Welcome to Eastside Portland Streetcar! Introduction: This (unofficial) tour explores the route of Portlandâ€™s new Eastside Streetcar. The new Central Loop (CL) will run from SW Market in downtown Portland, along 10th and 11th to the Pearl District, then across the Broadway Bridge to the Eastside. This website highlights interesting things along the route. Portland became the first city nationally to reinvest in streetcars, on July 20, 2001. The initial 8 mile loop (4 miles in each direction) ran from Portland State University to Legacy Good Samaritan Hospital. A total of 46 stops were located about every 3-4 blocks. In August 2007, passenger service was extended to the South Waterfront District.
The new 3.35-mile Streetcar Loop opens Sept 22, 2012. It opens a few months behind schedule because of manufacturing delays producing the only American-made modern streetcar. The new Eastside line goes from the Pearl District, across the Broadway Bridge, connects to Lloyd Center at NE 7th Avenue, then south along MLK Bvd
through the Central Eastside Industrial District and terminates at OMSI. It returns via Grand Avenue.
Beginning in December, five new streetcars will be delivered to serve the expansion. The systemâ€™s existing streetcars were made in Czechoslovakia, while the new ones are being made in Portland by United Streetcar, which is in a good position to serve a growing demand for streetcars throughout the United States. Officials cut one of the original six streetcars to bring it in on budget.
The Loop Project cost about $148 million. The Eastside Extension is funded primary with money that cannot be spent on other projects. Funding (pdf) comes from the Federal Transit Administration ($75 million), Portland Development Commission ($27.7 million), and local improvement districts ($15.50 million), where property owners share in the cost of transportation infrastructure improvements. Metro chipped in $3.62 million and the Oregon State Lottery ($20 million) will pay for five streetcars manufactured by United Streetcar, a subsidiary of Oregon Iron Works in Clackamas.
Colas Construction built the new Maintenance Facility, designed by Waterleaf Architects. Itâ€™s located under the Fremont bridge in the Northwest, between Lovejoy and Northrup. The building will service existing and new streetcars. The Eastside Streetcar Loop has 28 new stops. Later, as a separate project, the Loop will be completed via a new bridge at the south end, allowing continuous connections around the entire Loop. The grand opening and ribbon cutting celebration was September 22, 2012 with Portland Mayor Sam Adams, a strong supporter of the streetcar expansion officiating. He was joined by Rep. Earl Blumenauer, Rep. Suzanne Bonamici and dignitaries from the Federal Transit Administration, TriMet, Metro, Portland Streetcar Inc., Oregon Transportation Commission, OMSI and Portland State University. When all the cars are ready to go, streetcar frequency will be about every 18 minutes between 9:30am and 5pm. Streetcar Fare is $1.00, valid for 2 hours on the Streetcar only. â€˘
Next Page: Stop One
Stop 01 Stop 1: NW Lovejoy & 9th. Our tour starts in The Pearl District, on the West Side of Portland, near the Broadway Bridge at NW Lovejoy & 9th. Weâ€™re waiting for a train headed East, over the Broadway Bridge.
Moon Shadow Glass, of Sandy, OR, did the glass etching on all the streetcar stops. They can now accurately reproduce photographic images in glass.
Stacy and Witbeck was the general contractor for the original Portland Streetcar Project and provided streetcar extensions for the Eastside Loop. The “Pearl District” was coined by a local gallery owner, to suggest that some of its urban decay industrial buildings were like crusty oysters, and that the galleries and artists’ lofts within were like pearls.
Hoyt Realty Group has developed more than 50% of the Pearl District. The area used to be abandoned rail yards and “brownfields,” and is now home to 14 mixed use and condominium buildings, as well as restaurants, retail, galleries, parks and other attractions. Vintage Portland has an aerial shot from 1939. The Lovejoy ramp meets the Broadway Bridge at the top. Union Station is to the right.
We’re about 3 blocks from the “Y” in the bridge. The 17 blocks between the Willamette River to Interstate 405 was once packed with warehouses and train yards. Oregon once had one of the most extensive streetcar systems in the United States. OPB has some vintage footage of streetcars and a nice collection of photos. Richard Thompson may have the definitive collection of trolley photos and has written several books about Trolleys in Portland and the region. 8
Recently TriMet announced a $12 million budget hole that required the elimination of downtown’s Fareless Square as well as numerous service cuts, all while raising ticket prices. Get your buck ready for the Streetcar. We’re headed East!
We’ll pass by the Albers Mill building on the left. Albers Mill is home to the Oregon Wheat Commission, the Wheat Marketing Center and other tenants in the wheat and agriculture industry. Portland is the nation’s largest wheat exporter and has long, colorful history. Barney Blalock has a terrific Pictorial History of the Portland waterfront (below).
The opening of Albers Mill in 1911 rode the boom that began in 1885; when the railroads arrival brought wheat to the Portland shipping docks from Central and Eastern OR.
Grain elevators on the Willamette River are used to load wheat and barley for the Asian and Middle Eastern markets. Half of the nationâ€™s wheat exports flow through Portland and Puget Sound ports. The Eastside elevator was a joint venture between Cargill and Louis Dreyfus, two of the worldâ€™s largest private companies, which did business under the name CLD.
Louis Dreyfus (LD) assumed full control over the Broadway grain elevator this year, but with a longshoremen contract expiring this October, managers of Northwest grain terminals are preparing for an epic showdown, reports the Oregonian.
