NE 39th Avenue, 1965

NE 39th Avenue (NE Cesar Chavez Boulevard) looking north towards NE Senate Street and the freeway overpass, 1965.


City of Portland (OR) Archives, A2005-001.964.


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15 thoughts on “NE 39th Avenue, 1965

  1. Hmmm…early spring or very early fall? Well, it’s a sunny, dry afternoon, ’bout 3-4. The guy walking is wearing a light-colored jacket. I don’t see an overabundance of blooms on shrubbery, nor do we see much in the way of leaf drop in the road gutters. So, I’d probably lean towards spring.

    More General Motors, Chevrolet cars grace the image than any other marquee. The car that’s obscured behind the car nearest the camera looks like it might be a Ford Falcon.

    The bridge here spans I-80 (later renamed I-84 in 1980) Banfield Freeway.

    When The City renamed 39th Ave. to Cesare Chavez Blvd. the amount of north/south traffic at Bybee Blvd where I once lived shot up almost immediately because apps like Google Maps would prefer to route drivers to “boulevards” rather than “avenues”. Giant Diesel pickups (contactors) would start coming through at 6 am every weekday morning, traffic would be non-stop, all day long.

  2. My grandparents lived on NE Davis just off 39th. I remember my dad taking me to visit them many times ❤️

  3. Based on the shadows, the sun is in the East. Its mid-morning–probably around 9-10. The tree limbs are bare–but you are right no leaves on the ground. Probably early spring.

  4. When I zoom in on the photo I can see the familiar signs on the front of Poor Richards Restaurant on Broadway. I can’t read the sign but I know the sign. I worked there in the kitchen from June 1964 to November 1965. They were closed Sundays and Mondays-other wise I was there! I

  5. Such a cool photo! Grew up just a few blocks south off Royal ct. I’ve never seen such a closeup of the split exit off of the Banfield. It would be so nice today to have a north and southbound exit like this.

  6. “The bridge here spans I-80 (later renamed I-84 in 1980) Banfield Freeway.”

    Minor correction: the Interstate Highway designation then was I-80N, the “N” to distinguish it as a branch from the main I-80 that goes to SF. I think there was a decision in the 70s to mostly move away from lettered directional suffixes and use only numbers which led to the change to I-84 in 1980.

  7. The entrance and exit ramps are now different. I believe they were replaced when the freeway was expanded from two lanes to three. Not sure when that was. Maybe the late ’70s.

  8. I once read that as part of the great re-numbering the City code provided that henceforth north-south roadways would be called “avenues,” east-west roadways would be called “streets” and roadways that went diagonal or otherwise not north-south or east-west would be called “boulevards,” such as in Sandy Boulevard and Barber Boulevard. Of course, I could never understand why Hawthorne on the east side has long been Hawthorne Boulevard. But now with Cesar Chavez Boulevard and MLK Boulevard that clearly no longer seems to be the case. I guess there can always be exceptions made, but I liked the old system, and I think Cesar Chavez Avenue would have been fine. But what’s really goofy is that Cesar Chavez Blvd does not end at I-84. As what was once called 39th Avenue turns into a quiet two-lane residential street running through the neighborhoods of Northeast Portland the street signs all along its route say, “Cesar Chavez Blvd.”

  9. Jon the Banfield (I-84) was widened at the same time as the Max Blue line light rail construction project and I believe that was 1982. A 1981 aerial photo of the freeway in the area of today’s photo shows the old off ramps still in use.

  10. Jon Portland Ordinance No. 61325 passed on 9/2/31 for the great renumbering of Portland approved the following designations.
    “Streets” Easterly and Westerly
    “Avenues” Northerly and Southerly
    “Drive”- “Court”- “Lane”- “Terrace”- “Way” Winding or circuitous
    “Place” Between two consecutively numbered streets. Taking lesser of two numbers
    “Boulevard” or “Drive” Scenic or arterial

  11. Carmen’s – our old late night hangout in high school. We didn’t have much money so we would order the cheapest thing on the menu – French fries with gravy! I can’t believe that was even served in an Italian restaurant, ha.

  12. i miss the big glass lens street light fixtures from the mid 50s !! never been able to find one the city has not replaced yet my how the times have changed ! i like
    the green mercury vapor ones from the late 60s ! now there all LED street lights
    BORING !!

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