Portland Transit Mall, 1979

We hardly knew ye – the award-winning [Special Award for Civic Enrichment from the AIA] Transit Mall had a major face lift with new stops and kiosks [and tracks being put in for the past couple of years]. Busses will start to use the new and improved mall later this month with the MAX sometime later this summer.

Man-about-town Dieselboi noticed new signage on OurPDX at one of the kiosks that forbids roller skating. Roller skating. As in “laced up” and “late 70s roller disco”? Did planners forget to update the copy? I think the last time I saw someone actually roller skating [besides Oak Park] on the street I was 12 – and that was a lonnnng time ago.

In the spirit of the 1970s and our transit mall, here are some photos from the 1979 AIA awards booklet:




Photos courtesy Bruce Forster, http://www.viewfindersnw.com

3 thoughts

  1. I remember when the bus mall opened. If I remember correctly it took them quite awhile to get the CRT info centers, or whatever they were called, to work. In theory you were able to look up a bus by number to figure out the schedule, but I am sure to most people of that era the computer things were nothing but complicated.

    I also remember using that underground bathroom that is on the corner of the old courthouse. Talk about seedy! You had to be brave to use that thing. I also remember the parking structure where the Pioneer Courthouse Square now stands. Portland was such a different town back then. There were numerous places downtown where you could purchase fishing bait for fishing off of the seawall. Imagine that today!

  2. The bus shelters then were so much more protective than those installed within the last year. I can’t keep dry under the new ones, and I can’t figure out why they were replaced.

  3. I am working on a presentation board which highlights the restored and converted bus shelter. I would like to add some historic photos that help us tell the tale of the shelter and PDX bus mall. Would you be willing to let us scan this 1979 document? Please let me know what you think.

    Jimmy Gantz, AIA
    Hennebery Eddy Architects, Inc
    503.542.1187 – direct

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