"Shipment of Volkswagen Beetles parked by color at the port of Portland, 1965" via @ClassicPics. (As usual with ‘Pics’ Twitter accounts, the photo isn’t credited to who actually took it, which is frustrating.)
Portland State University.
The historic Simon Benson house, relocated to the PSU campus in 2000.
"Freak Ordinance in Grave", September 12th 1907. In which Portland’s mayor vetoed a proposed ordinance that would have required anyone who “wished to defame the character of public officials” to pay a fee and become a licensed “scandalmonger”. Because no First Amendment concerns there, nope, zero.
That new-fangled contraption, the bicycle, was all the rage in Portland in the gay ’90s. Observed The Oregonian in its New Year’s edition of 1895: “Scores of wheelmen leave the city every Sunday during the summer months and easily ride 50 to 100 miles during the day without any great fatigue.” Many will remember the bicycle paths on Williams avenue, and other pathways.
The subtext here was that the bicycle was a weird passing fad, and everyone in today’s modern 1940 world preferred to drive everywhere, because Progress. And that was true for decades. In 2013, however, rapidly-gentrifying Williams Avenue is home to one of the city’s busiest bike lanes. What goes around, comes around.
"Front Avenue ‘Coventrized’ by Hand of Progress; Ruins Warlike", July 31st 1941. The state had begun demolishing historic buildings along Front Avenue to make room for the short-lived Harbor Drive freeway, which was ripped out in the early 70s to make room for today’s Waterfront Park. This demolition is now widely regarded as a crime against historic preservation, but comparing it to Nazi Germany carpet-bombing Coventry, England is a bit much. Using this analogy today would be a great way to get fired from the newspaper business, but it seems that back in 1941 Godwin’s Law hadn’t been invented yet.
"Bunyan Statues Vie for ‘Biggest’ Title", July 5th 1959. Wherein civic boosters from Portland and Bangor, Maine squabbled over which city’s shiny new Bunyan statue was taller. It seems theirs was 31 feet tall, ours was 31 feet and a couple of inches tall, but theirs stood atop a six-foot pedestal and ours didn’t. And naturally the sides disagreed on whether the pedestal counted toward total statue height. This became a moot point in 1961 when an indisputably larger one was built at the Trees of Mystery in Northern California. The California Bunyan holds the record to this day.
This huge statue of Paul Bunyan will stand at the intersection of N. Denver Ave. and Interstate Ave. as a boost for the Oregon Centennial. The Kenton Businessmen’s Club is sponsor. Labor, materials were donated by Kentonites.
So this is what Portland’s semi-famous Bunyan statue looked like under construction. Also, I had no idea Kenton residents were called “Kentonites”. I think that term may have fallen out of favor at some point. It sounds like a fictional element from a comic book, but I may just be blurring “Clark Kent” and “Kryptonite” together.
Fragments (1966-67) (by Portland State University)
Opening credits: Produced by the Portland Center for Continuing Education for the Portland Metropolitan Study Commission. With Geneva Stoller, Leo Foltz, and Johnson Creek.
A film by the Center for the Moving Image, Portland State University. Produced by Andries Deinum; film by Tom Taylor III.
"Truly, Portland is blessed by its site and scenery." "Fragments" is a study in contrasts, showing the city of Portland from the points of view of two residents living amidst and affected by the city’s burgeoning growth in the mid-sixties. The film explores the environmental, economic, and social effects of urban renewal, suburban development, mass transit, freeway development, proximity to natural areas, and industrial growth in Portland, and makes a case for the metro area’s many governing bodies to work collaboratively to repair or avoid damages done by rapid urbanization.
The time that Cascade Locks almost got its own aerial tram. November 1972. It sounds like a crazy idea now, but it got serious consideration forty years ago. The rationale (as presented in 1972) was that people would ride the tram to a spot 4000 feet above the gorge, be amazed by the view, and be inspired to care about the environment. Therefore it was an environmentally desirable project, even if you had to tear up chunks of said environment in order to build it. The idea had been kicking around for a decade at this point, so I have a feeling the aerial tree-hugging part was sort of retrofitted to an existing idea. In 1962 it was probably intended to be a straight-up tourist attraction.
On the whole I’m glad they didn’t build this. The aerial tram in Portland was controversial enough, but one in the middle of the Gorge would have been a complete eyesore. Still, the lazy tourist in me sometimes daydreams of visiting a scenic overlook above the gorge without all the long, tedious hiking. I still think it was a dumb idea, but I can totally see why it was an attractive dumb idea.
Dedication of O’Bryant Square, December 6th 1973. We seem to have not held any official festivities for the park’s 40th birthday, despite its hip new role as the place to sit & eat after visiting our trendy food carts. I dug this out because the fountain’s been out of commission for years now, and I was trying to remember what it used to look like before the city abandoned it. Sure would be nice if they’d get around to fixing it someday.
The article points out that the Franklin High School band played “Everything’s Coming Up Roses” for the dedication, in case that ever comes up as a trivia question or something.