“Transformation” - South Waterfront, Portland, Oregon. This is where I live. This photo is a composite of 2 different photos. The left side was taken in 2005 when the neighborhood was first being developed from industrial wasteland. The right side was taken in 2012 showing what the neighborhood has become. Both pictures were taken from the exact location but years apart. The floors of the building in the middle are aligned perfectly to show the transition from the past to the present.
This neighborhood has a long history. It was one of the largest urban redevelopment projects in the US at the time. Originally, Native Americans Lived on this land. The first cabin in Portland was built here in 1842. As Portland grew, some of the wet lands here were filled in and the area became an industrial hub. Liberty ships for the World War II effort were built here. After the war, they were dismantled here. The ground became polluted over the years due to industrial production and was finally cleaned up and prepared for development. The land was deemed valuable due to its close proximity to downtown Portland and the Willamette River. To date, nine buildings have been completed, some as tall as 30 stories. Four other buildings are under construction including a research building that is a collaboration between Oregon Health Sciences University, Portland State University and Oregon State University. The neighborhood is also home to one of only two trams in the US that is within city limits. The other being in New York City.