The intersection of West Burnside, 10th Avenue and SW Oak street seems to be one of those places that we keep coming back to. The names and details have changed since 1939 but the basic components remain pretty much the same.
The intersection of SW 2nd & Washington, here looking south, seemed to be a crossroad of streetcar rails in 1940. The 1885 Portland Savings Bank building on the southwest corner would last another decade or so. Long-time Vintage Portland followers can probably guess what’s on that property today.
Even in 1940 the intersection of N Interstate and Greeley was a maze of traffic dividers, directional signs and wires. Things haven’t gotten simpler in the intervening 70 years as we’ve now added freeway ramps, overpasses and light rail lines into the mix. There’s probably not a single thing in this photo that still exists.
This 1944 photo shows where Harbor Drive and Front Avenue met at that time; we’re looking north. Southbound Harbor Drive emerges from the tunnel under Front on the left side. Front crosses over the tunnel in photo center, and Harbor Drive northbound angles off into the distance on the right. If you stood on the traffic island at Naito Parkway and Sheridan Street today, you’d be in just about the same spot this photographer stood, although I-405 traffic would be shooting by practically under your feet now.
Bart’s Drive-In dominated the triangle at SE Powell Blvd., Foster Rd. and 50th Avenue in this 1948 aerial photo. The “George, Don & Buford – Meet Us & Wear Clothes” at upper-left is an oddity. Post-war army surplus maybe?