Skip to main content

Visit to Portland, Oregon

In July, I traveled out to Portland, Oregon for work.  Though I had a hectic schedule and did not have access to a vehicle, I did have sometime to walk around Downtown Portland.  Maggie was kind enough to lend me her Nikon CoolPix camera for the trip, and my entire photoset on Flickr is here.

DSCN2918

Being from Pittsburgh, I have a fond appreciation of bridges and different styles.  In North Carolina, we don't have many truss, cantalever, suspension bridges around to cross on a daily basis.  In Portland, it's different - from the century old Hawthorne Bridge:

DSCN2907


Or the bascule Morrison Bridge:

DSCN2917

Portland's bridges over the Willamette River are certainly a combination of age, style, and functionality.

Another impression leaving aspect of Portland is the amount of green - specifically green spaces.  This includes Tom McCall Waterfront Park.  The land occupying the park was once part of the Harbor Drive Freeway.  The once main North/South route through the city was removed in 1974, and the park opened in 1978.

The park is now home to numerous concerts and events, and even on on a busy weekday was full of people.  Bikes, sunbathers, office workers on their lunch breaks, kids, and more filled the lineal park along the west bank of the Willamette.

DSCN2934

DSCN2920

But within Downtown Portland there are a number of different parks including the Ira Keller Fountain.  Possibly the most popular of the urban fountains within Portland. 

DSCN2969

Near Portland City Hall are two plaza squares that both have unique histories.  First, Chapman Square, which is home to the Oregon Trail memorial statue, was actually designed and planned for use by women and children only.

DSCN2902

The adjacent park square, Lownsdale Square, was originally intended as a gathering place for men only.  The centerpiece of Lownsdale Square is the Soldiers' Monument which is in tribute to the Oregonians that were killed in the Spanish-American War.

DSCN2980

Now, members of both sexes can mingle and relax at either square.  My have times changed!

I came away very impressed with Portland and wishing I had more time to explore and experience the city.  I've yet to see the Pacific Ocean and I was only 60 or so miles away!  I immediately told Maggie that we need to add the Pacific Northwest and Portland to our must visit list!

Comments

John Spafford said…
Nice Pictures Adam. Thanks for confirming what those of us who live hear already know - that the Pacific Northwest is indeed a great place to live and work! You'll need to come to Seattle next time your out this way.

Popular posts from this blog

The Relief Route That Wasn't: The Never Built I-70 Bypass in the Mid-Mon Valley

In June 1963, a small blurb in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette read that The Westmoreland Engineering Company was awarded a $24,060 bid to study the proposed construction of Interstate 70 in Westmoreland and Washington Counties.  The study was to see what the construction and right-of-way costs "...to modernize the existing highway to Interstate requirements within eight months." (1)  This small, non-attributed, three paragraph article came less than a decade after the completion of a four lane highway that linked the Mid-Mon Valley to the Pennsylvania Turnpike. This would be the start of a 15 year process to upgrade and improve Interstate 70 - a process that ultimately never produced a single foot of new highway.

This is the story, albeit brief, of the I-70 that never came about.

Background:
What is now known as Interstate70 from Washington to New Stanton began as a connecting highway for the region to the Pennsylvania Turnpike.  Known as the "Express Highway", construct…

A look at Pittsburgh's Saw Mill Run Boulevard

Saw Mill Run Boulevard - Pennsylvania State Route 51 - runs through the narrow Saw Mill Run Valley.  It begins at the intersection of Clairton Road and Provost Road at the City of Pittsburgh Line with Brentwood.  It ends at the West End Circle at the entrance to the West End Bridge.  A four lane highway for its the entire length, Saw Mill Run Boulevard consists of interchanges at the South Portal of the Liberty Tubes and with the Parkway West.  It is an expressway from the Parkway to the West End Circle (West End Bypass).  One of the most well known traffic tie-ups in the Pittsburgh area occurs between Maytide Street and PA 88 (Library Road) which is simply known as 'Maytide and 88.'

History:
Saw Mill Run Boulevard was part of the 1928 Allegheny County 'City Beautiful' bond issue.  The bonds resulted in the creation of Saw Mill Run, Ohio River, Allegheny River and Mosside Boulevards. (1)   After the completion of the Liberty Tunnels in 1924, Downtown Pittsburgh was offic…

The Many Failed Plans of Pittsburgh's Wabash Bridge and Tunnel

The December 27, 2004 opening of the Wabash Tunnel ended over 70 years of proposals and speculation for the use of the over 100 year old facility.  The tunnel, which is now a reversible roadway that is an alternative route for rush hour traffic, saw many failed plans during the 20th Century.  These plans included options for mass transit, converted and new bridges for vehicles, and other forms of transportation.

Brief History:
Constructed in 1902-04, the Wabash Bridge and Tunnel was planned and financed by rail mogul, Jay Gould.  Gould began his "Battle of the Wabash" with the established railroads of the city in 1890.  He would finally emerge victorious, but during that struggle, Gould would see many setbacks that would eventually result in the railroad's bankruptcy in 1908.  On October 19, 1903, when the two ends of the bridge were to be joined together over the Monongahela River, the 109' bridge collapsed; killing ten men.  Construction would resume four days later …