Cargill and CHS operate a 50-50 joint venture, known as Temco, in Tacoma, Kalama, and Portland. The Port of Portland leases Terminal 5 to Columbia Grain. The world’s four largest grain companies – Archer Daniels Midland, Bunge, Cargill, and Louis Dreyfus, (the “ABCDs”), collectively control anywhere from 75 to 90 percent of global grain trade.
Development of Portland west side of the Willamette began in the 1840s with the first docks to service the young port town. Before long steam engines had hammered in thousands of pilings and by the early 1900s nearly the entire waterfront from the Hawthorne Bridge to the Broadway Bridge consisted of pile-supported docks, warehouses and boardwalks.
NEXT: Stop 2
Stop 02 Stop 2: NE Weidler and Ross Avenue.
We have just crossed over the Broadway Bridge and our streetcar has arrived on the East side. Just like 60 years ago.
Portland Railway, Light and Power opened the Broadway Line in August, 1903. In 1906, Portland Railway, Light and Power took over the hodgepodge of private rail companies and grew until the city ranked as the third-largest narrowgauge street railway system in the nation.
In 1906, they operated 40 lines over 172 miles of track. The name, Portland General Electric (PGE), remained in use as a division of the trolley company and, after subsequent reorganizations in 1930 and 1940, eventually PGE became once again fully independent as a power utility company. Our Skoda and United Streetcar vehicles are easier to board and more comfortable to ride than those 40â€˛s era streetcars. The 99 year-old Broadway Bridge, however, needed major renovation to carry the new load. Mowat Construction removed a portion of the concrete road deck and sidewalk. Balancing the draw span required utilizing 500,000 pounds of concrete block weights strategically placed and adjusted as renovation progressed. 14
David Evans and Associates provided engineering assistance for the rehabilitation of the Broadway Bridge replacing the steel open-grid deck with a new fiber-reinforced polymer deck system. Work to repair the non-slip coating on both sidewalks of the Broadway Bridge will begin September 24, 2012. This work is scheduled to take two weeks. Elcon provided System Design including cost estimating and signal engineering for the Streetcar project. LTK helped with the final design, specification and procurement of the new streetcars, the traction electrification system, traffic signal interfaces and a streetcar maintenance facility.
Portland Public Schools headquarters, a big orange building is to our left, behind the trees. PPS was founded in 1851, and has some 47,000 students in 81 schools, the largest school district in the Pacific Northwest. The Left Bank Annex, straight ahead at 101 Weidler, is an extension of the Leftbank Project, which was created to provide work space for Portlandâ€™s mission-focused community.
The Annex was a machine shop for WWII airplane parts in a previous life. Two large-scale public artworks were funded through the 2 percent for art for the Eastside Streetcar. Jorge Pardo is creating a sculptural shelter at the east end of the Broadway Bridge near Weidler. Inversion: Plus Minus, a pair of sculptures on Grand Avenue near the on-ramps for the Hawthorne and Morrison Bridges was created by Lead Pencil Studio.
To the North is the lower Albina Neighborhood with limited housing but an historical architecture heritage.
Vintage Portland has this 1947 shot of the Union Pacific Albina yards. The old roundhouse and most of the railroad buildings are gone except for the iconic 1887 smokestack which was refurbished.
Looking ahead, just to our left is the Econolodge. The Leftband Project, a community of mission-driven tenants is straight ahead one block. Leftbank is fully leased to creativeclass tenants involved in bikes, brewing, coffee and community. The Willamette Pedestrian Coalition sponsors walks. The cafe is open M-F. To our right is the Memorial Coliseum (below) and the Rose Garden Area. The Memorial Coliseum was the home court of the Portland Trail Blazers. Three NBA Finals have been played in the Coliseum; in 1977 (when the Trail Blazers won) and in 1990 and 1992. Construction began on the nearby Rose Garden 18
soon after the 1992 NBA finals, and it became the teamâ€™s home arena when it opened in 1995.
Negotiations with the Portland Winterhawks to renovate the place could collapse, reports The Oregonian. Paul Allenâ€™s Portland Arena Management are months behind schedule negotiating a potential $31.5 million deal. The Winterhawks are willing to commit $10 million toward the renovation, but team officials want to play at the coliseum for 20 years.
Two light rail stations also serve the arenas to the south. A MAX Yellow Line is the first stop northbound on the Interstate MAX. About 200 yards away is the Rose Quarter Transit Centerâ€™s MAX station, where transfers to the eastbound MAX Blue and Red lines are possible. Several bus lines also serve the transit center.
The nearby Rose Garden is the primary indoor sports arena in Portland. Large indoor events, including basketball, ice hockey, rodeos, circuses, conventions, ice shows, concerts, and dramatic productions are held here. The arena has a capacity of 20,000 spectators
The primary scoreboard is a Mitsubishi-manufactured high definition video scoreboard, which hangs from the ceiling over center court, features four 15 feet by 22.5 feet (4.5 m by 6.75 m) video screens, among the biggest in the NBA. The arena also features over 650 television monitors placed throughout, showing the action on court. In 1976, Portland became the first American city to host a team in the Western Hockey League. The Portland Winter Hawks have racked up numerous pennants and playoff championships and are the go to source for Americaâ€™s National Hockey League recruiting. We passed by Interstate Avenue, and will pass over Interstate 5, a few blocks ahead.
