Portland, Oregon is a city that has been growing at a steady rate for several decades. As of the 2010 census, there were 583,776 people living in Portland. This total accounts for 23% percent of all Oregonians and about 2% of US residents. According to Zillow, an online real estate database company, the average home value as of April 2015 was around $320,000 which is up from $314,400 from last year. Throughout Portland’s history it has been divided into five different sections: Northwest (NW), Southwest (SW), Northeast (NE), Southeast (SE), and North/Central which includes downtown and other commercial areas.
The first subdivision in Portland was the inner NW section established in 1851. This area was developed for commerce and transportation purposes. Because of the location, it became the primary destination for immigrants which initiated further commercial development there. The NE section followed suit in 1872 when new horsecar lines were laid down to facilitate industry and residential growth. A year later in 1873 the Willamette River Railroad linked downtown Portland to Albina across the Willamette River via a bridge which caused an explosion in population in this part of town.
The SW district was settled soon after because of its prime location near downtown hotels, theaters, churches, schools, cemeteries, etc… It wasn’t until 1889 that the streetcar finally connected NW to SE but only went as far south as 16th Street before turning around. By 1899 the streetcar had expanded to reach Gantenbein Avenue (now Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd) and by 1905 it went all the way to the southern end of Hawthorne Boulevard before turning back toward downtown Portland.
The plan for North/Central is most recent with development beginning in 1880s due to the completion of St. Johns Bridge which gave access across the Willamette River. It took another three decades for improvements in transportation infrastructure before new streetcar lines were built on Fremont Street, Broadway, Sandy Boulevard, Stark Street, Grand Avenue, Division Street, Burnside Street, Ankeny Street and Oak Street which helped give rise to new residential development north of downtown Portland . Today this area is known as Alphabet District.
The central idea of this article is to help inform people about the history of Portland by providing information regarding its past five city subdivisions. The major points are that the first subdivision was founded in 1851, followed by another in 1872 that led to more commercial development, another subdivision began in 1889, one last subdivision came after 1899 which allowed further residential growth thanks to improved transportation, and finally a recent plan for North/Central which included new streetcar lines and housing developments.
Portland has been growing at a steady rate since its inception as a city. As of the 2010 census there were 583,776 people living in Portland making it 23% percent of Oregon’s population and 2% of the US.
There have been 5 subdivisions of Portland throughout its history: Northwest, Southwest, Northeast, Southeast, and North/Central which includes downtown and other commercial areas.
The first subdivision in Portland was the inner NW section established in 1851. This area was developed for commerce and transportation purposes becoming a primary destination for immigrants initiating further commercial development there. The NE section followed suit in 1872 when new horsecar lines were laid down to facilitate industry and residential growth. A year later in 1873 the Willamette River Railroad linked downtown Portland to Albina across the river via a bridge which caused an explosion of population in this part of town too.