Steel Bridge, 1952

This is a terrific 1952 aerial view of the Steel Bridge looking southwest across the river. It shows quite a bit of new ramp construction on the east side and gives a new perspective to this earlier post showing Harbor Drive approaches to the bridge, and the layout of nearby blocks, on the west side.

(City of Portland Archives)

SW Broadway, 1959

There used to be a one-block diagonal extension of SW Broadway over to 6th Avenue between Lincoln and Grant Streets. This is how it looked in 1959 from Broadway looking southeast. The whole block was known as Coolidge Square, made up of two triangular rhododendron gardens bisected by this street. Most of the south triangle remains today as an island of grass between SW Broadway, Broadway Drive and Grant Street. You can see an aerial view of the street towards the top-right of this previous VP photo.

(City of Portland Archives)

Broadway Bridge Ramp, 1959

This 1959 image looks north alongside the NW Broadway ramp to the Broadway Bridge. The ramp, bridge and train station look pretty much the same today. Those two gentlemen on the left would probably be inside the main post office building now.

(City of Portland Archives)

SW 6th & Morrison, 1952

It doesn’t look like we’ll be having a white Christmas in Portland this year. This 1952 photo shows snow removal efforts on SW 6th Avenue looking north toward Morrison. Note that the Portland Hotel had been demolished on our immediate left and the new Meier & Frank parking lot was just being constructed.

(City of Portland Archives)

SW Broadway & Columbia, 1957

This view looks northeast at SW Broadway with traffic crossing eastbound on Columbia. The Oregonian Building is shown at center and the Hungerford Hotel is now the Regency Apartments. Compare this photo with the same intersection looking south in 1950.


SW 1st and Ankeny, 1957

The building directly behind Skidmore Fountain in yesterday’s post is shown here in its final days. Its whole history is a bit fuzzy but the 1870’s-era stone building was apparently the first U.S. customs house in Portland. Other uses over the years included a furniture warehouse and, as was seen yesterday, home for the Pacific Tent & Awning Co. Thanks to Bud Holland who supplied this terrific 1957 photo showing the beginning of the demolition process. The building was leveled for a parking lot. Click here to read a 1957 article from The Oregonian about this building.

(Bud Holland)

SW Front, 1950s

The Columbia Asbestos Company was at 111 SW Front Street in the 1950s, alongside some other industrial businesses. Their well-used cast-iron fronted building was the Smith’s Block which still stands, now nicely restored, at Front and Ash Street.

(University of Oregon Libraries)