Every Friday in Stumptown Stumper, the Portland Tribune offers a trivia question and answer that helps you boost your Rose City IQ.
Q: What was the name given to the series of illuminated archways that once crisscrossed above intersections along Southwest Third Avenue?
A: It was called the 'Great Light Way.' According to 'Portland: A Pictorial History,' merchants along Third Avenue financed the steel and concrete arches in 1914 as a way to light up their store windows and boost business. The arches originally stretched across 10 intersections between Yamhill and Burnside, and later extended to Glisan Street. They remained in place until the late 1930s, when they were removed due to public-safety concerns and at the behest of property owners.
At least one citizen, prominent blogger Christopher Frankonis, aka the One True b!X, wishes the arches could be revived, perhaps as part of the effort to bring light rail to Fifth and Sixth avenues. After it appeared on his blog in 2004, someone brought it to the transit mall committee's attention, but to no avail. 'There isn't the budget for it,' TriMet spokeswoman Mary Fetsch says. 'There was more interest in other priorities, like the shelters.'
Next week's Stumper: How many bricks at Pioneer Courthouse Square are not yet named?