Wednesday, August 3 @ 7:30 PM
Nestled in the floodplain between North Portland, Oregon, and Vancouver, Washington, a housing project was built to help house World War II shipyard workers. Its very name, Vanport, is derived from Vancouver and Portland. When the U.S. entered the war, the demand for ships and for workers to build those ships became a huge priority. Portland had a serious lodging shortage, so much so that these workers lived in cars, tents, parks, and whatever shelter could be found. Vanport, built in a little over a year to house them, was a city that did not sleep. In its heyday, Vanport was the second-largest city in Oregon, with a population of over 40,000 residents. And on May 30, 1948, it was a city that disappeared just as quickly as it came into existence, leaving a legacy that will not soon be forgotten. Published to coincide with the 68th anniversary of the flood that destroyed the city, Zita Podany’s Vanport (Arcadia) tells the storied history of Vanport.