Take a "Virtual" Vintage Trolley ride on the Portland Transit Mall

Ride through the pages of Portland history.

Historical Narrative
NW 5th
& Glisan
Union Station Leaving NW 5th & Glisan: "Union Station was the brainchild of rail baron Henry Villard who suffered financial setbacks and lost ownership of the project before it was completed in 1896.  The Richardsonian Romanesque structure was begun in 1890 and survived Portland's infamous 1894 flood during construction."
NW 5th
& Couch
Proceeding southbound on NW 5th Ave.:  "We are now travelling along the edge of Portland's Chinatown.  This area was a center for railroading, lumbering and both river and ocean-going ships.  It was also known for bawdy houses, saloons and gambling parlors."
SW 5th
& Oak
First National
Southbound on SW 5th at Stark.:  "The old First National Bank Building ahead on our left was the first national bank west of the Rocky Mountains.  It as built in 1916 in a style reminiscent of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C. and many think it is the finest example of Roman architecture in the West."
SW 5th
Pioneer Place

Southbound on SW 5th leaving Oak St.:  "On our right is the Pioneer Courthouse, which offered a splendid view of the countryside from its cupola when built on the edge of town in 1869."

Historic photo of Pioneer
Pioneer Post
SW 5th
& Jefferson/
City Hall

Southbound on SW 5th at Madison:  "The Renaissance Revival style Portland City Hall was completed in 1895.  This early steel-framed structure was one of the first buildings in the Northwest to feature electric lights and central heat.  It was considered to be fireproof."
Portland City
SW 5th
& Mill/
PSU Urban Center

Cablecar on
Southbound on SW 5th approaching PSU:  "Fifth Avenue has a long railway history.  Cablecars ran here for 15 years, starting in 1890.  They were replaced by the very trolleys that the car you are riding in was patterned after; the Council Crest cars.  Portland cablecars were ordered from the same firm that built San Francisco's historic cars and look just like them."
SW 6th
/PSU Urban Center

Northbound on SW 6th at Mill:  "Now a well-regarded urban university, Portland State began as a non-accredited Junior College.  It can trace its roots to an extension center wiped out in the Vanport Flood of 1948.  By 1952 classes had found a new home in the former Lincoln High School."
Portland State
SW 6th
& Madison
Northbound on SW 6th at Jefferson
"The University Club on our right is a rare example of Jacobethan style.  It was built in 1919 for a socially prominent club founded in 1898.  Next door is the city's oldest continuously fashionable apartment building, and one of the most ornate, the Ambassador Apartments built in 1922.
SW 6th
Pioneer Courthouse
Leaving Pioneer Courthouse:  "The cream colored tiles on the buildings across the street identify them aws part of the Terra Cotta Historical Area.  The "last of the handmade buildings" include Macy's, Portland's oldest and largest department store.  It was built in 1909 as Meier & Frank.
Terra Cotta
SW 6th
& Pine
Old US
                National Bank
Northbound on SW 6th at Stark:  "Well-known architect A.E. Doyle designed two bank buildings along the city's financial blocks:  The U. S. National Bank was built in 1916 and the old Bank of California next door in 1924.  The Bank of California is considered Portland's most impressive Italian Renaissance building."
NW 6th
& Davis
Northbound on NW 6th after Burnside:  "We are now back in Chinatown.  Portland's Chinatown was once bigger than any other on the West Coast outside of San Francisco.  It sported a Erickson's Saloon, which had the 'longest bar in the world.'  It was also infamous for shanghaiing of sailors. The Classical Chinese Garden is now in this district."
Chinatown Illustration
W 6th
& Hoyt/
Union Station
Steel Bridge
Northbound on NW 6th at Glisan:  "The Steel Bridge to our far right served the Northwest's first electric trolley.  The Albina Line began running across this bridge to Albina in 1889.  The Steel Bridge also holds the distinction of being the world's only double decked, telescoping, lift span."

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ETConsulting 2013