“a park and a neighborhood in the North section of Portland, Oregon on the east shore of the Willamette River.”
"Portland's Cathedral Park is most famous for the cathedral arch-like legs of the St. Johns Bridge, which runs through it, but the park's history predates the bridge. It was one of the 14 spots where Lewis and Clark landed and camped out in the Portland-Vancouver area. The bridge was built in the 1930's, and remains the stone steel suspension bridge in Portland. Before the neighborhood of St. Johns was incorporated in the 1970s, people we campaigning for a park to clean up the lackluster area under the bridge. By 1980, the funding was in place and the park was built. Cathedral Park was named after a picture of the bridge's legs appeared on the front page of the newspaper... the resemblance to a grand, outdoor cathedral is undeniable. Winding pathways, lush greenery, river views, and pavilions make this a peaceful place to retreat from the bustle of the city!" -Roadtrippers
The site which now bears the name Cathedral Park is steeped in history. It is believed to be one of the 14 Lewis and Clark landing sites in the Vancouver-Portland area: William Clark and eight men camped there on April 2, 1806. This spot had been a fishing and camping site for many area Indian tribes. In 1847, the founder of St. Johns, James John, settled on the site and operated a ferry to Linnton across the Willamette River. In 1931, the St. Johns Bridge was built on the site with 400-ft towers and a main span of 1,207 feet. It is the only steel suspension bridge in Portland and is designated as an official historical landmark. In the early 1970s, Howard Galbraith, the `honorary mayor` of unincorporated St. Johns, got tired of the junkyard state of the area under the eastern end of the bridge. He organized a drive that eventually raised $7.5 million to build a park. After eight years of community fundraising, combined with state, county and city funding, the park was dedicated at a community celebration on May 3, 1980. It got its name from a photo of the St. Johns Bridge by Al Monner that appeared on the front page of the Oregon Journal in 1968. Reference was made to its beautiful cathedral-like arches and the park found its name.
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