From the archives: Aerials

by Max Johnson,University Archivist, OHSU Historical Collections and Archives

September 30, 2015

Aerials. These are my favorite type of image in the archival world. This is not to say that other images are of lesser value, or are in any way deficient, rather, I personally just like how aerials display, from a great height, the layout of an area that we all are familiar with from our own points of view (usually on the ground level). This month I'd like to treat you to a visual feast of the University of Oregon Medical School Campus from the years 1961 through 1968. Many of you, I am sure, will recall some of the features of campus that over the years has grown, expanded, changed and then grown some more.

campus aerial photo

There are also many changes that have been immediately visible from the 1980s forward. Changes such as the demolition of the former Veteran's Hospital and its replacement in the late 1970s, early 80s with the structure you currently find on Marquam Hill.

campus aerial photo

Compare for instance the 1961-62 aerials with the 1968, there are a number of substantial changes to the landscape that occurred between those dates. We have the construction of the parking garage near Mackenzie Hall, the construction of the parking garage between the Hospital and where Doernbecher would eventually stand, and there's a tennis court where the BICC is currently. You'll also note that the School of Dentistry once had a parking lot off of Terwilliger where the Casey Eye Institute is now.

campus aerial photo

There is also something missing . . . right in front of Mackenzie Hall (HINT: it's not the CDRC or the School of Nursing, both of which are absent here).

campus aerial photo

Let's scale back a second and take in the entirety of Portland during this time. In this image we see OHSU placed within the context of the City of Portland. You'll find in examining this image a number of things about Portland that have since radically changed. For example, check out the waterfront on the west side, or the area south of South Auditorium, very different than it is now. Also, looking over the skyline, there's something about those mountains that has also changed ... 

Last, but not least at all, is the fun part. I need your help. Each of these aerials has a "circa" date. The first aerial is "Circa 1961-62," the second is "circa 1968" and the final two are both "circa 1960s." This approximation is useful in narrowing down to a decade or number of years which enhances the utility of the collection. I would be thrilled if you know a better date for any of these images and would email that information to me.

Just let me know which image (1, 2, 3, 4) and what year you think it is. 1 and 2 both have pretty discreet dates, but let me know if they are off by a year, or you think, based on a structure in the image, that the year is more likely to be something else. I'll take any and all comments!

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