Stop 16 Stop 16: Grand & Mill Welcome back on the Streetcar. We’re headed back to Portland. Hope you had a good time at OMSI and the Rail Heritage Center.
The first stop after coming over the bridge from OMSI is Goodwill. Goodwill Industries of the Columbia Willamette currently operates 44 retail stores, four outlets, two online retail locations. Goodwill was founded in Boston, by Rev. Edgar Helms who collected used household goods from wealthier areas of the city and then trained and hired the poor to repair and sell the used goods. Goodwill opened for business in Portland in 1927. In 1994 it moved its Portland headquarters into this new building. It’s pretty slick and very popular. Here’s donation information
Here are some Historic listings in Southeast Portland, places to go for Food and Beverage, and Bars in SE Portland. This is a light industrial area. Some of the businesses include Casa-bella, 1919 SE Grand, a wholesale importer and distributor of granite, marble and other natural stones (on the left), Conrey Electric, 1903 SE 7th, sales and service of electric motors, Conrad Stone Cutter 1807 SE 7th, Portland Internetworks, one of the first ISPs in Portland at 532 SE Clay, Vinceâ€™s Die Cutting and Dependable Pattern Works, one of the Northwestâ€™s largest pattern shops,Oregon Engraving 2415 SE10th Avenue, and Thermal Supply and Johnson Air Products, which both distribute HVAC Systems. Cash&Carry is a restaurant supply retail store. Anyone can buy stuff there, and they have some terrific values, though often in bulk. 2
Stop 17 Stop 17: Grand & Hawthorne
The brick building on our right is the home to Multnomah County. While Multnomah County is only 470 square miles (the smallest of Oregonâ€™s counties), it has more than 735,000 residents (the most populous of Oregonâ€™s 36 counties). There are about 4,500 people.
Multnomah Co government manages Health and Human Services, Justice and Arts & Cultural activities such as county parks and the libraries. County Commissioners meet in this building.
At the time of installation, their green roof was the largest in the City of Portland. It is located on the 5th floor of the Multnomah County Building and is accessible to the public during business hours. Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office provides law enforcement services to Multnomah County, outside the incorporated cities as well as the rivers. Their new patrol cars are Chevrolet Caprices in plain white rather than the green Sheriff’s patrol cars we’ve all grown to love. The county maintains most of the city’s bridges. The Broadway, Hawthorne and Steel bridges are all celebrating their 100th birthday. The Broadway Bridge opened in 1913, the Steel Bridge opened in 1912, and the Hawthorne Bridge opened in 1910. 4
Jewel Lansing and Fred Leeson recently published “ Multnomah: The Tumultuous Story of Oregon’s Most Populous County” which provides insight into people and events from 1854 to present. Of course there’s lots going on beside county business on this corner.
Kidd’s Toy Museum houses the toy collection of Mr. Frank Kidd. You could drive by it every day and never know it was there. Located in a bland, gray building at 1301 S.E. Grand, it announces itself with only a small white sign on the door. The collection consists mainly of toys from the period encompassing 1869 to 1939, but includes later die-cast vehicles. Now semiretired, Kidd, 71, comes to work midmorning wearing sweats. Pacific Pie Co, at 1520 SE 7th, specializes in handmade sweet & savory pies and offer pie classes and recipes. 5
Other businesses in the area include Hollywood Costumers, 635 Southeast Hawthorne, Portland Screen Printing, Oregon Blueprint, which also does signs, andSmittys Vending, the NWâ€™s largest vending machine distributor.
Stop 18 Stop 18: Grand & Taylor
Rejuvenation began in 1977 as an architectural salvage shop. Founder Jim Kelly began the business with $1,000 and an eye for discarded architectural treasures.
Demand for the fixtures grew until eventually Kelly began manufacturing period-authentic lighting in his Portland factory for customers throughout the United States.
