34 thoughts on “Help Us Out!

  1. It is Broadway Drive right above where the Terwilliger Plaza is now. Note the cut off street sign “Broad”


  2. I think it is at the intersection of SW Broadway and SW Hoffman, as shown above by wploulorenziprince.

  3. sw hoffman is there on the left. that lady is walking in a far wider – and safer! – path than is there now. residents have been asking for a sidewalk on sw broadway since before this picture was taken. those old guardrails, made of a wood 6×6 set in a concrete post, are still found up and down the street… sometimes behind the new steel ones, where they narrrow the walking path still further.

  4. This photo may have been taken to document the clearing and rebuilding of SW Broadway Dr. that was caused by a slide that happened on December 22, 1933 approx 1/2 mile east of Patton Rd. The slide covered Broadway Dr. with 10 feet of earth, and a portion of Broadway Dr. also slid down hill. News articles in the following days reported 245 CWA workers being used to clear slides on many routes in the city. On December 23, 1933 (page 2) the Oregonian published a photo of the Broadway Dr.slide and the white guard rails of the type in today’s photo are shown ripped out by the slide. Above the photo of Broadway Dr. slide is a photo of the Alde family home that was destroyed by a slide from the Riddell property that Liz left a comment on last Friday 8/12/2022.

  5. the slide dennis mentioned is documented (with many others, including riddell) in the same container at city archives as this one. keep meaning to get copies…

  6. If you zoom in on the photo, the raised roof (above the stage) of the old Civic Auditorium (today’s Keller Auditorium) is prominently visible in the background to the left of the telephone pole. This tent-like structure was always prominent on the Portland skyline when I was growing up. As Susan points out, the building behind the telephone pole may or may not be the Failing School, site of today’s National University of Natural Medicine.

  7. Hey Dennis. I found the Oregonian article with the photo but I can’t find where it’s location is described. The reason is that I have a friend who owns a lot on that section of Broadway (0.6 miles from Patton) who had part of their property adjoining Broadway slide into Marquam gulch a few years ago (destabilizing Broadway). He got billed by the city for repairing the road. If he could have proven that that area had slid before then no bill. If you can point me to the description of the ’33 slide I’d appreciate it. You can contact me privately at verses-flairs-0q@icloud.com if you don’t want to post here. Thanks.

  8. ssssteven– I did not locate a block number where the Broadway Dr.slide happened, but the distance is what was reported in the Oregon Journal December 22, 1933 (page 4 – Column 1)

    Southwest Broadway drive, a half mile east of Patton road was blocked completely by a big slice of earth at 6 am today according to Patrolman Heath and Kesterson. If the slide continues a house located under a cliff below the drive will be in danger the policeman said. The mud is about 10 feet deep on the drive.

    In one of the accounts of the slide I read at either the Oregonian or Oregon Journal it was mention that a portion of Broadway Dr. also slid.

  9. sssteven, i know of large slides in the 800, 900, 1200, 1400, and 1600 blocks of sw broadway dr between 1930 and 2022. at least large enough to make papers, be put on slido, or have pics in city archives (tho those tend to be 60s on). the stretch you mention is on a drainage out of the park above, but i don’t know of any slides big enough to get noticed. allegedly the city piled up snow there, saturating the ground. almost all of broadway is sidecast; dirt dug out upslope and tossed over the downhill side to bring it level. highly unstable area to begin with. i’m surprised broadway stays up as well as it does!

  10. ps – half mile east of patton does put one at roughly the spot you talk of, and there was a house just east of there; gone now. not sure if related. and there was a slide just next to the one you asked about, so clearly the area has a history. but at that EXACT spot? clever city lawyers earned their pay that day…

  11. I did forget to put in the exact address. It’s across the street from 1315 S.W. Broadway. You can see the recent repair. Certainly if you look at the satellite view it looks like that area is a nice bowl from a slide sometime in the past.

  12. The Oregonian in their reporting of slides on Portland streets on December 23, 1933 included this comment on page 14 column 1.

    “four on Broadway Drive of major proportions”

  13. ssssteven….wl hit most of my points but I believe the 1933 slide was uphill of your friends site. Near 1445 SW Broadway (This slide is in SLIDO). Note that the City did not build Broadway Dr, it was a County road until the 1920s. It was actually Patton Road before someone thought it would be a good idea to rename a windy, narrow road Broadway Drive.

  14. Checked back this afternoon to look at comments that have been made on this post, and was quite surprised by the number of comments that have been made on it. Good show.

  15. On the date of the slides on Broadway Drive 12/22/1933 the Oregonian reported that since 12/1/1933 Portland had receiver 11.81 inches of rain, with 12/6/1933 receiving 3.30 inches and on the three days prior to the slides each day had 1 inch of rain.

  16. I lived above Broadway Drive for 20 years. There was a huge slide in that area in approx 2000, but I could be off by a number of years.

  17. I grew up on this road, I know it like the 88′ Blazers roster. Around that same time, fresh behind the wheel of my bug, I’d follow teenagers–cooler than me–who would standup skateboard this road top to bottom, sans helmet and pads.

    I recall the Broadway Heights Apartments upper buildings shifting or slipping heavily downhill one season as well back then, saved by those giant basalt boulders and some quick serious repair work This would also be the approximate location of today’s VP pic, 900 SW Broadway, as Brian neatly lined up.

    There’s been a semi-active landslide a couple turns uphill at 1315 SW Broadway since 2017, and you can see the recurring reinforcement work if you view on google maps and look through the timeline photos between now and then…

    But, beyond landslides, I can’t believe they put in that dang STOP sign at SW Hoffman!!! There’s barely room for the sign, and everyone keeps clocking it! Or running it. By accident. And on purpose. Back in my day that blind corner was a blinking yellow light!! Cue Patrick Mcqueary!

  18. Upon further review, this is definitely the intersection of SW Hoffman and SW Broadway Drive. You can see the matching curb at lower left, the phone pole positioned just left of the Hawthorne Bridge, and the street sign at upper right announcing the intersection. You can also make out the Steel, Burnside, Morrison, and Portland Public Market. Oddly I couldn’t pick out the USS Oregon (BB-3) but I think she’s there. That lady on the pic’s left edge has a steep walk both ways but great view, when it’s not cloudy and choked with smoke. Driving up and down Broadway Drive I always wished I could see through the Terwilliger Plaza Apartments. I’ll be curious to see how much the new building going up next to Duniway Park blocks the view of the some hillside homes and apartments….

  19. Thorn the Battleship Oregon was moored on the east side of the Willamette river north of the the Broadway bridge for 13 years, and did not move to the west side of the river south of the Hawthorne bridge until October 1938, so that is why you can’t see it in this 1934 photo.

  20. Dennis & Thorn: Speaking of the Battleship USS Oregon, in the 1950s I seem to recall the mast of the famous ship set up somewhere along Harbor Drive. Was the battleship itself scrapped during WWII? Is my memory correct? Since I don’t live in Portland (since ’64), where is the mast now?

  21. Robin the mast of the Battleship Oregon remains in waterfront park, and if you you use google maps streetview you can see it if you enter the address 260 SW Naito Parkway, Portland, Or. If you click the comments from January 7, 2021 that are on the right side of this page I left 2 comments on the fate of the Oregon. The photo from that date show 1943, but it is in fact 1938.

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