Before the Viaduct
From the time the Oregon Electric laid its tracks in 1908 until the viaduct opened on October 1, 1926, pedestrian, horse, wagon and automobile traffic crossed the railroad tracks (now SW Multnomah Boulevard) at Multnomah Crossing. The crossing was just to the west of the viaduct; the little one way lane in front of the Medley Tea Shop is a remnant of this crossing. This was an extremely dangerous crossing. Capitol Highway was a link in the Pacific Highway, the main automobile route between Canada and Mexico – the Interstate 5 of its day – and as many as sixty trains a day passed the crossing. For more on the crossing, see Multnomah Crossing.
The crossing and railroad tracks are just out of frame to the right, you can see the telephone poles and power lines along the right of way. The building to the right of the automobile was where the overgrown park is today. The house in the left of the photo still stands at 3918 SW Garden Home Rd.