Historic Hood River
State Street Then and Now
Bill Pattison keeps reminding me we need to document all the changes in town as they happen. At the ribbon cutting for the State Street urban renewal project Bell Design, the engineers on the project, shared a nice series of before and after shots to showcase their work. They have graciously agreed to deposit digital copies of their images in our photo archive, so future historians will have some clue as to what changes were made when. Sally Donovan donated her wonderful collection of slides covering two decades of work documenting Hood River a few months ago, and architect Art Larsen is in the process of turning over his large collection of digital images of recent Hood River history.
This block has seen much architectural history: the first city schoolhouse was located where the courthouse now stands. You can see some of the old retaining walls and staircases in the “before” image. The engineers attempted to save a piece of the wall for posterity, but it was not possible to preserve the loosely mortared river rock in any meaningful way.
The top image was taken January 16, 2013, and the bottom image on June 5, 2015. By coincidence it also demonstrates a great trick for before/ after pictures: the “before” image was shot on a dreary winter day, while the “after” image on one of the seemingly endless series of beautiful days this Spring.
What you can’t see here is the real driving force for this project: replacing and updating water lines (including lead joints), sewer lines, storm water, undergrounding utilities, including new fiber optic lines, and bringing the road structure up to modern standards. State Street may not be Hood River’s Main Street from a commerce point of view, but it is from an infrastructure view. This was likely the first “reset” of all this infrastructure since State Street was first paved circa 1915.