Interested in the past, present, and future of streetcars in Portland? Since late last year, the Architectural Heritage Center has been celebrating the city’s streetcars, first with “Streetcars Build a City”, an exhibit of streetcar artifacts, as well as with a series of educational programs on streetcar history. I’m pleased to announce that next month I will be giving the fourth and last of these presentations, on the Mount Tabor streetcar line in southeast Portland.
From the official program listing:
Founded in the mid 19th century, Portland experienced its major geographic growth from the 1880s to the First World War, a period that coincided with the rapid growth of electric streetcars in the United States. Throughout the east side, streetcar lines served as stimulants to the development of the city’s “bungalow belt” neighborhoods, imparting a unique character upon them.
Alexander B. Craghead will share the story of one of these routes, southeast Portland’s “MT” Mount Tabor line. Alex is a Portlandbased writer and photographer whose work has most recently appeared in the National Railroad Historical Society Bulletin and Trains Magazine. He also has a personal connection with this line, with old family roots in the Belmont neighborhood. Alex’s talk will center on how the city grew along and because of the Mount Tabor line, and will make connections between the impacts of this transportation mode and the neighborhoods of the area. Using photographs, drawings, maps, and illustrations, he will place this streetcar route in the larger context of the city and the streetcar movement, and show how it has had lasting impacts on the cultural geography of Portland.
If you are interested in this program, I strongly recommend you buy tickets early. (See the official listing page to purchase.) Last year’s presentation on the region’s railroad stations was sold out within weeks of being announced.
Speaking of that presentation, I will be repeating it later in Spring, also at the AHC. As a bonus, I hope to add some additional interesting material to it, so those of you who are really interested in this subject matter may get to see some new stuff the second time around. This program, as I said earlier, sold out quickly last time, so I recommend you purchase tickets as soon as they become available; I will put up a notice as soon as they are.
Also, in addition to my own streetcar presentation, my friend and compatriot Dan Haneckow will also be presenting on streetcars at AHC. His presentation, which will focus on the St. Johns’ route through north Portland, will be on February 9. It’s worth checking out!