Pearl District, Portland, Oregon

Pearl District, Portland, Oregon

Infobox Neighborhood Portland OR
neighborhood_name = Pearl District
association_name = Pearl District Neighborhood Association
association_website =
neighborhood_website =
coalition_name = Neighbors West/Northwest
coalition_website =
area = 1.21
map_url =
portlandmaps_x = 7643159.605
portlandmaps_y = 686914.544
censusyear = 2000
pop_total = 1113
pop_density = 920
households_total = 746
occupancy = 91
households_owned = 391
households_owned_pct = 52
households_rented = 355
households_rented_pct = 48
household_size = 1.49
footnotes =

The Pearl District is an area of former warehouses, light industrial and railroad classification yards in Portland, Oregon now noted for its art galleries and upscale businesses and residences. The area has been undergoing significant urban renewal since the late 1990s, including removal of a viaduct and construction of the Portland Streetcar, and is now full of high-rise condominiums and warehouse-to-loft conversions.

It is located just north of downtown between West Burnside Street on the south, the Willamette River on the north, NW Broadway on the east and the Interstate 405 freeway on the west [cite web |url= |title=Pearl Neighborhood Association boundary map |format=PDF |date=June 1, 2001 |author=City of Portland, Oregon Office of Neighborhood Involvement/Bureau of Planning] .

The area is home to several Portland icons, including Powell's City of Books. The former Weinhard Brewery, which operated continuously from 1864 to September 1999, was shut down by Stroh's upon the purchase of the Weinhard's brand by Miller Brewing and sold for redevelopment as the Brewery Blocks. [ [ "Mixed Use Brewery Blocks"] . Accessed online 16 July 2008.] Art galleries and institutions (many who stage monthly receptions), boutiques, and restaurants abound, and there are also a number of small clubs and bars. The United States Post Office main processing facility for all of Oregon and SW Washington was built in the Pearl in 1964, next to Union Station. This location was chosen in order for the post office to be able to better serve towns outside the Portland metro area.Fact|date=February 2007

The district includes most of the historic [ North Park Blocks] (1869), as well as two recently developed, highly innovative public plazas:
* [ Jamison Square] (2002) is built around a fountain which simulates a tidal pool (very popular with toddlers) that is periodically filled by artificial waterfalls and then drained into a grating.
* [ Tanner Springs Park] (2005) is a recreated natural area featuring wetlands, walking trail, and creek.

Free wireless internet (provided by Personal Telco) is available in the Pearl District.


date=April 29, 2005]

In the 1990s, an elevated portion of NW Lovejoy Street from the Broadway Bridge past NW 10th Avenue was demolished, opening dozens of surrounding blocks (including some brownfield sites) for development, which peaked in the 2000s. The viaduct was notable for having columns painted by a railroad watchman who worked below; two of them have been saved [ [ Lovejoy Columns] ] The increasing density has attracted a mix of restaurants, brewpubs, shops, and art galleries, though in some cases pioneering tenants have been priced out of the area. The Portland Streetcar opened in 2001

According to the Pearl District Business Association, Thomas Augustine, a local gallery owner, coined the name "Pearl District" more than 10 years ago to suggest that its industrial buildings were like crusty oysters, and that the galleries and artists' lofts within were like pearls. "There were very few visible changes in the area," says Al Solhiem, a developer who has been involved in many projects in the district. "People would drive by and not have a clue as to what was inside." As local business people were looking to label the growing area—the "warehouse district" or the "brewery district" were two suggestions—a writer for Alaska Airlines borrowed Augustine's phrase, according to Solheim. The name stuck.

The movie "Drugstore Cowboy" (1989), by Gus Van Sant, has several scenes shot in the neighborhood.

External links

* [ Pearl District: Portland Oregon Visitors Association]
* [ "Via Magazine", November 2001 article]
* [ Official website and magazine of the Pearl District Business Association]
* [ Pearl District neighborhood & community information]

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