Guide to the Irvington Neighborhood in Portland, Oregon

irvington_bunaglowIrvington is a neighborhood in the Northeast section of Portland. It borders the King, Sabin, and Alameda neighborhoods to the north; Alameda and Grant Park to the east; Sullivan’s Gulch and the Lloyd District to the south; and Eliot to the west. (The Sabin and Alameda neighborhoods extend into the northeastern part of Irvington, creating two areas of overlap.)

The Irvington Community Association began in 1965 in an attempt by a group of community leaders to respond to the deterioration of the neighborhood. A primary leader in this was Herbert Amerson and Rev. Robert Bonthius, then minister of Westminster Presbyterian Church in the area. Rev. Bonthius spoke of the “flight from race”, muggings, lack of compliance with zoning ordinances, insufficient youth activities, inadequate street lighting, and the lack of a centrally located park. More than 400 people crowded into the Irvington School auditorium to head the appeals of these leaders. This was indicative of the interest of the residents, and the community has taken ownership of a new vision from that time.

MAX, Portland’s light rail system, are within walking distance of many of the homes. Walk to NE Broadway and visit boutiques, eateries, the Lloyd Center (Oregon’s largest Mall), the Moda Center better known as the Rose Quarter (home of the NBA Portland Trailblazers) and the Oregon Convention Center.

Northeast Knott Street runs through the heart of Irvington and is lined with some of Irvington’s most beautiful homes. Each year during the Christmas season a group of owners offer open houses to the public that can be toured on horse drawn carriages.

History of Irvington

The Irvington neighborhood is named for Captain William Irving, a steamboat captain of renown who was borned Scotland in 1816 and sailed to Boston at the age of 15. Ten years later Irving became a captain, and in 1849 decided to come to Oregon Territory by way of Sacramento. He unloaded cargo for the California gold fields, then came north to Portland. In June of 1849 he purchased what was then Block 12 of the Portland town site and began a business of transporting lumber from California to Portland.

After Irving’s death in 1872, his widow and son began subdividing and selling much of the original claim. The young neighborhood became part of the city of Albina which was annexed to Portland in the early 1890s. Many of Irvington’s large, historic homes were built in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

The Irvington neighborhood is now a part of history. A 583-acre section of the neighborhood north of Northeast Broadway and south of Northeast Fremont Street was named in October of 2010 to the National Register of Historic Places. The neighborhood joins 14 historic districts across the city also listed on the national register.

The Oregon Encyclopedia website has an extensive history of the neighborhood.

Origin of the Name Irvington

Captain William Irving, a Scotsman who first came to Oregon in 1849 and ran the steamboat Eagle between Portland and Oregon City. He acquired a Donation Land Claim, the square mile which today includes the neighborhood known as “Irvington.” A restless soul, he moved to British Columbia in 1858.

The Irvington Addition was platted in 1887 and underwent its initial development in the 1890s under the oversight of developer Ellis Hughes and the Irvington Investment Company. The addition was planned as a self-contained middle to upper class residential district in which commercial activity was to be prohibited, so as to maintain property values.

Irvington Home Styles

augustolsonIrvington homes range in size from a modest bungalow to grand Georgian colonials. Housing stock varies from older mansions (southeast and south), to modest tract-type houses (northwest near Irving Park), to apartments (southern edge).

Raymond Hockenberry was the architect of this Craftsman style home. He also was the architect for the magnificent lodge on the rim in Crater Lake National Park. Arriving in Portland in 1906 as part of the great influx of new residents after the Lewis and Clark Exposition, the formally trained architect began a career in the speculative home building business. His finely designed and crafted homes attracted an upscale clientele, and can be found on both sides of the Willamette River. Many of his homes were in the Colonial Revival style, especially on the West Side, but starting with this home, his first in Irvington, his East Side homes were strongly Arts & Crafts influenced.