The neighborhood has lots of crafty businesses including, Cline Glass Company first established itself in the Northwest glass industry in 1895. They specialize in stained and fused glass art supply. Clineâ€™s chooses the most beautiful art glass in the world and makes it available to our customers and has an extensive class instruction program. 7
Endurawood, 1303 SE 6th, was one of the first businesses in the country to adopt the Forest Stewardship Council’s group chain-of-custody certification. They worked on the headquarters for Wieden+Kennedy. Bamboo Revolution, at 1300 SE Grand, is creating a timber bamboo industry based in Oregon. They transplanted live Moso bamboo plants to Oregon and their showroom features materials designed to inspire architects, contractors, and homeowners. The showroom is also home to Coava roasters, who roast on-site and operate a tasting room. Green Hammer is a multi-disciplinary team of LEED architects, construction managers and engineers that design and build the most energy-efficient buildings in the world. Nevue Ngan Associates specializes in landscape architecture and green infrastructure. Christella’s Wonderful World of Dresses claims to be the Northwest’s Premier Prom, Pageant & Party Dress Store. They carry the majority of all the formal wear dress designers that you find in Prom Magazine & Seventeen Prom Magazine. Sign Wizards, at 1111 SE Grand, creates signage that is flexible, easy to maintain, and can integrate into any environment.
Stop 19 Stop 19: Grand & Morrison
Portland Running Company at the base of the Weatherly building on Grand and Morrison, is one block east of River City Bicycles, 706 SE MLK.
Dave and Paula Harkin opened Portland Running on Grand Avenue in 2003. PRC employs over 30 part-time and fulltime runners, walkers, and avid fitness enthusiasts. They host group runs nearly every day of the week. 9
The 12 story Weatherly building was the first skyscraper in SE Portland. Built by ice cream businessman George Warren Weatherly, it is a nationally recognized historic building.
Recent renovations have restored the buildingâ€™s regal elegance and style of 1927. Many professionals seek out their first class and up-to-date office suites.
Movie theatre operator Walter Tebetts convinced Weatherly to construct the Oriental Theatre adjacent to the Weatherly building.
The large and ornate theatre was the areaâ€™s second largest and was torn down in 1970 to make way for a parking lot. It spurred an awareness of historic renovation.
The Architectural Heritage Center 701 SE Grand, is a nonprofit promoting historic preservation. AHC hosts dozens of programs, tours, and exhibits each year. Their current exhibit Streetcars Build a City is going on now. Portland Preservation Blog The Architectural Heritage Center has rotating exhibits drawn from one of the largest collections of architectural artifacts in the United States. The Eastside Streetcar Grand Opening Celebration and Open House runs Saturday, September 22, 2012 10:00 am â€“ 4:30 pm at AHC.
East Bank Saloon on the west side of Grand, in the Historic Nathanial West Block, is registered as a National Historic Landmark. The building was constructed in 1896 by Nathanial West and has hosted a number of businesses over the years. The second floor has served as living quarters to the business owners and their families and at one time, was a well known gym facility for boxing enthusiasts.
SE Grand Avenue really did look grand in this 1919 photo looking north from Morrison Street, notes Vintage Portland. A number of buildings shown here are still standing. Multiple streetcars are present going both north and south, horse-drawn and horseless carriages are about equal in number.
Grand Central Restaurant and Bowling Lounge, in the 800 block of SE Morrison Street, reopened in 2008 after a twoyear, $14-million renovation. Portland developer John Plew bought Grand Central with an eye toward something different â€“ luxury bowling. A dozen lanes replaced what was once 28. Features large video screens, couches and coffee tables with stone-accented walls with fireplaces and conference/party rooms with Internet connections overlooking the scene. Oregon Ballet Theatre (OBT) 818 SE 6th, was established in 1989. Its company of dancers performs an annual fiveprogram season at the Portland Center for the Performing Arts and also conducts both regional and national tours. OBT offers a wide variety of dance classes. Montessori Institute Northwest serves as a hub of activity within the Montessori community. Founded in 1979, the Montessori Institute Northwest educates adults on the nature of childhood.
The Melody Ballroom at 615 SE Alder , has a smaller lower ballroom and a grand ballroom with room for a party of 800+ for Weddings, Dances and Parties. Dig a Pony, 736 SE Grand Avenue, is a warm and welcoming bar with one of the largest bar tops in town, DJs playing an eclectic mix of records every night, and an enticing and varied dinner menu.
