Meet the Hawthorne Bridge

WHAT: Hawthorne Bridge, built in 1910

FUN FACT: An epic chase scene in the 2003 film “The Hunted” ends with Benicio Del Toro’s character jumping off the Hawthorne Bridge into the Willamette River. And the location was no accident. According to the Portland Tribune, the movie’s producers chose Portland “for its streets, the available landscape outside of town, and the Hawthorne Bridge.”

WHY IT’S SPECIAL: The Hawthorne is the oldest car bridge in Portland and the oldest vertical-lift bridge still operating in the United States. It’s also named after one of our city’s earliest bridge-building champions, Dr. James C. Hawthorne, who co-founded the Oregon Hospital for the Insane (ugh, that name 🙄) and helped finance construction of the original Morrison Bridge.

Hawthorne died seven years before the Morrison project was completed, but his advocacy and financial support helped him become the namesake of a bridge that is now one of the busiest in Portland.

AND THE #HAWTHRONEBRIDGE INSTA-GRAMMY GOES TO … Teagan Bentley, because her dance skills and her caption (“We rise by lifting others”) are on point.

QUOTABLE: “It’s my rock. I see the bridge all lit up and I know that I’m halfway to work. I know it will always be there to help carry me, to tell me, ‘You can do it.’” —Jennifer Young in 2015, describing her bicycle commute across the Hawthorne

Flashback Friday is a weekly-ish series featuring people and events that shaped our city, and we’re binging on bridges right now. Read more about all our city’s bridges here.