1Irvington Home Prices for 2007-2013

  • Number of Homes Sold in Irvington—►  40 homes sold in 2013 and 2% were distressed sales. 65 homes sold in 2012 and 10% were distressed sales. 75 homes sold in 2011 and 8% were distressed sales. 63 homes sold in 2010 and 8% distressed properties sales.
  • Median Price for Homes Sold in Irvington—►  $600,000 in 2013, $492,930 in 2012, $512,000 in 2011, $520,000 in 2010, $462,500 in 2009, $546,450 in 2008, and $539,950 in 2007.
  • 1-Year Median Sales Price Change in Irvington—►  In 2013 the sales price change was 22%,  in 2012 the sales price change was -4%, in 2011 the sales price change was -2%, and in 2010 the change was 12%.
  • 5-Year Median Sales Price Change in Irvington—►  2009 to 2013 the sales price change was 4%. 2008 to 2012 the sales price change was -14%. 2007 to 2011 the sales price change was -15%. 2006 to 2010 the change was -2%.
  • Portland Metro Area Median Home Price—►  $265,000 in 2013, $235,000 in 2012, $221,000 in 2011, $239,900 in 2010, $247,000 in 2009, $278,000 in 2008, and $290,000 in 2007.
  • Metro Area Average Home Prices—►  $310,600 in 2013, $275,000 in 2012, $263,300 in 2011, $282,100 in 2010, $289,900 in 2009, $330,300 in 2008, and $342,000 in 2007.

Please be aware that the above figures are subject to error and are intended as guidelines only.

Irvington Homes for Sale

Parks and Health Clubs in the Neighborhood

There are two public facilities within the Irvington neighborhood, a park and a community center.

  • The 16 plus acre Irving Park is located in the northwest corner of Irvington. It Includes baseball field, basketball court (covered), park restroom, dog off-leash area, paths, picnic site, picnic tables, playground, soccer field, softball field, tennis court, and wading pool/water play feature.
  • The Matt Dishman Community Center is located at 77 NE Knott Street which is just to the south and includes a basketball court, fitness room, gymnasium, party room, an indoor swimming pool, and weight room.

The Irvington Club is a non-profit membership tennis club directed by a Board of Trustees. It is located at 2131 NE Thompson.

Irvington has 16 acres of parkland and open spaces according to Metro and the Portland Department of Parks and Recreation.

Walking in Irvington

Walk down any street in Irvington and you’re enjoy looking at the historical homes, yards, and trees.

Irvington Classic Homes and Heritage Trees is a 2.8-mile loop that tours more than 75 homes that have been designated as historically significant, ranging from Mediterranean mansions to English cottages to Prairie Craftsman. Great shopping and eating places on NE Broadway offer a way to end the walk. Click here to download the guide.

Walk Score helps you find a walkable place to live. Walk Score is a number between 0 and 100 that measures the walkability of any address. Portland is the 12th most walkable city in the U.S. with a Walk Score of 66 and 57% of the residents have a Walk Score of 70 or above.

The Irvington neighborhood ranks 23 out of 89 Portland neighborhoods. Below is a Walk Score for an address in the center of the neighborhood.

More About Irvington

Learn more about the Irvington neighborhood  by visiting Portland Maps. It will provide you with a list of businesses, demographic data, crime stats, parks, schools, aerial photos, maps, elevation, etc. All you need is a property address within the Irvington neighborhood — use ”1608 NE Knott Street” or an address of your choice.