Stop 20 Stop 20: Grand & Stark
Welcome to the outdoor store cluster.
Next Adventure is Portlandâ€™s alternative outdoor store. They feature close-outs, dealer samples, and used equipment along with all of the latest and greatest brand name gear for kayakers, climbers, snowboarders, campers, skiers, etc. They sponsor a kayak school, an outdoor school and gear rental among other things. A great place to get lost in.
Andy and Bax, 324 S.E Grand, has provided a huge selection of military surplus, Whitewater Rafting and Outdoor supplies since 1945. The carry a line of inflatables ranging from entry level to the latest in professional designs. BikeNHike, 400 S.E. Grand, was founded in 1971 by Al French, to sell the best quality outdoor products at a reasonable price. The Portland opened in 1996 and became an early partner with Giant bicycles in 1989. It supports advocacy organizations like the BTA, NWTA, and sponsors local rides and races.
Hereâ€™s 1929 shot of a Goodrich gas station at the corner of Union (MLK) & Stark,
Stop 21 Stop 21: Grand & Burnside
Burnside originally was named B Street, was laid out by Captain Couch. Burnside became notorious in the 1860s for liquor and card rooms that drew the sailors from the large dock at the foot of B, C, and D Streets. In 1903, the Burnside streetcar line opened to link the old Nob Hill neighborhood on the west to the newer Buckman neighborhood to the east. The Burnside Bridge opened in 1926, increasing the number of cars that could get across the river.
By 1931, the need for more roadway space led to a street widening project on both East and West Burnside. On the 20
east side, the first floor of many buildings became an arcade to accommodate a new sidewalk as the old sidewalk gave way to another traffic lane. As the cityâ€™s population and traffic have increased, Burnside has continued to play an important role in the cityâ€™s transportation network.
Looking west on East Burnside at Grand,July 2, 1931.
A few of the interesting business at this import hub include Works Partnership Architecture, at 524 East Burnside Street. They helped create that innovative bSIDE6 building up Burnside and Olympic Mills down by the river. Thereâ€™s also Muse Modeling Agency at 524 E. Burnside, which has sent dozens of models around the world to model for international agencies. Oregon Artificial Limb, between Burnside and Couch, makes Orthotics & Prosthetics. Burnside Brewing Company 701 E. Burnside, opened its doors in 2010, the vision was to brew beers that accompany and enhance the culinary experience. Delicious Donuts is at 12 SE Grand and Rock and Rose carries new and vintage local clothing for men and women.
Stop 22 Stop 22: Grand & Hoyt 22
Metroâ€™s office is here, on the right. The regional governmental agency coordinates activities of multiple counties. It is the only directly elected metropolitan planning organization in the United States. Metro is governed by a council president elected region-wide, currently Tom Hughes, and six councilors who are elected by district.
The Loop Project cost about $148.27 million, with $75 million provided by the Federal Government, $15.50 million from a local improvement district, $27.68 from the Portland 23
Development Commission, $3.62 million from regional funds, $6.11 million from SDC/other City funds and $.36 million from stimulus funds. Some $20 million is from State lottery funds which will pay for the streetcars manufactured locally by United Streetcar a subsidiary from Oregon Iron Works. The Portland Streetcar is owned by the city, with most of the planning and development led by the city’s Office of Transportation, in coordination with Metro and TriMet. The Portland Streetcar Loop project advisory committee meets on the third Wednesday of each month. Meetings are posted on the Portland streetcar site. Metro’s Research Center provides state-of-the-art mapping, spatial analysis, regional economic analysis, and demographic information. MetroMap shows map-based information about a location of your choice. View parcel and tax assessment information, zoning, political boundaries, planning information, flood plain and special districts. Portlandmaps.com is an information service by The City of Portland. Metro chipped in $3.62 million for the Streetcar. Critics say the Streetcar is not a good investment. Portland is struggling to remain a leader in public transit, notes a think piece in Governing magazine. With reduced revenue and federal funding, combined with unsustainable employee costs, it is making it difficult for Portland to stay on top of this game, according to the article. Streetcar supporters say they play a vital role in the city’s development. Portland Mayor Sam Adams argues that it would be foolish to give up on it, given the federal money 24
available (half the streetcar extension was funded by the feds), the billions in redevelopment it’s prompted (which even critics acknowledge) and the support it’s given to the modern streetcar industry. United Streetcar, based in suburban Portland, is taking orders from transit agencies across the country.
