Monday, February 15, 2010

Vintage Roadside Tour Stop #2 - Paul Bunyan

We've been known to drive hundreds of miles out of our way to see roadside giants. A Texaco Big Friend in Nevada - check. A Muffler Man in Missouri - check. Yogi Bear in Kentucky - check.

Luckily we also have one of the finest roadside statues right here in Portland. Today we guide you over to Portland's very own Paul Bunyan.

Standing at the intersection of N. Denver and N. Interstate Avenues is one of our favorite roadside attractions in Portland, a 31-foot tall statue of Paul Bunyan recently listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Interstate Avenue (Highway 99) running through the Kenton neighborhood was one of three designated routes - and the only direct route across the Columbia River to Washington - for the 4 to 8 million travelers expected to visit Oregon's Centennial Exposition during the summer of 1959.

Originally intended to stand for just six months to commemorate the Exposition, Paul Bunyan is still going strong. Fifty-one years and one fifty-nine foot relocation later, Paul has never outlived his welcome, but has continued as both an integral part of the Kenton neighborhood's identity and a must-see for visitors to Portland.

If you're interested in trying out Portland's light rail system, MAX, this is a fun ride from downtown to see one of Portland's most impressive native sons!

Helpful Details

Intersection of N. Denver and N. Interstate Avenues

How to Get There

Directions from the downtown Hilton courtesy of TriMet

1. Walk 0.11 mile north from 921 SW 6th Ave to Pioneer Courthouse/SW 6th Ave MAX Station (Stop ID 7777)
2. Board MAX Yellow Line to Expo Center
3. Get off at Kenton/N Denver Ave MAX Station
4. Walk 0.1 mile northwest to N Denver & N Interstate Ave

Travel time: 28 minutes (including 6 minutes walking)
Fares: Adult ($2.00), Youth/Student ($1.50), Honored Citizen ($0.95)

Enjoy your visit with Paul!

Jeff & Kelly
Vintage Roadside


  1. I have a couple of "Pauls" under my belt ... but this one takes the cake. Hope I can see him in person someday :)

  2. I've always wanted to visit Portland but now it's at the top of my list!

  3. It's always interesting when things that weren't intended to be permanent get preserved for the long term! Tufts University has an elephant statue that started life as a roadside attraction, and which needs constant patching and painting to keep from looking really crummy (bad advertising for the university, since Jumbo the elephant is its mascot). I wonder how much maintenance Big Paul needs?