Portland Then/Now: Southwest Second Ave. & Burnside St.
Thursday, January 01, 2015
THEN: According to portlandoregongov.com Burnside Street originally was named B Street as part of the "Alphabet District" in northwest Portland that was laid out by Captain Couch. B Street extended from the waterfront to 16th Avenue, where it joined Washington Street to continue westward. By 1892, the street's name was changed to Burnside, after David W. Burnside, an early Portland merchant.
At the time, the area north of Burnside was home to railroad, Union Station or hotel workers, who lived in the older, less expensive homes available there. This photo, from October 4, 1917, seems to indicate some sort of street construction in the area. During the early 20th Century there was an attempt to upgrade the area with more street car lines, but it was considered a bit of an undesirable neighborhood by those who were forced to pass through it on a daily basis, and the Burnside Line ceased operation in 1915. In the distance you can see the original Burnside Bridge. It was replaced by the current bridge in 1926.
NOW: The intersection of Southwest Second Avenue and West Burnside Street is still considered a bit of a undesirable zone for those who must pass through it (this is the same stretch of street where Reese Witherspoon shot her druggiest scenes for the movie "Wild"). But it also the epi-center of one of Portland's freshest industries: tourism.
Under the Burnside Bridge you'll find the super popular Saturday Market, which is celebrating several decades of providing one-of-a-kind handcrafted gifts. And, if you follow your nose from Second Avenue up to Third Avenue you'll find the even more popular Voodoo Doughnuts. Big changes are coming to this part of Old Town/Chinatown as more builders are providing housing in the area and retailers are eyeing as one of the last undiscovered neighborhoods in the city.
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- Portland Then/Now: Northwest Couch Street and Third Avenue
- Portland Then/Now: Southwest 11th Ave. and Morrison St.
- Portland Then/Now: Southwest Broadway and Morrison Street
- Portland Then/Now: Southwest Park Avenue & Taylor Street
- Portland Then/Now: Union Station
- Portland Then/Now: The Portland Hotel/Pioneer Courthouse Square
- Portland Then/Now: West Burnside St. and Southwest 18th Ave.