Honoring the History of Vanport
“What people don’t understand, they won’t value;
what they don’t value, they won’t protect;
and what they don’t protect, they will lose.”
– Charles Jordan, Former Portland City Commissioner and Director of Portland Parks & Recreation
Vanport was created as a temporary wartime housing project primarily for Kaiser Shipyard workers during WWII. During its heyday it was home to 40,000 people, making it the second largest city in Oregon.
Located in what is now the Kenton neighborhood, Vanport was washed away in a flood on May 30, 1948. Today, all that remains are the memories of the survivors and their families, and a small piece of concrete slab from the original Vanport movie theater.
The Vanport Placemarking Project will mark significant physical locations of the historic Vanport site to provide common ground for individuals and communities to connect and share memories, stories and experiences of Vanport.