NEXT: Stop 3
Stop 03 Stop 3: NE Weidler and 2nd. We are headed west Weidler Street.
Portlandâ€™s trolley system and Interurban line was extensive 100 years ago. From this spot you could catch a train to Sellwood, Estacata or Bull Run.
Construction on Portlandâ€™s Interurban lines began in 1890. Sellwood had a horse track and became a popular destination 22
when the line opened in June of 1892. The streetcar building in Sellwood is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The line was extended to Milwaukie where car barns and shops were built. Service to Oregon City was inaugurated on February 16, 1893, and lasted until 1958. The Broadway Line was relatively short but served the theater and shopping districts. It received the last new streetcars in town in 1932, according to Portland Vintage Trolleys. Today this stop has numerous light industry and commercial businesses. To our left is Performance Coating, owned and operated by Miller Paint are experts in architectural coatings, from floors, roofs, fire protectants, applied metal coatings, and other light industrial coatings. Competitor Sherwin Williams is down the street. Rhino Lacrosse, behind Performance Coating, ranks among the premiere lacrosse training and instructional programs in North America. In 2005 at the age of 24, Angela Batinovich became the youngest owner of a professional sports team in the US. Her lacrosse team, The LumberJax, ended operations after the 2009 season. Rhino Lacrosse was founded in 2005 in Portland, Oregon, by professional lacrosse player and instructor Ryan Powell.
To our right are two large hotels. Shilo Inns (1506 NE 2) has a newly refurbished 44 room hotel.
Crowne Plaza (1441 Ne 2nd) offers a complimentary area shuttle that will take you anywhere you need to go within five miles of the hotel and runs a shuttle to the airport. Planners and stakeholders envision a new Lloyd district stretching from the Broadway Bridge to the Lloyd Center Mall and the Oregon Convention Center. It would have new office buildings, slender residential towers and a headquarters hotel.
Itâ€™s part of a larger $400 million proposal to widen Interstate 5. A lid over the freeway, similar to the one in downtown Seattle, would stretch over I-5 from Northeast Broadway Street to Northeast Weidler Street. A final version will be presented for approval to the Portland City Council in October and to the Oregon Transportation Commission in December.
This Vintage Portland shot shows I-5 construction in 1962. In the upper right corner are NE Weidler and Broadway going east-west.
When the PDC, city of Portland officials and the federal Model Cities program tore down Albina homes and businesses for Emanuelâ€™s expansion in 1971, it was the last straw after having been moved by the I-5 freeway development and then Memorial Coliseum. Tom Robinson of HistoricPhotoArchive.com created a slide talk illustrating some of those events.
The Skanner News made a special tribute to the families who lost their homes and businesses over the years with an interactive Google map. The map pinpoints small businesses that once existed on North Williams Avenue, which runs parallel to Interstate 5. Half a century ago, Emanuel Hospital razed nearly 300 homes and businesses in North Portland, destroying what was then the heart of the areaâ€™s African American community and leaving a bitterness that still lingers, reports 27
The Oregonian. The displaced residents told their stories in oral history interviews, conducted by the students of PSU instructor Felicia Williams. African Americans had already been displaced by construction of Veterans Memorial Coliseum and Interstate 5.
With Legacy Emanuelâ€™s centennial approaching, hospital officials hope to make amends. Ultimately, through the Emanuel Hospital expansion, Memorial Coliseum, and I-5, 789 housing units in the Lower and Central Albina areas were lost, 188 of them from the Emanuel project, 476 from Memorial Coliseum, and 125 from I-5. 28
Stop 04 Stop 4: Weidler and Grand We are at the Eastern most point of the route. We will turn right and now go South towards OMSI.
Hungry? This is a great fast food stop with Burger King, Taco Bell, Chipotle Mexican Grill, Muchas Gracias, Mashita Teriyaki, Starbucks, Wendys and several others within a block or two. You can work it off at the Lloyd Athletic Club at 815 NE Halsey or wash it down with a beer at Devanâ€™s Pub, 715 NE Broadway. The Lloyd District Community Association is the business and neighborhood association located between the Willamette River and NE 16th.
They have a good list of apartments and restaurants in the area. Phone stores are as numerous as fast food at this stop. Radio Shack is to our left, Sprint, T-Mobile and Cricket are back one block, and Walgreens is one block north. Automotive services include Oil Can Henry’s, Washman Car Wash and Les Schwab. We’re at the Northeast edge of of Lloyd_District, our train is now going to turn right and go South towards OMSI. Lloyd Center Neighborhood Guide lists some of the interesting things around the neighborhood. Elmer’s Flag & Banner, on 13th and Broadway for example, has largest selection of flags in the world, and most of them are onsite. Laying the track was complicated and time consuming. Stacy & Witbeck contracted with concrete paving specialist Gomaco. It was the first project in the United States to use rail that was only five inches from top to bottom instead of the normal seven inches. That meant they didn’t have to relocate every utility they crossed. Typical railroad tolerance for rail is .125 inch (3 mm) in 60 feet. 30
The Gomaco Trolley Company also manufacturers vintage streetcars. Bill and Sam Naito bought six trolley cars from Portugal in the early 1980s, with the dream of bringing back trolleys to Portland. Eventually, four new replica Gomaco trolleys were purchased. They ran from downtown to the Lloyd Center.
