one” strikes?

  7. I remember going to a history lecture at that church and the speaker said we could thank Richard Nixon (of all people) for saving that little church and the surrounding area. They had plans on bulldozing farther south as part of urban renewal but he had cut the funding.

  8. I heard that much of the fill material came from the Jefferson tunnels, but I don’t know if that’s accurate.

  9. Ron K:
    Probably wouldn’t even have to be the big subduction quake. A big shake along the West Hills fault running under the intersection of I-5, I-405 and the Marquam Bridge would probably suffice.

  10. I’ve never heard of an Urban Renewal Area like the South Auditorium Urban Renewal Area being proposed for the area pictured. The Emanuel Hospital URA was stopped due to a federal funding cut. Was there a name for the proposed URA in south Portland?

  11. Mike, it was proposed it was done in the 1950’s. It wiped out the italian, jewish and black neighborhoods between Market St and Lair Hill.The expansion of PSU was related.

  12. Before reading the comments I thought I’d see if I could find the viewpoint on my own. I found OMSI easy enough and the then I noticed the church and wondered if it was still there, and that’s when I spotted the upper part of what is now the National University of Naturopathic Medicine and that led me to find the still existent church.

    Going uphill from there got me to what Google Maps calls “Scenic Portland View w/Bench” – https://goo.gl/maps/LE6JaHFKwh8RwLko7 – up on SW Terwilliger Boulevard.

    The houses at Meade and Barbur are still there but hidden by trees as of last November when Google last drove north on that part of Barbur.

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