This page is honoring the lower Downtown blocks that were demolished to make way for Interstate 5 in the late 1950s. This was the start of a twenty year urban renewal that unfortunately led to the demolition of some great historical structures. I want to shout out to local historian Pat Jollota who wrote two excellent books with amazing historical photos and information on their context. Check those out below:
- Images of America, Vanishing Vancouver, 2013 order here on Amazon
- Images of America, Downtown Vancouver, 2004 order here on Amazon
The map shows the approximate location of the extended street grid now buried under the Interstate 5 & SR 14 Interchange. A few prominent buildings were sacrificed to make way for the mighty Interstate that opened in 1958 with the completion of the second span of the Interstate Bridge. The first span of the bridge actually altered Washington Street and Main near the waters edge but the Interstate wiped it all out from 5th Street down to the river. The only surviving structure is the electric utility building now operated by Clark Public Utilities. The entire corridor of both Washington Street and Main Street was built up all the way to the waterfront. Reserve Street cut a diagonal that blocked Broadway and C Street from making it to the water; it was the defacto border between Downtown and the US Army Vancouver Barracks.
- St. Elmo Hotel: 5th & Washington early 1900s
- Post Office: 4th & Washington 1890s
- Columbia Hotel: 3rd & Main 1890s
- Ferry Landing, Ferry Hotel, Alta House: Washington at the River 1890s
- Colombian Newspaper: 4th and Washington : 1900s
Images from the two books listed above, also available at the Clark County Historical Museum.
More to come…