David Jorgensen
GIS | Portland, Oregon

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This project examined the lingering influence of East Portland’s historical streetcar system (not to be confused with our relatively new TriMet streetcars and Max light rail) on the city’s current building inventory. I started by reconstructing the lines of the old system, which reached its peak in the 1920’s, and then used geospatial analysis techniques to compare the build date of every currently standing structure to its distance from the nearest historical line. The results were quite striking: although the rails have been gone for the better part of a century, today’s buildings still tend to skew much older as their proximity to the former lines increases. Finally, I used spatial overlay techniques to identify ideal neighborhood candidates for designation as Streetcar Historical Districts based on the degree to which they still reflect the architecture of the early twentieth century.