“The critics here have to confront the reality — the positive reality — that transit has had,” Adams says.
Stop 23 Stop 23: Grand & Holladay
Get off at the Holladay stop to transfer to the Max Light Rail line or The Convention Center, which is one block West (to our left).
Construction of the original 15-mile East bound route to Gresham started in 1982, and opened on September 5, 1986. The 18-mile (29 km) West bound line, to Beaverton and Hillsboro, began construction in 1993 and opened in 1998. Red Line goes to the Airport, the Green Line goes South to Clackamas, Oregon, Yellow Line goes to the Portland Expo Center and the Blue Line runs between Hillsboro (to the West) and Gresham (to the East). The Orange Line, a 7.326
mile Southbound route between Portland and Milwaukie is scheduled to open in September 2015.
Portlandâ€™s light rail line uses 4 radio channels on their mainline. Railroad buffs might try these 4 freqencies, but the Streetcar uses a different frequency than MAX and both use a trunked system that makes monitoring difficult. Tri-Met spent $35 million on its Computer Aided Dispatch system that also tracks its vehicles on 450MHz.
TriMet was one of the first to use Orbital Sciencesâ€™s satellite-based (ITS) system but those wide-band 450 MHz radios were going out of FCC compliance. The system also generates and displays next bus stop info for passengers and provides information for mobile apps. 27
There are lots of hotels around this stop. Inn at the Convention Centerx, 420 NE Holladay St, is conveniently located across from the Oregon Convention Center. Motel 6, at 518 NE Holladay, is just a block or two from the Portland Convention Center. The Red Lion Hotel, 1021 NE Grand, is the closest 3 star hotel to the convention center.
Thereâ€™s also a Starbucks at 1035 MLK and Dennys at 425 Hassalo. The Pongo Fund, 910 MLK, is Portlandâ€™s first food bank for pets. They seek out and deliver food for the animal companions of the homeless, getting help from suppliers including Canidae All Natural Pet Foods and Dogswell, serving meals to hungry and worthy animals.
Stop 24 Stop 24: Grand & Multnomah 29
Red Robin Gourmet Burgersmore, 1139 Grand, while Charleyâ€™s Restaurant & Bar is at 435 Northeast Wasco, next to the Courtyard Portland Downtown/Lloyd Center.
Kaiser Permanente has a large presence is this area. Henry Kaiser employed tens of thousands of shipyard workers in California, Oregon and Washington during World War Two.
Kaiser constructed two large shipyards in the region â€”one on Swan Island, formerly the site of Portlandâ€™s municipal airport, and one on the the Columbia River, a mile east of Vancouver. The company set a record when the Joseph N. Teal was built in ten days in the fall of 1942. In all, the Oregon Shipbuilding Yards delivered 455 ships to the U.S. Maritime Commission.
As the shipyards began closing down after World War II, the termination of the health plan was imminent and a small number of physicians decided to offer a health plan to the community.Kaiser Permanente, was founded in 1945 and is today one of the nationâ€™s largest not-for-profit health plans, serving more than 9 million members, with headquarters in Oakland, Calif. It consists of hospitals and their subsidiaries, the Kaiser Foundation Health Plan, and Permanente Medical Groups. The Kaiser Grand Avenue Dental is at 1314 Grand, while the Kaiser Permanente Medical Group is in the 500 Multnomah tower.
Stop 25 Stop 25: Grand & Broadway 32
Our train takes a wide turn here and heads west on Broadway.
