Friday, May 19, 2017

Cathedral Park

Exploring Portland

Portland, Oregon, is a city of bridges.  The St. Johns Bridge in the northern part of the city is the most beautiful, and the fact that there is a bucolic park underneath its Gothic arches makes it one of the most relaxing places to go when visiting here.  Yesterday, my travel buddy and I did just that.  Tired after running around doing errands, we grabbed a coffee at the local Starbucks in the St. Johns neighborhood and took it to the park for a much needed break.
Turns out this place has a lot of history to it.  For one thing, the Lewis and Clark expedition camped here way back in 1806.  Then in the mid 1800's a trapper named James John ran a ferry across the Willamette River from here to the fishing town of Linnton.  The neighborhood and bridge were named after him.

This gorgeous steel suspension bridge was designed by David Steinman of New York City in the late 1920's and completed in 1931.  Its central span of 1,207 feet rises 205 feet above the river.
Because construction began only a month before the Stock Market Crash of 1929, it provided many locals with continued employment during the Great Depression.

The park was not added until the 1980's and what an ingenious plan.  Walking underneath those cathedral-like spans is pure magic.  Many people were out yesterday.  Walking dogs.  Pushing baby strollers or sitting on a bench like us, soaking up the sunshine.

An amazing structure.

An amazing day.

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