Stop 03

Stop 3: NE Weidler and 2nd.

We are headed west Weidler Street.

Portland’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 Portland’s Interurban lines began in 1890. Sellwood had a horse track and became a popular destination 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.

It’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 Emanuel’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 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 area’s African American community and leaving a bitterness that still lingers, reports 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 Emanuel’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.

In the 1970s, Mayor Neil Goldschmidt rerouted $500 million in federal funds from the proposed Mount Hood Freeway to building Portland’s light-rail system. The eight-lane freeway would have run east along Southeast Clinton Street, cutting down to Powell Boulevard and running beyond I-205. Portland’s decision to build Light Rail instead was the start of something big.

Portland’s Light Rail service to Gresham began in 1986 while Streetcar service (sharing roads with vehicles), began in 2001.

NEXT: Stop #4, NE Weidler and 2nd