Oregon Historic Sites Database

Search Menu

Site Information small logo

Oregon Historic Sites Database

address:520 SW Naito Pkwy historic name:Morrison Bridge
Portland, Multnomah County current/other names:
assoc addresses:520 SW Front Ave
block/lot/tax lot:
location descr:Spanning the Willamette River at RM 12.8 twnshp/rng/sect/qtr sect:1S 1E 3
resource type:Structure height (stories): total elig resources:1 total inelig resources:0
elig evaluation: eligible/contributing NR Status: Individually Listed
prim constr date:1958 second date: 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: architect:Moffat/Nichol/Taylor
builder:
comments/notes:
Survey/Grouping Included In: Type of Grouping Date Listed Date Compiled
   Willamette River Highway Bridges of Portland, OR MPD MPS 11/14/2012 2011
NR date listed: 11/14/2012
ILS survey date:
RLS survey date:
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 Morrison Bridge opened to traffic in May 1958 and spans the Willamette River in downtown Portland, Oregon, at River Mile 12.8. Situated between the Burnside and Hawthorne bridges, the Morrison Bridge is located within the core of the central commercial district of the city. It is the third bridge of that name at this location. Measuring 675'-4" long, the Morrison Bridge is a steel-deck truss span rising from concrete piers with a two-leaf, Chicago-type central-bascule span. The bridge was designed by Sverdrup & Parcel, St. Louis, Missouri, working in conjunction with Moffat, Nichol & Taylor of Portland. The bridge is owned and maintained by Multnomah County.
(Chronological, descriptive history of the property from its construction through at least the historic period - preferably to the present)
The Morrison Bridge, the most recent movable bridge to be constructed across the Willamette River in Portland, Oregon, was completed in May 1958. Envisioned as part of Portland’s massive mid-1920s bridge building program, the Morrison was not funded and constructed for almost three more decades, resulting in design changes that reflect both the post-World War II aesthetic and changes in bridge technology and engineering during the 1950s. The firm credited with the Morrison’s design is Sverdrup & Parcel of St. Louis, Missouri, working in collaboration with Moffat, Nichol & Taylor of Portland. As the third in a sequence of bridges at this key location between downtown and Portland’s east-side commercial and residential areas, the Morrison Bridge is of statewide significance for its important role in Portland’s transportation network, serving as an important link across the Willamette River. Designed to reflect both the influence of changes in engineering and the growing dominance of the automobile over all other forms of transportation, the Morrison also demonstrates significant technological and design elements that mark a shift from Portland’s earlier trans-Willamette spans. Nominated under the framework of the Willamette River Highway Bridges MPD and built within the third and final temporal period (1958-1973) as defined by that document, the Morrison Bridge is significant at the statewide level under National Register eligibility Criterion A, Community Planning and Development and Transportation, for its association with the development of the city and its broad transportation network between its construction in 1958 and the close of the period of significance for the MPD document in 1973. The bridge is also significant at the state level under Criterion C, Engineering, as an exemplar of post-World War II movable bridge design and technology. The period of significance under Criterion C is the date of construction, 1958. The Morrison 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:
Baker, Ira Osborn. A Treatise on Masonry Construction. New York, NY: John Wiley & Sons, 1912. Carter, Liz. “Section 106 Documentation Form: ODOT/Multnomah County—Morrison Multi-use Path Project.” Heritage Research Associates, 2007. Carter, Liz. “Section 106 Level of Effect Form, ODOT/Multnomah County—Morrison Multi-use Path Project.” Heritage Research Associates, 2007. DeLony, Eric. Landmark American Bridges. Boston, MA: Little, Brown and Company, 1993. Farrell, Robert. Oregon Bluebook 1947–1948. Salem, OR: State Printing Office, 1947. Holstine, Craig and Hobbs, Richard. Spanning Washington: Historic Highway Bridges of the Evergreen State. Pullman, WA: Washington State University Press, 2005. 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. Morrison Bridge, Historic American Engineering Record [HAER No. OR-100]. Prepared as part of the Willamette River Bridges Recording Project, HAER/Oregon Department of Transportation, in cooperation with Multnomah County, 1999. Moses, Robert. Portland Improvement. Report to the City of Portland, November 10, 1943. 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. The Conveyor. “Broadway Bridge Installation Marks Historic Milestone.” November 2004. Wood Wortman, Sharon, with Ed Wortman. The Portland Bridge Book (3rd Edition). Portland, OR: Urban Adventure Press, 2006.