20 thoughts on “

  1. Nice photo. You can see PP and L’s Lincoln Power Plant there on the far left. Across the river the huge pile of sawdust or hog fuel that used to be near PGE’s station L plant is gone replaced by what looks like an oil storage tank.

  2. The date seems a bit late given that I-5 construction was going full tilt a half mile south at that time. I wonder if the date is when someone cleaned up their files. In the middle distance, where I-5 is now, some remnants of the defunct Oregon Electric Ry yard are visible. Interesting to compare this photo of the RI Bridge ramps with previously published pictures from the mid 1920’s. The original ramps were changed after WWII and then again shortly after this picture was taken to accommodate the freeway construction.

  3. I couldn’t find a decent photo of the big school building online. The only photo of a “Failing High School” I did find, looks nothing like this building. Looks like that baseball playing field area might be the only thing that partially remains from the school – now, Brooklyn Park?

    The road configurations here are certainly circuitous. It’s sad to see what has become of the area north of the bridge; a nice residential area turned into a scared industrial pit.

  4. Good aerial shot of Failing School, named after Josiah Failing, one of the founders of the Portland Public School system, prominent businessman, and Mayor of Portland in 1853. The building is still there today and serves as the main building of the National College of Natural Medicine. Notice the elevated walkway across the freeway to the school in this 1950s photo. Also visible in the photo’s lower left edge is the back end of the Neighborhood House, which was a community center built in 1910 and is now a National Historic site and a Waldorf School. This is a very historic and important old neighborhood in Portland’s long history.

  5. The H-shaped building is the National University of Natural Medicine today, with one side filled in. Some of my favorite old houses in Portland is the four-pack in a row, 3 blocks northwest-ish from there–beautifully refurbished, colorful, and reminiscent of San Francisco. The Alaska Junk Company certainly had a nice waterfront spread–there’s a ship there, can anyone identify the make and model? Looks possibly military, maybe it’s being salvaged? And I see another vacant lot or two still being used as a dump, literal remnants of earlier days. But, gratefully, many houses that survived the bridges and highways that dissect this neighborhood have been renewed, and it’s fun to explore the residential pockets for architectural treasures.

  6. I grew up in the Brooklyn neighborhood which is just on the east side of Ross Island Bridge (not in the picture). I spent 1st through 6th grades at Brooklyn School. Brooklyn Park is located between SE 10th and Milwaukee Ave. on the east side of the bridge. That was my go to park when I lived there. The last time I was in Portland the park was still there and look just like it was when I was a kid. What I do remember about this area, is it was a place for dismantling WW2 ships. The picture shows 2 ships docked and I suspect they were being dismantled. The area looks a lot cleaner than I remember. I remember when there were 5 or 6 ships being dismantled at the same time tied up to the docks. Must have been before this picture was taken. I remember driving back from Sea Side one year with my mom and there was a huge traffic jam getting to the bridge. Turns out there was a huge fire in the center of this picture that was caused by the ship dismantling process. Probably from a cutting torch. There should be some newspaper articles on the fire. I remember seeing pictures in the paper about the fire. A lot of the dismantling warehouses were destroyed in the fire. Those warehouses are missing from this picture which is why I think the fire occurred before this picture was taken.

  7. Interesting that just today OMSI released it’s plans for a 10 block development around the OMSI site which is the former site of PGE’s Station L which is in the picture.

  8. Note that SW Grover Street (just south of the on/off ramps at the end of the bridge) still cut through to Hood Avenue at the time of the photo, and the houses hard up against the bridge itself.

  9. Folks, Do not forget to rate the photos posted each day by using the yellow Star Rating System below each posted photo.

  10. I always loved Josiah Failing’s comment at the public meeting called after he, William S. Ladd and Henry W. Corbett but a notice in the then new city’s weekly newspaper, TheOregonian. The notice called for a public meeting on December 7, 1854, to seek agreement from the taxpayers for the founding of a public school. At the meeting Josiah Failing reflected their views when he stated that it made much more sense to pay taxes to build schools than to build jails. The citizens agreed.

    The first public school building built as such, known as Central School was erected at cost of $7,000 (including $1000 for the land). It opened on May 17, 1858, with Mr. L.L. Terwilliger as principal. By that Summer 280 pupils had been enrolled. It was located on the block where the Portland Hotel was later built and after its demolition is now Pioneer Courthouse Square.

    Josiah Failing was really the father of the public school system in Portland and the Failing School in this photograph was in acknowledgment of that.

  11. William Macadam, Thanks for bringing that great quote from Josiah Failing to our attention! Its relevance is universal and timeless.

  12. No. My great-great grandfather Henry. W. Corbett was involved with The Macadamized Road Company (which built a toll road where Macadam road is now, running almost parallel to Corbett Ave.).
    It was sheer coincidence that my mother, the eldest daughter of Elliott R. Corbett (HWC’s grandson), married a Macadam.
    Portland is full of fascinating memories and many happy visits there.
    Hope this answers your query, Best wishes,

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