A Bridge and its Park

The St. Johns Bridge is one of the most iconic bridges in Portland, but the area below it has its own history. It was home to Native American tribal grounds and a Lewis and Clark landing site before it became Cathedral Park. For decades, it housed junkyards and factories. But “honorary mayor” Howard Galbraith and […]

/ May 2, 2019

How the Pearl District Became the Pearl

THE NEIGHBORHOOD: The Pearl District THE PLACE: In the early ‘90s, the Pearl District (then known as the River District) was a sparsely populated neighborhood “as rugged as any in the Pacific Northwest.” There were warehouses and railroad yards and other symbols of the area’s industrial roots, but the industries themselves — lumber and manufacturing […]

/ March 28, 2019

PDXplained: Why Isn’t Lower Albina an Official Portland Neighborhood?

(📸: Library of Congress, via the Volga Germans in Portland blog) “Lower Albina isn’t one of the city’s official neighborhoods. Why is that? What’s the history of how Portland’s neighborhoods were formed?” That’s the winning question from this month’s PDXplained audience vote. Here’s what we learned: ALBINA’S ORIGIN STORY About a century before neighborhood associations […]

/ February 25, 2019

Meet the Railroad Bridge

The original Railroad Bridge was the longest bridge of its kind in the world. (📸: Library of Congress) WHAT: The Burlington Northern Railroad Bridge, built in 1908 and rebuilt in 1989 FUN FACT: The original Railroad Bridge swung open around a central “pedestal” — and ships had a heck of a time avoiding it. The worst collision happened […]

/ October 12, 2018

Portland Loves Its Bridges. Here’s What Makes Them Special.

These are the most unique, fun facts we learned about each of Portland’s iconic 12 bridges.

/ October 11, 2018

Meet the Ross Island Bridge

The Ross Island is the busiest non-interstate bridge in Portland — and one of the worst to get caught on during rush hour.

/ October 11, 2018

Meet the Burnside Bridge

The Burnside Bridge was the first Willamette River bridge in Portland to be designed with the help of an architect.

/ October 11, 2018

Meet the Hawthorne Bridge

Did you know an epic chase scene in a Benicio Del Toro movie involved his character jumping off the Hawthorne Bridge into the Willamette River?

/ October 11, 2018

Meet the Steel Bridge

Every year tons of bicyclists cross this bridge, which is also known as the last operational “telescoping vertical-lift bridge” in the U.S.

/ October 11, 2018

Meet the Sellwood Bridge

The Sellwood Bridge was hastily constructed in less than a year, and before it was rebuilt in 2016, it was one of the most structurally unsound bridges in the country.

/ October 11, 2018