Although the modern Portland Streetcar did not come to fruition until five years after Bill Naitoâ€™s death, Bill Naito was one of the Streetcarâ€™s most influential and ardent supporters, serving on the board of the non-profit Portland Streetcar.
Portland Vintage Trolley has four replica Council Crest trolleys made by Gomaco Trolley Company, which are reproductions of our streetcars running in the early 1900s. It travels through Portlandâ€™s Transit Mall although operation in now only a few days a year. Two of the original Council Crest streetcars, 503 and 506, are preserved by the Oregon Electric Railway Historical Society at its museum in Brooks, Oregon, which is the largest trolley museum in the Northwest. You can see Portlandâ€™s working vintage trolleys in their car barn, under the I-5 bridge. It has big windows and is adjacent to the Rose Quarter Max stop. Most minor maintenance is conducted there.
Next: Stop 5
Stop 05 Stop 5: Halsey & NE 7th Weâ€™re now headed South, passing through the Lloyd District. The north end of Lloyd Center is at this stop, the south enterance is the next stop.
The Lloyd Center Tower is on our left. At 290 feet and 20 stories, itâ€™s the tallest building in Oregon outside of downtown Portland. Lloyd
District apartments, such as the Cornerstone Apartments, directly to our right, are expected to flourish with the new Eastside Streetcar service. Streetcar executive director Rick Gustafson said there are active plans to build 1,000 units of new housing near the new route. Since it was first launched, streetcar advocates say, private developers have built more than 10,000 housing units and 5.5 million square feet of commercial space within a block of the streetcar route. The tall building a few blocks down is the south Lloyd Center Tower at 825 N.E. Multnomah Street. Itâ€™s headquarters for PacifiCorp, among other corporations. Many Lloyd District businesses are in the office towers, along Broadway or along the E/W Max line, which goes by the tall building, about 3 blocks ahead to the right. PNGC Power, a Portland-based electric generation and transmission cooperative is behind us and the Temple Baptist Church is in front.
A major new development for the Lloyd District is planned at the SW corner of the Lloyd Center shopping mall. 34
The proposed $250 million dollar mixed use project would be located between NE 7th and 9th and Multnomah and Holladay Streets. They are planning 780 apartments and 50,000 square feet of retail in three towers of 13, 18 and 32 stories each.
Designers of the proposed 780-unit “superblock,” say it would be one of the city’s largest apartment projects, and may create a new neighborhood. Money for the $250 million project would come from American Assets Trust, a San Diego-based company. Langley Investment Properties, a local firm, will serve as project manager. Ralph Lloyd came to the Northwest in 1907. He believed the East Side should be the center of the city. In 1911, Lloyd returned to California to manage the family ranch where he brought in his first oil gusher in 1920. Almost overnight, he became a very wealthy man. Over the next three decades, the millionaire oilman bought his first two lots on the NW corner of Union Avenue (now Martin Luther King) and 35
Multnomah Street. He continued to buy land until his death in 1953, without seeing his dream realized.
His four daughters and their families realized Lloydâ€™s dream when construction of the Banfield Freeway through Sullivanâ€™s Gulch began. In August 1960, Lloyd Center, the then-largest shopping center in the country, opened its doors.
Next: Stop 6
Stop 06 Stop 6: Multnomah & NE 7th The South entrance to Lloyd Center is here.
Get off here if you want to catch a Max train. The Max trains go to the Airport, Clackamas Town Center and Gresham. It passes by the Convention Center (to our right) and the Double Tree hotel (to our left). The Double Tree is across the street from the Lloyd Center and a small park by the Max train stop. The Lloyd Center mall opened August 1, 1960 in a 100store, open-air configuration. At the time it was the largest shopping center in the Pacific Northwest and claimed to be the largest in in the world.
Currently, Lloyd Center is the largest shopping mall in Oregon. it has a great ice rink.
The Lloyd Farmers Market is held on Tuesdays, June through September, from 10am â€“ 2pm, between NE 7th Ave and NE 9th. Itâ€™s right next to the Max train.
Behind Oregon Square is the domed Oregon State Office Building. It was the first major building in Portland to meet State Seismic Zone III code requirements and houses the Depart of Geology, Nature of the Northwest book and map store, and Oregon Public Health. The Columbia River InterTribal Fish Commission which gives a unified voice in the overall management of the fishery resources, and protects their treaty-reserved property and salmon heritage is across the street. Bonneville Power Headquarters up the steet, is the marketing agent for power from all of the federally owned hydroelectric projects in the Pacific Northwest. The BPA provides about 35% of the electricity used in the region. It transmits and sells wholesale electricity in eight western states: Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Utah, Nevada, and California.
The Sullivanâ€™s Gulch Neighborhood runs along Sullivanâ€™s Gulch which was a river bed, then a route for trains, and now the I-84 freeway.
It was formed between 15,000 and 13,000 years ago at the end of the last ice age when the ice dam containing Glacial Lake Missoula thawed some 40 times, causing some of the largest floods known on earth. Next: Stop 7
Stop 07 Stop 7: Oregon & Grand The Oregon Convention Center, with its twin spire towers, is straight ahead at this stop. Youâ€™ll have to walk across busy Martin Luther King Bvd, here. Thereâ€™s another stop across the street.
The Oregon Convention Center is the largest in Oregon at nearly 1,000,000 square feet, with 255,000 square feet of exhibit space.
The original building opened in 1990 and was expanded in 2003.
