Portland State of Mind: Screening of "Lost City, Living Memories - Vanport Through the Voices of its Residents" and exhibit - "Vanport - A Story Lived. A Story Told"
Sunday, October 20, 2019 - 3:30pm to Sunday, October 20, 2019 - 5:30pm
Portland State of Mind: Screening of "Lost City, Living Memories - Vanport Through the Voices of its Residents" and exhibit - "Vanport - A Story Lived. A Story Told"

What: Screening of "Lost City, Living Memories: Vanport Through the Voices of its Residents" and exhibit: "Vanport - A Story Lived. A Story Told"

When: Sunday, October 20, 2019 from 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Where: Smith Memorial Student Union (SMSU), room 327/8/9, 1825 SW Broadway

Cost: Suggested contribution $5. Get Tickets. No one will be turned away for lack of funds.

Contact: Laura Lo Forti,

Join us for a screening of Lost City, Living Memories: Vanport Through the Voices of Its Residents—a selection of short documentaries that are part of the Vanport Mosaic's on-going oral history project, now in its fourth year, facilitated by Story Midwife Laura Lo Forti.

Through archival footage, historic photographs, and compelling first-person narratives, this collection of short films creates a rich and elaborate “mosaic” of the vibrant community that made up the city of Vanport. 

Special guests:

  • Vanport former residents
  • Edward Washington, Vanport survivor, PSU Office of Diversity & Inclusion Community Liaison 
  • James S. Harrison, professor emeritus of History at Portland Community College. Professor Harrison is currently working on a book about Vanport. 
  • With traveling Pop Up Exhibit Vanport: A Story Lived. A Story Told.

This event is made possible by the generous support of PSU's Department of History. Special thanks to our funders and partners who made the stories and the exhibit possible: Oregon Historical Society, Oregon Arts Commission, Kinsman Foundation, the City of Portland, Portland State University Library's Special Collections, PSU's Office of Global Diversity and Inclusion, Oregon School of Journalism and Communication and Open Signal Portland Community Media.

Vanport, located between Portland and Vancouver, was built in 1942 to accommodate the the influx of wartime shipyard workers. At its peak, it was home to 40,000 people, becoming the second largest city of Oregon, and the largest World War II federal public housing project in the U.S.

The community included a number of noteworthy institutions, such as K-12 schools, 24-hour day care, grocery stores, a health-care facility for shipyard workers, which is the basis for today’s HMO, and the Vanport Extension Center, which became Portland State University. On Memorial Day, 1948, a flood wiped out the entire city within a matter of hours, erasing Vanport from the map and from much of Portland’s memory.

Since 2014 a growing number of historians, artists, educators, media-makers, long-term Portland residents and newcomers have been working together to capture the complexity of the Vanport experience through the voice of those who lived there.

This event is hosted by PSU’s Department of History, and the Vanport Mosaic

Back to the Portland State of Mind web page