This area seems like it could use a little urban renewal. It will be interesting to see what impact, if any, the Streetcar has had on the neighborhood in 5 years or so. 33
Exploring around the neighborhood we have Walgreens, 1620 Grand, Vics Hobby Supply, Uhaul, 425 NE Broadway, Broadway Auto Body, providing collision repair for about 30 years, Transmission Exchange 1803 MLK, a supplier of Transmissions and parts for automotive truck and industrial applications, both domestic and import. Also in the neighborhood is Albina Community Bank, a locally-owned and operated neighborhood bank, Dr Jason Luoma, 1830 NE Grand, is a Licensed Psychologist in Oregon, and conducts psychotherapy for people who are struggling with the difficulties and Pilogarobic 1804 MLK, is a one hour workout combining pilates, yoga, cardio, and strength training.
Vintage Portland says this 1958 image showing NE Broadway looking west from 15th Avenue, was shot two years before Lloyd Center opened nearby.
Stop 26 Stop 26: NE 2nd & Broadway 34
Some of the businesses around this stop include Siker Medical Imaging, 1800 Northeast 2nd, with combined experience of 50 years in MRI and CT imaging. They use a 3Tesla MRI said to have a magnetic field strength ten times more powerful than strength of most Open Architecture MRI scanners in use today, for higher quality imaging. Coast Mirror, 1732 Northeast 2nd, provides Wholesale and Retail Mirrors, Resilvering, Beveling, Hand Etching, Antique Mirrors, Mirror Walls, Security Glass, and more. The Well Church is an urban community church that meets at the old, 35
historic Mt Olivet church building, on Saturday evenings and Sunday mornings for worship. The Dennison Capen Group, 237 Northeast Broadway, are real estate agents. Mobile West, 140 Northeast Broadway Street. Their in car sound solutions range from simple replacement installations to the most complex ones. Broadway Toyota-Scion, 55 Northeast Broadway, is locally owned and has served the Portland area for more than 30 years. In 2009 they moved to the current location with 42 service bays. In 2011 Broadway Toyota received the prestigious President’s Award given to dealerships who have demonstrated a commitment to Toyota’s high standards.
We’re going to cross over Interstate 5 now.
Hereâ€™s a birdâ€™s-eye view of N. Broadway between Interstate at the bottom and N. Wheeler at the top. A few of the major buildings are still standing but not a single house is left today.
Stop 27 Stop 27: Ross & Broadway
If this stop looks familiar, it should. Itâ€™s the same traffic island we landed on going East.
Maybe we have enough time to jump off and have a beer at Left Bank, then sober up at Hooper Detox. In 1971, Oregon made the momentous shift to define alcoholism as a disease, not a crime. That act also shifted the focus away from the legal system to the social service system to search for a better way to handle public drug and alcohol abuse. Central City Concern runs the Center which bears the name of David Hooper, a talented track star, aspiring politician and alcoholic. He was the last person to die of alcoholism in the Portland city jail before it was redefined as a disease. The Portland Farmers Market office is here, at 240 North Broadway. The city of Portland plans a N/NE Quadrant and I-5 Broadway/Weidler project. Itâ€™s a collaborative effort 38
between the City of Portland and ODOT for the Lower Albina and Lloyd District areas.
The top 10 Oregon rail commodities (above) account for 91 percent of the commodities shipped by rail in the state.
The N/NE Quadrant Plan proposes changes to zoning and/or maximum building heights. A diverse 30-member Stakeholder Advisory Committee worked with interested community members and staff for the past year or two to develop the N/NE Quadrant Plan. The goal is to preserve and enhance the Lower Albina industrial area, protect the working harbor and improve freight access. It would also extend the mixed-use area on Russell Street and encourage investment in historic properties.
Large warehouse conversions include the School House Electric Building, at 2181 NW Nicolai Street, and the controversial Centennial Mills project, both across the river in the NW, near the Portland Mounted Police stables. City officials have spent at least $13 million on Centennial Mills since 2000, but have little to show for it, reports the Oregonian. Those two warehouse conversions are within Portland Development Commissionâ€™s River District. The PDC manages some 25 urban renewal areas. Improvements are primarily self-funded by improving the tax-base that pays off a bond.
Weâ€™re headed back over the Broadway Bridge now.