Construction on a 30,000-square-foot, full-block â€œoutdoor plazaâ€? facility for convention-related activities started in 2011 across the street from the center, right by this stop. The plaza, known as the Oregon Convention Center Plaza, opened in January 2012. The new outdoor park may actually be a space holder for the planned convention hotel. Metro and PDC gave the green light this September. Officials hope to lure more national conventions and trade shows to the Oregon Convention Center.
Metro restarted the dormant hotel talks earlier this year. Two teams answered the RFP, the Hyatt team led by Mortenson Development and a second team led by Langley Investment Properties that offered a Sheraton-flagged proposal. Metro, the regional government, owns and manages the Oregon Convention Center, the Portland Center for the Performing Arts, and the Portland Expo Center in North Portland, through the Metro Exposition-Recreation Commission. The plan is to develop a 500 room headquarters hotel. Metro says the planned convention center hotel is intended to create enough spillover demand for rooms so that other hotels would benefit too. An economic study is in the works and will be finished before negotiations with the hotel developers wrap up. Travel Portland says the Convention Center’s eco-friendly policy has been a good business recruitment strategy. Behind us on the right is the East West College, a professional school of massage and body work. Behind that is the Oregon State Office building. To our left, at 736 MLK, is Anzen Hiroshi, is one of Portland’s best ethnic groceries, featuring a wide selection of Japanese imported goods, including fresh and prepared foods, cookware, videos, books and gifts. It’s been family owned since 1905. Next: Stop 8
Stop 08 Stop 8: MLK & Hoyt The Convention Center stop.
Oregon Convention Center (oregoncc.org) was designed by the architectural firm of Zimmer Gunsul Frasca which was also involved in designing the expansion.
Based in Portland, ZGF was listed in 2011 as the #4 architectural firm in the United States by Building Design+Construction and ranked the #9 architectural firm by Architect Magazine.
The Convention Center says itâ€™s one of the greenest convention centers in the nation. It earned a Silver LEED Certification by installing low-flow plumbing fixtures, modified HVAC systems and using 40% renewable wind power. The Convention Center will seek LEED Gold certification in 2013 and has invested in a number of efficiency measures in recent years. 45
Switching to a mix of induction, LED and compact fluorescent light is expected to decrease energy usage by half. The “Rain Garden” on the southwestern corner of the building, sends water runoff from the 9- acre roof to a series of “swales”, with water basins and basalt spillways where native grasses and vegetation encourage natural infiltration.
The rain garden is said to save Convention Center about $15,000 a year on its storm water bill and reduces pollution of the Willamette River. Green leadership, say advocates, attracts a number of conventions to Portland. Pacificwild Catering, OCC’s caterer, was created by its parent company, Aramark, to put greater emphasis on local, sustainable food systems on a large scale.
A Metro committee is reportedly leaning towards the Hyatt proposal for a new convention hotel. The Mortenson group submitted four options ranging from $157 million to $200 million. They would be built on either Star Terraowned property north of the OCC or the PDC-owned property east of it. Public investments ranging from $10.3 million to $36.1 million were requested for each option. In addition, the group requested that 11.5 percent of the 12.5 percent hotel/motel tax be invested in the project during a 30-year period.
Langley Investment Properties proposed two options on PDC property across from the OCC. Costs for the 587-room hotel were estimated at $175 million and a PDC/Metro loan of $8 million was requested. Conference and trade show attendance at the convention center, though volatile, has largely trended down since peaking in 1999, reports the Oregonian. Measured in attendee days, convention attendance has fallen from 896,927 that year to 381,851 in 2011. In part, that reflects conventions planned in the depths of the recession. In 2008, a Metro analysis concluded a new convention center hotel could bring eight to 10 additional national conventions to town, an estimated economic impact of $55 million a year. Weâ€™ll continue down Martin Luther King Bvd until we get close to OMSI. Before it was MLK, the avenue was called Union.
Martin Luther King Jr. Worker Center at 240 NE MLK, is across the bridge, on the South side of I-5. The VOZ Workersâ€™ Rights Education Project is a worker-led organization that operates the day labor center which finds hundreds of workers a month jobs for local homeowners and small businesses. El Hispanic News says a report issued May 29 on Latinos in Oregon found that 1 in 5 native-born 48
children in Oregon have at least one immigrant parent, and that Oregon had one of the top rates of growth for Latinoowned business creation in the country.
The 1907 dry cleaning business, pictured here, is long gone. The daughter of Owner Sam Carnes (pictured here) told Vintage Portland, “The equipment was primitive (no electricity). In about 1912 he purchased “modern equipment” including electric irons (before heated on a stove) and machinery run by electric motors.”
Next: Stop 9
Stop 09 Stop 9: MLK & Burnside
We just crossed over Interstate 84 (the Banfield Freeway) and are heading south. Burnside divides the city North and South, while the Willamette River divides it East and West.
The three-story Templeton Building peeks over the South edge of the Burnside Bridge. It was originally an assembly & retail location for Frigidaire.
Burnside Skatepark is near its foundation, the Best Spot to Execute a Riparian Ollie, according to Thrasher magazine. Lower East Burnsideâ€™s reputation as one of Portlandâ€™s less desirable neighborhoods changed almost literally overnight in 2003 when partners Kelsey Bunker and Tod Breslau created the Jupiter Hotel. They teamed with Skylab Architects to transfigure the dilapidated mid-century motor inn into the an 80-room boutique hotel featuring the popular music venue Doug Fir Lounge.
