Northwest District, Portland, Oregon

Northwest District, Portland, Oregon
Northwest District, Portland, Oregon
Northwest District, Portland, Oregon

A shot of NW 21st Avenue, including the popular independent film theater, Cinema 21

Neighborhood representation
Association Northwest District Association
Coalition Neighbors West/Northwest
Neighborhood geography
Area 3.44 km² (PDF map)
Location Interactive map
Coordinates 45°31′58″N 122°41′55″W / 45.53264°N 122.69872°W / 45.53264; -122.69872Coordinates: 45°31′58″N 122°41′55″W / 45.53264°N 122.69872°W / 45.53264; -122.69872
Demographics (2000)
Population 11,455 (density 3,330/km²)
Households 7,567 (94% occupied)
Owned 1,137 (15%)
Rented 6,430 (85%)
Size 1.51 persons (average)

The Northwest District is a densely populated retail and residential neighborhood in the Northwest section of Portland, Oregon. Craftsman- and Old Portland-style houses are packed tightly together with grand old apartment buildings and sleek new condominiums, within walking distance of restaurants, bars, and shops. The Portland Streetcar terminates here, connecting the district to the Pearl District and Downtown Portland.

The district stretches west to east from the base of the West Hills (Tualatin Mountains) to I-405 (between NW 15th and 16th avenues), and north to south from NW Nicolai St. and the Willamette River to W Burnside St. It borders the neighborhoods of Forest Park and Hillside on the west, Northwest Industrial on the north, the Pearl District on the east, and Goose Hollow on the south.

This part of Portland is known more by names for various streets and areas within it than by its official name. These include:

  • NW 23rd Ave. Dubbed Trendy-third,[1] this major shopping street is lined with swanky clothing boutiques and other upscale retail, mixed with cafes and restaurants. This area is also known as Uptown (particularly its southern end near W Burnside St.) and includes Nob Hill (centered on NW 23rd Ave. and NW Lovejoy St.). Music retailer Music Millennium, considered a local icon and national leader in the music-selling industry,[2] operated what was then its main store on NW 23d Avenue from 1977 until 2007.[3]
  • NW 21st Ave. The neighborhood’s other main commercial district is a dining and entertainment destination, with popular restaurants, an independent film theater, and numerous bars, pubs, and nightclubs.
  • The Alphabet Historic District, an area zoned for historic preservation running roughly from NW 24th Ave. to NW 2nd Ave., and from NW Vaughn St. to W Burnside St. It is named for the alphabetical progression of street names in the area[4] and in 2000 was added to the National Register of Historic Places.[5]

Beyond NW 21st and 23rd are residential districts and recreational areas, such as the forested Macleay Park (acquired 1897, in the Forest Park neighborhood). Parks within the Northwest District include Couch Park (1977) and Wallace Park (1920). Northwest District public schools include Chapman Elementary School and the Metropolitan Learning Center. Legacy Good Samaritan Hospital and Medical Center and Linfield College-Portland Campus are located between NW 23rd and NW 22nd avenues.

Several characters in Portland native Matt Groening's television show The Simpsons have names based on the alphabetically named streets in the Northwest District: Ned Flanders, the bully Kearney, Reverend Lovejoy, Mayor Quimby, Milhouse Van Houten (actually in North Portland), and possibly C. Montgomery Burns[ide] (also named for the large Montgomery Park, formerly Montgomery Ward, sign).[6]

See also


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