  • Neighborhood Association Website  Irvington has two community websites. One for the Irvington Neighborhood Association (newsletter, meeting, etc.) and the other is the Irvington Tour of Homes which has been in progress since 1983. The tour is an annual event, usually in the Spring, where a number of homes are open to visitors. Irvington also has a WebBlog.
  • Location  From downtown cross over the Willamette River on the Broadway Bridge and head north on NE Broadway. Take a left on Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard. Turn right on NE Fremont Street – the neighborhood starts at NE 7th Avenue.
  • Boundaries of the Irvington Neighborhood   NE Broadway to the south, NE Fremont to the north, NE 26th Avenue to the east, and NE 7th Avenue to the west. The northeast corner of the Irvington neighborhood overlaps with the Sabin and Alameda boundaries.
  • Map of Boundaries  Irvington.
  • Topography  Flat with mature trees on every yard.
  • Sidewalks and Streets  The street pattern is a grid. The neighborhood has sidewalks for walking.
  • 2Drive Time to Downtown  12-14 minutes by car.
  • Public Transportation  Trimet has five bus routes in Irvington. The northeast bus schedule and routes can be found at TriMet Website. The Eastside light rail route is on the southern edge of Irvington. Transit Score provides a 0-100 rating indicating how well an address is served by public transportation. Ratings range from “Rider’s Paradises” to areas with limited or no nearby public transportation.
  • 3Census 2010 Demographics  Population: 8,501 people. Area in acres: 551. Average population density: 15 persons per acre. Number of households: 4,023. Average size of household: 2.11 persons. Median household income: $78,172. Families with children: 15.2%. Home owners: 55.5%. Renters: 44.5%. Diversity: 22% non-Caucasian. More census data about Irvington at Portland Online and City Data.
  • 4Crime Stats  Part I crimes  (aggravated assault, arson, burglary, homicide, larceny, rape, robbery, theft from auto, vehicle theft) were 328 in 2013. There were 24 violent crimes (aggravated assault, homicide, robbery, rape) committed in 2013. For the latest crime statistics and historical data for the Irvington neighborhood, visit the Portland Police Bureau website.
  • 5Shopping and Services  Irvington residents can shop either along the north border or the south border of the neighborhood. Northeast Fremont, between NE 13th avenue and NE 15th avenue, has a pleasant two-block area of restaurants and shops. Whole Food Markets is located in this complex. Included among the shops are a Starbuck’s, cleaner, and barber shop. The south boundary of the neighborhood is NE Broadway and it’s a busy one-way street where you can find just about any service or good available. Just 3-4 blocks south of NE Broadway is Lloyd Center — the largest mall in Oregon.
  • Farmers Market  The Lloyd Center Farmers Market is held at Northeast Holladay Street between 7th and 9th Avenues (Oregon Square). 10 am-2 pm on Tuesdays year-round except during the Christmas holidays. More details at Lloyd Farmers Market.
  • Eating Out  You will find a number of eating places along NE Fremont (the north boundary of the neighborhood) as well as along NE Broadway (south boundary). Urban Spoon has reviews of over 500 restaurants in Northeast Portland. Visit Willamette Weeks’ Restaurant Guide by Neighborhood for a list of eating places in Irvington.
  • Public Library  The closest branch library of the Multnomah County Library system is the Albina at 3605 N.E. 15th Avenue.
  • Who Lives in Irvington  Managerial, professional specialty, technical, sales, administrative support account for close to 75% of the occupations of Irvington residents. The median age of a resident is 40 according to Census 2010.
  • Autos in the Neighborhood  Small Japanese cars are in abundance such as Subarus. Pickups and a few SUVs dot the landscape in Irvington.
  • 6Biking  Quality is fair. Irvington has seven miles of bike lanes.
  • Schools  Elementary and Middle: Irvington K-8 and Beverly Cleary Fernwood Campus 2-8. High schools: Benson High School and Grant High School.
  • 7School Report Card Grades   Click here for report card details on the above schools. Select “Portland SD 1J” to view individual schools within the district.

Map of the Irvington Neighborhood


1Real Estate Values  Data on real estate values provided by RMLStm. Distressed properties refer to the percentage of total homes sold that were short sales and bank-owned properties.
2Drive Time to Downtown  Estimated commuting time obtained from Yahoo Maps and Google Maps. Drive time was calculated from a central intersection in each neighborhood to Pioneer Courthouse Square during the morning peak commute time.
3Demographics Data  Numbers were obtained from Census 2010 and
4Crime Statistics  Numbers on crime were obtained from the Portland Police Bureau.  The Uniform Crime Reports documents crimes in three categories: Part I, Part II-A, and Part II-B. Part I crimes are classified as either violent or property crimes. Aggravated assault, forcible rape, murder, and robbery are classified as violent while arson, burglary, larceny-theft, and motor vehicle theft are classified as property crimes. Part II-A crimes are drugs, embezzlement, forgery, fraud, prostitution, sex offenses, simple assault, stolen property, vandalism, and weapons.  For the latest crime statistics and historical data for the Portland neighborhoods, visit the Portland Police Bureau website.
5Shopping and Services  Numbers were determined from local directory listings and county/municipal library systems.
6Biking  Quality rating based on the 2007 Cycle Zone Analysis conducted by the City of Portland Office of Transportation. The six-tier ratings have been reduced to three levels: High, Fair, and Low.
7School Report Card Grades  The format was changed from simple letter grades to detailed reports starting  in 2013.
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