22 thoughts on “Overlook Park, 1934

  1. There are some interesting comments in the Related post, which appeared in 2014. A long time ago for VP! It looks like some of the commenters back then didn’t have any readers, but they’re worth a look.

  2. I’m not sure of the direction this shot was taken from. But either way, everything structure here, has been completely obliterated; replaced by Kaiser Permanente-associated buildings, apartments, and single-family homes.

    One link I found on the park said it was 10.3 acres and another said 1.8 acres so the park has shrunk in size over the years.

    I used to enjoy eating my lunch in this park when I worked at Kaiser Interstate; looking down and watching the goings on in the rail yard.

  3. Does anyone know what that building in the background is? The one with the cupola or steeple topped by a cross? There are two first-aid crosses above its front door. A hospital perhaps? A Catholic school?

  4. In comparing this picture to the current Google Maps Street View, the brick building is located at 4720 N Maryland St. The sign above the door says, “Peninsula Children’s Learning Center.” This building is North of N Going St, which is a way North of the current location for Overlook Park. Even if the park was originally 10.3 acres, I doubt this picture is what it claims to be. I happen to live in the Overlook neighborhood, so I know something about this.

  5. Totally agree with Mark S; grew up and spent my first 30+ years in the Overlook neighborhood. My first thought is that the building and cross are from Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church and school. I was told that Overlook Park was originally a dump site…

  6. Mark S has correctly located the building in the background at 4720 N Maryland which was Blessed Sacrament School & Church. — Ron also commented that he had heard the the overlook park site had once been a dump which looks to be true.

    Oregonian October 11, 1934 page 7

    Park to Get Work.—- The city council yesterday approved a plan for the improvement of Overlook fill so as to guard against slides and gas odors, agreeing to appropriate $1,800 for truck hire to haul 8,000 to 10,000 yards of earth to cover the fill. William G. Helber, superintendent of the garbage bureau, reported the fill has settled, as was expected, and some work is now being done but more will be needed to prevent cracks during during the rainy season. Commissioner Clyde reported he had gotten the earth free but will have to pay for hauling it.

    What it appears is happening in this photo and an additional photo on Efiles with the same date are SERA workers loading free dirt onto trucks from a lot on N Interstate ave that is just one block over from N Maryland St. School & Church, and trucking it to the Overlook site to cover the old garbage dump.

    The boxes at curbside are likely used to store the workers tools at the end of their work day.

  7. 1) Every now and then a photo from this era is better composed than others. This one has great balance and depth and story in my opinion, despite the dreary drudgery of the subject.

    2) I want to re-thank all of you awesome followers, contributors and administrators. Vintage Portland is like a time machine to our local minds because of all of you.

  8. Thank you Dennis for the history info. And it answers my question, because those 10,000 yards of dirt are certainly goind to need tampering. So the box likely holds heavy tools of some kind.

  9. The Blessed Sacrament church did open in 1914, but the school in this photo opened in 1922.

    Oregonian September 10, 1922 page 11

    New School Finished—- The new structure for the Blessed Sacrament parish school on the corner of Maryland ave. and Blandena street has just been completed and opened for the fall term. The building is 110 feet by 60 feet, the main part of the structure being two stories with one story wings.
    The class rooms are all on the main floor and are of standard size with standard equipment. Nearly the entire second floor has been divided into living rooms for the sisters who will teach in the school, a music room and a chapel also being included on the second floor. The walls of the superstructure are of brick and hollow tile with pressed brick facing throughout, trimmed with white cement lintels and window sills.

  10. As far the ” For Tampering” I think those wooden boxes were left on site with the tools left in them. The tops were hinged and had padlocks on them. Likely when they were closed the top had ” Fines” on them. When you closed the top the sign said. ” Fines for tampering” Same kind of boxes are at some softball fields.

  11. I’m having a hard time making sense of the “Interstate Ave” sign on this street. I’m going back through the Old Maps Online archive, and though the original Interstate Ave. alignment south of Prescott lines up with the alignment of Maryland north of Prescott, Interstate Ave. jogged west to it’s present alignment between Concord and Maryland. (this was later turned into the smooth curve between Mason and Prescott we still see today.) But at no time in the map history do I see the road in front of 4720 N Maryland being called anything but Maryland.

  12. Jay after the Interstate bridge across the Columbia river opened in early 1917 planning began to create a simple direct route from the Broadway bridge to the Interstate bridge. The plan called for realignment of the route, such as elimination of a jog by cutting diagonally through the block between Prescott and Skidmore streets. and creating the present day route of Interstate Ave.

    Source Oregonian February 18, 1917 Page 22

  13. From Portland then and Now ” Shortly before the bridge opened, a pair of streets through North Portland that were planned to be treated as the main route to and from the bridge, Maryland Avenue and Patton Avenue, were renamed the Interstate Highway. The highway was the main path from Portland to Vancouver prior to I-5 being built in 1964.

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