The spot has become a communal hang out for gay and straight hipsters of all persuasions. Other popular night spots Ron Toms and Report Lounge rode on the coattails of Doug Fir, along with restaurants Biwa, Simpatica Dining Hall, and Le Pigeon.
The Eastside Streetcar line is expected to fuel growth in the Central Eastside Industrial District.
Works Partnership Architecture has one of the most striking buildings at 5th and Burnside, called bSIDE6. The original building was permitted to build over the sidewalks when their properties were narrowed in the 1920s to widen the street.
The developers sought to follow this technique by projecting upper volumes above the sidewalk. But after the real estate bubble burst the outcome was in doubt. Today, however, the striking architecture and the column-free, cantilevered, glasswalled space helped fill the building to 95 percent occupancy at market rents comparable to, or higher than, the more than 350,000 square feet of creative space in the converted warehouses nearby. Building rehabs for the creative industry has enjoyed success in Portland, with examples like the Leftbank Project on Broadway, Malsinâ€™s East Bank Commerce Center and Olympic Mills Commerce Center in the Central Eastside, and the Ford Building in Southeast, all of which are full of tenants.
Gerding Edlen pioneered green building development (in collaboration with GBD Architects, ZGF, SERA Architects and other firms).
The Public Review Draft of the Center City 2035 Concept Plan was announced this September. It emphasizes the important role the city center plays for the region and is intended to guide development of four detailed quadrant plans within the Central City (N/NE, SE, NW and SW). The SE Portland Art Walk has over 150 artists showing in over 50 locations. This walking art tour brings you up close and personal to artists throughout the vibrant, SE Portland.
A temporary public art installation, Line.Plane.Object. is part of a multi-piece set.
GATE, the first of three “sculptural gestures”, is installed by the streetcar stop on Burnside. Also, be sure to check out Starks Vacuum Museum. Stark’s is one of the largest independent vacuum cleaner dealers in the U.S. with nine locations and over 50 employees.
In this 1933 photo the 1894 Burkhard Building dominated the northeast corner of E. Burnside and Union (MLK), notes Vintage Portland. The building “arcades” on either side of Burnside were the result of a street widening project in the late 1920s – a theme picked up by the bSIDE6 building.
Next: Stop 10
Stop 10 Stop 10: MLK & Stark
The Stark stop may look drab, but looks can be deceiving. There are hidden gems all around this stop.
We just passed by Columbia Scooters which carries electric bikes and scooters, Office Depot and Sheridan Fruit Company, all on our right. 57
In 1916 John Sheridan started an open-air produce market on Union Avenue. In 1946 the Poleo Brothers, whose family still owns and operates The Sheridan Fruit Company today, purchased the company and it began to grow. Today they serve some of the finest restaurants. Sheridan still feels like a great farmersâ€™ market with outstanding fresh herbs and produce.
The Central Eastside District is experiencing an influx of retailers in the recently rebranded Produce Row area, near SE 2nd Avenue and SE Oak Street, anchored by Produce Row Cafe. Newly opened shops in or around Produce Row include the Helium Comedy Club, the noted roaster and beanery Water Avenue Coffee and high-end ale purveyor Hair of the Dog’s brewpub.
A new food cart pod dubbed the Row, will soon debut in the “Produce Row” district and is already populated with familiar names, including several members of SE Hawthorne’s Cartopia. Portland Wine Storage, 306 SE Ash, is a facility dedicated solely to storing wine. It provides 55 degree, 70% humidity control in a cave-like subterranean atmosphere. Features private cellar rooms and personal wine storage vaults for any size collection. C&G Wines, next door, will sell you a bottle. They import wines from around the world.
The Bus Project with headquarters near the river at 333 SE 2nd, is a volunteer-driven, non-profit organization that engages young people in progressive politics within Oregon. A typical Bus Trip, involves upwards of 100 volunteers to go around a community, knocking on doors for a given candidate or cause they care about.
Guardian Games, 3rd Ave & Pine, has 14,000+ games in stock. They carry vintage game systems and host special events like Beer, Pizza, and Games night with seating for 100+ for board game days, meetups, birthday parties. Ice Cream Express serves up Portland/Vancouver with frozen novelties from traditional Good Humor ice cream trucks, hidden in the bat cave at 333 SE 3rd.
Taco Del Mar, on the left, is features large, hand-rolled Mondo Burritos and fish tacos, and has a large following. The very first Taco Del Mar opened in 1992 on Pier 57 in Seattle’s historic waterfront district. Next to it is Pho Green Papaya, a Vietnamese Restaurant at 402 Southeast Martin Luther King. Portland Music Company, 531 SE MLK, was the first store offering musical instrument rentals to Oregon’s school children. As a way to encourage instrument rentals and musical education they would travel from town to town in black Hearses giving free evening concerts. It’s been the go to place for musicians for years.
Next: Stop 11
Stop 11 Stop 11: MLK & Morrison
Weâ€™re coming up on the Morrison Bridge. The Morrison was completed in 1958, the third bridge to carry that name.
River City Bikes, 706 SE MLK, was started by Dave Guettler 15 years ago. Their Rubber to the Road guidebooks are a collection of favorite bicycle rides in the Portland, Oregon area.
