Electrifying Times: Streetcars and the Building of Portland

Saturday, October 6   10:00 am

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“Better Living Through Electricity”

Portland is often called the City of Bridges, but has recently been called Streetcar City. This is due not only to our new streetcars, but to preservation of many of the land patterns from the streetcar era.

Horsecars, cable cars, electric streetcars, and interurban railways once blanketed Portland and linked it to nearby communities. Between 1872 and the 1920s, Portland’s street network, as well as residential and business land uses reflect the impact of the streetcar. The city’s most rapid growth occurred during this period, which also saw huge strides worldwide in the generation and use of electricity. Learn how this electrifying growth shaped the city we know today.

Richard Engeman and Steve Dotterrer both first looked at Portland streetcars in their college years in the 1960’s. Richard is a Pacific Northwest archivist and historian and the author of The Oregon Companion. Steve recently retired as a planner with the City of Portland, where he led transportation planning activities for many years.



Architectural Heritage Center 701 SE Grand Avenue Portland, OR 97214
Members: $10 General Public: $18