Oregon Historic Sites Database

Search Menu

Site Information small logo

Oregon Historic Sites Database

address:1200 SW Harbor Dr (approx) historic name:Hawthorne Bridge
Portland, Multnomah County current/other names:Willamette River Bridge; Bridge #2757
assoc addresses:1200 Naito Pkwy
block/lot/tax lot:
location descr:Spanning the Willamette River at RM 13.1 twnshp/rng/sect/qtr sect:
resource type:Structure height (stories): total elig resources:1 total inelig resources:0
elig evaluation: eligible/significant NR Status: Individually Listed
prim constr date:1909 second date:1945 date indiv listed:11/14/2012
primary orig use: TRANSPORTATION: General orig use comments:
second orig use:
primary style: Other / Undefined prim style comments:
secondary style: sec style comments:
primary siding: Steel siding comments:
secondary siding:
plan type: Movable Span architect:Waddell & Harrington
builder:
comments/notes:
Survey/Grouping Included In: Type of Grouping Date Listed Date Compiled
   Historic Highway Bridges of Oregon MPD MPS 1985
   Portland - Milwaukie LRT Survey & Inventory Project 2007
   Portland Public Works and Parks RLS 1985 Survey & Inventory Project 1985
   Willamette River Highway Bridges of Portland, OR MPD MPS 11/14/2012 2011
NR date listed: 11/14/2012
ILS survey date: 06/01/2002
RLS survey date: 10/22/2007
106 Project(s): None
Special Assess Project(s): None
Federal Tax Project(s): None
(Includes expanded description of the building/property, setting, significant landscape features, outbuildings and alterations)
The oldest remaining trans-Willamette River bridge in Portland, Oregon, the Hawthorne Bridge was built between 1909 and 1910 and opened to traffic on December 19, 1910. Spanning the Willamette River at River Mile 13.1 in downtown Portland, it is situated just upstream from the Morrison Bridge, within the core of the central commercial district of the city. A steel through-truss with a vertical-lift section, the Hawthorne Bridge measures 1,169.89 feet long, not including the approach spans. Its 205'-10⅛" vertical-lift section was the longest built at that time, and the bridge is the oldest example of vertical-lift bridge technology in the United States. The bridge was designed by the notable engineering firm of Waddell & Harrington. The Hawthorne Bridge, retains substantial integrity with respect to its original design and construction, and under the ownership of Multnomah County has been expertly maintained and modified.
(Chronological, descriptive history of the property from its construction through at least the historic period - preferably to the present)
The Hawthorne Bridge, opened in 1910, is the oldest trans-Willamette River Bridge in Portland, Oregon, and is intrinsically linked to the city’s long history of transportation and development. One of the oldest vertical-lift spans in the world, and without question the oldest operating vertical-lift bridge in the United States, the Hawthorne Bridge continues to function as intended more than a century ago with high integrity to its original design. Nominated under the framework of the Willamette River Highway Bridges Multiple Property Document and built within the earliest period of bridge development as defined by that document, the Hawthorne Bridge is significant statewide under National Register eligibility Criterion A, Community Planning and Development and Transportation, for its association with the development of the city and its transportation network between its construction in 1910 and the close of the period of significance for the MPD document in 1973. The Hawthorne Bridge is additionally of national significance under Criterion C, Engineering, for its relationship to the notable engineering firm of Waddell & Harrington, for its embodiment of multiple improvements in vertical-lift bridge technology, and as the oldest operating vertical-lift bridge in the United States. The period of significance under Criterion C is the date of construction, 1910. The Hawthorne Bridge meets all the general and the necessary specific registration requirements for listing under the MPD.
Title Records Census Records Property Tax Records Local Histories
Sanborn Maps Biographical Sources SHPO Files Interviews
Obituaries Newspapers State Archives Historic Photographs
City Directories Building Permits State Library
Local Library: University Library:
Historical Society: Other Respository:
Bibliography:
DeLony, Eric. Landmark American Bridges. Boston, MA: Little, Brown and Company, 1993. Lansing, Jewell. Portland: People, Politics and Power 1851–2001. Corvallis, OR: Oregon State University Press, 2003–2005. MacColl, E. Kimbark. The Growth of a City: Power and Politics in Portland, Oregon 1915–1950. Portland, OR: The Georgian Press, 1979. McGaw, Judith A. Hawthorne Bridge, Historic American Engineering Record [HAER No. OR-20]. Prepared as part of the Willamette River Bridges Recording Project, HAER/Oregon Department of Transportation, in cooperation with Multnomah County, 1999. Oregonian. Misc. issues as cited by date/page in text. Oregon Journal. Misc. issues as cited by date/page in text. Plowden, David. Bridges: The Spans of North America. New York, NY: The Viking Press, 1974. Ritz, Richard Ellison. Architects of Oregon. Portland, OR: Lair Hill Publishing, 2002. Smith, Dwight, James B. Norman and Pieter T. Dykman. Historic Highway Bridges of Oregon (2nd, Revised Ed.). Portland, OR: Oregon Historical Society Press, 1986. Wood Wortman, Sharon, with Ed Wortman. The Portland Bridge Book (3rd Edition). Portland, OR: Urban Adventure Press, 2006.