Stop 28 Stop 28: NW 10th & Northrup
Back on the West Side. You can continue on this train and head to downtown Portland and South Waterfront, or catch another train and go through The Pearl District and towards the thriving Northwest & 23rd area where there are dozens of boutique shops and cafes. 42
Tanner Springs Park is on our left. Rail tracks, donated by Portland Terminal Railroad, form the east wall. Tanner Creek got its name from Daniel Lownsdaleâ€™s tannery near PGE Park. The stream flowed through Old Town and the Pearl District, which were largely wetlands at the time. The creek was later buried by development.
Next to the Willamette River is the old Centennial Mills (above) and the Portland Mounted Police stables. We’re back in The Pearl.
Here’s the Oregonian’s streetcar tour of Westside Portland in 26 photos. 44
Thanks for sharing this adventure with me!
Streetcars were once the transportation lifeblood of most large American cities.
Portland’s streetcar network began as a horse-drawn line downtown in 1872. By the early 20th Century, the Portland Streetcar network could boast of more than 200 miles of track.
But the popularity of automobiles, aging equipment and crowded streets pushed Streetcars aside. The last city routes closed down Feb. 28, 1950, while the remaining suburban routes disappeared Jan. 25, 1958. The Streetcar is back. The nation’s first new Streetcar in decades began with the Portland Streetcar 11 years ago. Now United Streetcar, based in Clackamas, is positioned to take Portland’s lead and run with it. Dozens of cities now have their own Light Rail after Portland’s pioneering Light Rail line to Gresham that opened in 1986. Dozens more US cities are expected to bring back streetcars, reports Wikipedia. 46
You can argue the merits of streetcars. But the fact is most people enjoy riding them. Thanks for going on this ride with me. Before we go, I want to thank the websites and authors from whom I have generously cribbed:
• • • • • • • • • • •
Portland Streetcar Tri-Met Tri-Met App Center Vintage Portland Richard Thompson’s Portland Streetcar books Train Web Portland Bureau of Transportation Oregon Rail Heritage Foundation Oregon Electric Railway Historical Society Oregonian articles Tribune Articles 47
• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •
Portland Business Journal OPB: Streetcar City Metro’s Bike There!, Walk There! app and walking maps Portland Afoot Portland Architecture Building Portland PortlandTransport.com RoseCityTransit.org Seattle Streetcar Network John Terry’s Oregon History Pictorial History of the Portland Waterfront Cafe Unknown HistoricPhotoArchive.com Oregon Historical Society City of Portland Archives Oregon State Archives
Public domain music from the 20s and 30s was from Archive.org. This site was made using all free resources, including WordPress.com, Soundcloud, Flickr, and a free QR code program. Ideally, it would be ported to an off-line version so no internet connection would be required. -
Sam Churchill, Streetcar fan.
About This tour of Portland’s Eastside Streetcar route was created in about 2 weeks at no cost as a personal project. I used all free resources. 48
It was partially inspired by Time Based Artâ€™s QR code audio tour. I used WordPress.com, Soundcloud.com, and Archive.org (for the public domain music). I used free QR code generators to create the bar codes. The bar codes should automatically link to individual pages, keyed to each streetcar stop.
If you are using a mobile phone, you will need to have a QR code reader installed and you will need a mobile data plan. Alternatively, you can look at it on the web. These pages and their embedded music should render on both mobile devices and desktop computers, but no guarantees are offered. I am not a developer and have no particular coding skills. This site required only the simplest HTML skills to create. I hope to make this tour available as a free download in the future. That way mobile devices would not need internet access. Iâ€™m not entirely sure how to do that. Maybe Iâ€™ll use one of those free or cheap mobile app development tools that 49
don’t require a lot of skill. Google’s Creative Sandbox also has a lot of interesting ideas. I’d like to create a GPS driven virtual tour. As you move along the route, your location would automatically trigger page loads and narration. You could choose different themes (Entertainment, Green, Business, People, Weird, or Random), and it would play automatically. Ideally, it would be able to access crowd-sourced, geo-coded Wikipedia entries, but a clickable map approach might also be used, such as Portland’s Spotsi or GeoLoqi. Enjoy the tour. Or make one of your own! Let’s go to Stop #1, near the Broadway Bridge ramp.