They sponsor a variety of events, including the Cross Crusade race series, and donate to organizations like Bikes to Rwanda and the Bicycle Transportation Alliance. A skilled woodworker, Guettler has hand-built stylish wooden fixtures. Their trendsetting Full Wood fenders have been featured several times in the national media. Access for bicycles and pedestrians on the Morrison Bridge was improved in a $1.9 million project that added a barrierseparated path on the south side.
The Willamette Light Brigade illuminates the concrete piers with computer-controlled LEDs.
The Central Eastside is a prime urban industrial area, with more than 1,100 businesses. Many of Portlandâ€™s creativetype businesses have recently moved into some of the neighborhoodâ€™s abandoned warehouses and brick buildings, 64
including design firms, restaurants, retailers, breweries and even an independent record label. Beam rehabbed several buildings into bustling commerce centers that provide affordable space for a diversity of scrappy firms that donâ€™t need a marble clad lobby.
Olympic Mills is a refurbished Grain Mill built in 1906 and represents one of the largest historic buildings to receive a full seismic upgrade in the City of Portland. Like the Eastbank Commerce Center and Water Avenue Commerce Center, also Beam projects, the Olympic Mills features flex work-space. 65
Le Bistro Montage, one of Portlandâ€™s signature restaurants, is located in the heart of the Central Eastside Industrial district in what was once the Royal Hotel at 301 SE Morrison. While dining on linen-covered tables, you can enjoy a wide variety of meals, from rock shrimp pesto linguini to alligator jambalaya! The Radius community art studios, 322 SE Morrison, is a community space offering workshops, and facilities for artists. As a monthly partner, artists are given dedicated storage space within the studio for their materials (storage varies depending on media â€“ lockers, shelves, flat files, and canvas rack are all available). Northwest Center for Photography, 1028 Southeast Water Ave, features photography workshops and an i witness gallery. Winks Hardware, 200 SE Stark, moved here from the Pearl almost a decade ago.
Habitat for Humanity Restore, 66 SE Morrison St, says their ReStores raise funds to help Habitat for Humanity build affordable homes and keep usable materials out of the waste stream. Typical donations include: Windows and doors, Flooring and tile, Plumbing fixtures and hardware, Lighting and electrical hardware and cabinets. With the help of our shoppers, donors and volunteers, they have raised over $1.2 million for Habitat, and we keep about 4.2 million pounds of materials out of the landfill each year. The Clifford Hotel, at 519 SE Morrison serves special needs and low income residents. There are 88 units â€“ 33 single room occupancy (SRO) units, 54 studios, and 1 one bedroom apartment in the building.
The building is remarkably unchanged from this 1929 shot from Vintage Portland. Next: Stop 12 67
Stop 12 Stop 12: MLK & Taylor
This stop is near Platt Electric, a wholesale distributor of electrical, industrial, lighting, and control products for commercial markets. A lot of the development here is down by the river.
The Olympic Mills Commerce Center by Beam Development/Works Partnership Architecture exemplifies the hot creative space on the East Side. 68
The Eastbank Commerce Center, 1001 SE Water Ave, was transformed by Beam Development from an old warehouse constructed in 1923, into a vital and popular area for a wide variety of businesses.
Brad Malsin relocated from NYC to Portland, Oregon in 1992 and undertook groundbreaking projects in the Central Eastside. Brian Libby reviews 10 years of Portland architecture. He ranks the Eastbank Commerce Center as one of the significant developments for the city and especially the Eastside. Malsinâ€™s largest project to date is the 172,000 square foot B&O Warehouse, renamed the Olympic Mills Commerce Center, down the street at 107 SE Washington.
The ClarkLewis restaurant on the ground floor of the Eastbank Commerce Center, has been the standard-bearer for the farm-to-table food movement in Portland. The airy restaurant serves Italian inspired local, organic, seasonal, sustainable fare.
Stumptown Coffee moved its headquarters to a 37,000 square-foot-space at the former MacForce space near SE 2nd and Salmon this summer. Stumptown brings 75 employees to inner SE, about 50 of whom work full time. A coffee retailer and roaster, the company will leave behind a string of buildings on Division Street. Founder Duane Sorenson is one of the “Third Wave” of coffee roasters, where he visits farms in person and is willing to pay high prices for coffee he deems worthy.
Sanderson Safety Supply is an Andy and Bax for first responders. It is the Northwest’s leading distributor of 70
Safety, Health, Fire, and Environmental Protection with a huge variety of interesting products and great prices. The Lippman Company at 50 SE Yamhill is celebrating their 60th birthday. Theyâ€™re always having a party. Theyâ€™re party people. Get your chattering teeth, rubber chickens, party decorations, balloons, rental props and helium here. SoundWind Air Arts, on the other side of the building, at 79 SE Taylor, handles windsox, banners, spinners and kites. Girls Inc., at 105 SE Taylor, inspires girls, ages 8-18, to be strong, smart, and bold. Their gender-specific programs and research-based curricula provide girls with the confidence and self-esteem to access a bright and economicallyindependent future.
Vintage Portland says this tidy row of wood-frame homes, shot in 1884, was on the southeast corner of SE Morrison and 6th. Next: Stop 13
Stop 13 Stop 13: MLK & Hawthorne
Transition Projects, at 1431 SE MLK, provides people with the resources and tools they need to end their homelessness and maintain housing.
