This is a great article written by local Portlander, Bo Sullivan, owner and founder of Arcalus Period Design and Architectural Historian at Rejuvenation.  It originally appeared in the March 2011 issue of Old House Journal.  I have re-posted the opening of the article, but to view the article in its entirety at, please click here.

Best Old-House Neighborhoods in Portland, OR

A local history buff walks us through a few distinctive Eastside neighborhoods in the City of Roses.

By Bo Sullivan

Portland eastside neighborhoods

(Courtesy of Portland City Archives)

Portland, Oregon, isn’t a city known for extremes. Our mild-mannered climate gently swings between cool summers and damp winters, our history is rich but lacks dramatic booms of wealth and industry, and our inhabitants are so easygoing that we actually stop our cars to let pedestrians cross the street.

Our architecture follows the same script. You won’t find boulevards peppered with gated estates of the super-rich here, or severely blighted areas of urban decay. We have no big-name architects’ masterworks, nor acres of bland, no-name development. What Portland does have—perhaps its greatest asset— is a living mosaic of inner-city neighborhoods filled with tens of thousands of charming and well-preserved early 20th-century homes.

For the old-house explorer, Portland has treasures on both sides of the river, and seeing them will have a lot to do with how you plan to get around. The complicated and curving switchbacks of the West Hills can be a navigational challenge even for natives, and are more amenable to GPS-enabled automobile outings. The Eastside, on the other hand, offers a welcoming terrain that can be walked or biked with ease, and rewards adventurous wandering—so that’s where I recommend starting. From dozens of great neighborhoods on the Eastside, here are four of my favorites…