07 April 2024

Division Street at the Portland City Line


Back on the outer east side of Portland, as Portland as you can go because the Gresham city line is literally at my back here, at SE 174th Avenue and Division Street, looking west.

This is another example of my poor-man's telephoto, which mostly involves a long sightline and a tight zoom ... but I've always liked the result.

Of interest, off on the horizon, is a hill called Kelly Butte. If you're down Division at about 101st and look south off Division, that's the hill you'll see there; yet another notable member of the Boring Volcanic Field, which is the constellation of nobbly hills starting at Mount Tabor and straggling out into Clackamas County until it merges into the Cascade foothills.

Kelly Butte has a place in Portland Civil Defense and cinematic history, because from 1955 through about 1974, the bunker there hosted Portland's emergency Civil Defense nerve center, to which city officials would rush in the event of a Soviet nuclear attack. In 1957, CBS broadcast a movie titled The Day Called X, a documentary narraated by actor Glenn Ford, dramatizing Portland's response to a notional Soviet bomber assault (this was in the days before ICBMs, when nukes came delivered Dr. Strangelove-style, from the bellies of big planes and the city had time to get out of the way), and that bunker - staffed in the film by people who were really Portland city officials at the time, including Mayor Terry Schrunk - was a key location in the film. In 1974, the bunker became the 911 headquarters for the Bureau of Emergency Communications, and in 1994, the bunker was decommissioned and sealed when 911 moved to a more modern location.

Kelly Butte's current job is holding a lot of Portland's drinking water in underground tanks that once went to the now-decorative reserviors at the foot of Mount Tabor, near SE 60th and Division. 

There was also a legendary honky-tonk out this way, the Division Street Corral, also known as the "D Street"; a legendary venue, it hosted acts from John Mayall to Johnny Cash and Paul Revere and the Raiders. 

The page as https://pnwbands.com/divisionstreetcorral.html, has a pretty complete list of all the musical goodness that passed out that way, and some of the pictures are still up (some have died due to net rot). 

One other thing to note is the wiggliness of what would seem on paper to be a rather straight road, and that's another reason I enjoy creating these pictures. Surveying was precise but I guess sometimes it was never perfect, and drawing straight lines on a sphere, which strikes me as one of surveying's great challenges, introduces quirks of its own. 

It also makes pictures like this look nifty. 

No comments: