Portland’s Brooklyn Rail Yard Cement Plant

This image is from Portland’s Brooklyn Rail Yard. The rail yard offers several interesting examples of industrial architecture and is a good place to watch trains from. It is also close to an artistic community and Reed College.


Several interesting sights and activities in south Portland’s industrial area include:

  • Union Pacific Brooklyn Intermodal Rail Yard
    • This large yard is a good place to watch trains. It has mostly freight, but Amtrak runs some trains through the yard too.
  • Artist and Craftsman Supply
    • Pick up the supplies you need to do some urban drawing. Also visit the other arts and craft supply stores on the same street.
  • Fred Meyers Regional Headquarters
    • Fred Meyers is a general store chain on the west coast of the United States of America. Their regional headquarters are across the street from this week’s drawing.
  • Reed College
    • The forested college campus is a contrast with the industrial rail yard next to it. This includes a gully and rhododendron garden.


The Brooklyn Rail Yard has been operating since the 1860s. Today it is run by the Union Pacific Railroad. It is an important place for goods leaving Oregon such as lumber and Christmas trees.

The yard takes its name from the neighborhood between it and the Willamette River. To the south and east is Reed College and its neighborhood. The yard ends in the north at Powell Boulevard.


The Lehigh Cement Plant in this week’s image is a nice example of industrial architecture. Cement plants are fun to draw because of all the detail in them. They have lots of conveyor belts to move around materials.

The rail yard is another good example of industrial architecture. The rail lines crossing and joining together in interesting patterns. The movement of the trains then gives an ever-shifting view to enjoy.

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