The Clark Center is a 90-bed short-term residential program for men that provides the supports needed to move out of homelessness with a computer lab, mental health counseling and case management. Stays are up to four months. The Day Center provides showers, clothing, laundry, access to residential program waiting lists, information and referral. Mark Newman Designs in Wood is a woodcrafing shop with their studio and shop next to the Hawthorne bridge. Fivethousand square feet of machinery, tools, benches, and people making things. It smells like wood, and one wall is covered with mysterious jigs and patterns.
Portland Indoor Soccer at 418 SE Main, is home to the best indoor soccer facility. It hosts hundreds of men’s, women’s and coed teams each year. Since 1985, when they opened the doors in the historic Imperial Skating Rink building on Portland’s industrial east side, thousands of men, women and children who love socer have made this pitch their home. Down the road towards the river is a four-story Art Deco building next to the Hawthorne Bridge. It had been long ignored, and the FBI used it to practice drug raids. Today that space houses has been refurbished into The Portland Boathouse.
The mission of the Portland Boathouse is to provide access to the Willamette River to people of all ages and abilities so that they may participate in safe recreational and competitive rowing and paddle sports in an atmosphere of mutual respect and camaraderie, while promoting stewardship of the river. Several non-profit organizations have offices on the upper floors, and Alder Creek Canoe and Kayak provides rental boats and instruction. It contains dozens of canoes, kayaks, and high-end rowing shells. Willamette River Keepers headquartered in the Boathouse. They are a non-profit whose sole mission is to protect and restore the Willamette River. The Boathouse also contains sporting goods store Alder Creek Kayak & Canoe or have a cup of Joe. Water Avenue Coffee factory creates handcrafted coffees in Portlandâ€™s Southeast Industrial district. The Vera Katz Eastbank Esplanade is a 1.5 mile bike/pedestrian path, along the river, from OMSI to the Steel Bridge. Next: Stop 14
Stop 14 Stop 14: MLK & Mill
This stop is heavy industrial. Not for the casual tourist.
But it might be your stop if you need to fix your car, get new tires, rent a scissor jack, or retile your bathroom. Star Rentals has Boom & Crane Trucks, Air Compressors, Forklifts, Generators, Excavators, Scissorlifts and other light and heavy industrial equipment for sale or rent. Reborn Automotive at 1800 MLK, specialize in repair work for all European, Japanese, and British cars. Speeds Automotive began in 1958 as a Flying A service station in downtown Portland. In 1976 they moved to a modern shop at SE 1st and Clay Street. In 2007, they joined The Tire Factory to provide better tire selections and pricing.
Oregon Tile and Marble has five showrooms and over 250,000 square feet of warehousing space. You can see, touch and choose from a large selection of natural stone tiles, slabs, quartz solid surface and porcelain tile. The next stop is the end of the line â€“ OMSI. Weâ€™ll continue down Martin Luther King a few blocks, then turn right, going over the train yard below and terminating at the OMSI stop. Next: OMSI Stop
Stop 15 Stop 15: OMSI
The Oregon Rail Heritage Foundation has secured a permanent home for the City of Portlandâ€™s steam locomotives and established a Rail and Industrial Heritage Museum.
The Rail Heritage Foundation says it took three decades and thousands of volunteer hours for Portland to be the only city in the U.S. to own two operating steam locomotives, with the third currently under restoration. 78
Both the SP 4449 and SP&S 700 are part of the rare group of the six largest steam locomotives operating in the world today. The Oregon Railroad & Navigation 197 arrived in Portland just in time for the 1905 Lewis & Clark Centennial Exposition. It was built in 1905 by Baldwin Locomotive Works for the E. H. Harriman rail empire that later merged into the Union Pacific.
Their Holiday Express trains will be running the first two weekends in December. The new Oregon Rail Heritage Center will permit the ORHF to continue operating steampowered excursions while openly displaying the locomotives to the public.
The Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI) is a science and technology museum with three auditoriums, including an IMAX Dome theatrex, planetarium, and five different specialized exhibit halls, and a submarine. The Streetcar will be free to all passengers September 22 â€“ 23 as part of the celebration. Catch a ride to OMSI September 22 at 7:30amâ€“9:30am for the Grand Opening Celebration Near OMSI and the Rail Heritage Center are the Portland Spirit offices, Willamette Jetboat Excursions, which take off on the water by OMSI and Portland Opera.
Come on back to the train stop when you’re ready, and we’ll finish the loop.
In the future you’ll have more options:
The Portland-Milwaukie Light Rail Bridge, currently under construction south of OMSI. It should be ready in 2015. Then you can loop back across the river.
The Milwaukie light rail project will also use the new bridge. The new Light Rail extension will connect downtown Portland to Milwaukie. It opens in 2015. The Lake Oswego streetcar, on the west side of the Willamette, was originally targeted for a 2017 opening, but has has been derailed by Lake Oswego officials. When you take the Portland Streetcar to South Waterfront, you might catch the Portland Aerial Tram just for fun. Great views of the city. 82
Portland is the second major US city to have an aerial tram (the other connects Manhattan with Roosevelt Island). The tram soars between two 200-foot towers.
The Tram was jointly funded by OHSU, the city of Portland, and by South Waterfront property owners, with the bulk of the funding coming from OHSU.
Portland’s 4T Trail takes you over Trail, Tram, Trolley and Train. Here’s a map (pdf). Ready to go back? Let’s board on our Trolley and continue our adventure North, back downtown. Download Word file: OMSI_to_Portland, a 2.7 MB file, which is the return trip. 83