Guide to the Hillsdale Neighborhood in Portland, Oregon
Travel down I-5 south for 3.5 miles from downtown and the area off to the west is Hillsdale. Driving through the neighborhood, you will note many shops, pubs, restaurants and coffee houses.
With the close proximity of schools, parks, a library, and a shopping center, many families find this neighborhood a mix of suburbia yet very close to downtown.
A typical Hillsdale resident is white, college educated and fairly well-off. He or she is either an empty-nester or a parent with young children − with not much in between. About one out of four residents are what marketers call Metropolitans − they listen to jazz, classical, public and alternative radio and attend rock concerts, watch foreign films, read magazines and play a musical instrument. That’s among the findings of a trade-area analysis completed for the Hillsdale Main Street program by Josh Lehner, a neighborhood resident and a state economist that was released in early June of 2011.
Located at the 6000's block of SW Capitol Highway are numerous small shops and eating places. You will find just about kind of store that you need in the shopping area. This include a bakery, bank, cleaners, clothing, ice cream, laundromat, liquor store, pharmacy, pet wash, post office, veterinary, and video store. Restaurants include a a number of ethic food establishment to include Chinese, Mexican, and Thai. The area also has a pizza and sandwich shop.
Food Front has been open in Hillsdale since Sept 2008 and provides fresh, local natural and organic food. Although anyone can shop at this co-op, ownership by community members is encouraged and owner/members receive benefits not available to non-member shoppers. The photo above shows a customer checking out at the store.
The Hillsdale Farmers' Market is the only year round farmers market in the Portland metro area. Attendance at the market is often over 3,000 people each Sunday. The winter schedule is every other week from December to April. The market is held in the parking lot between Rieke Elementary and Wilson High School where there is parking for several hundred cars.
Here are some Web sites to visit to learn more about Hillsdale:
- Hillsdale News Get the local news.
- Hillsdale Business & Professional Association More than 60 local businesses and professionals are members of the group.
- Hillsdale Main Street The Main Street® approach is a community-driven, comprehensive method used to revitalize older, traditional business districts.
In the 1880's, Hillsdale was settled by German, Swiss and Italian immigrants. These new settlers cleared the forests and operated dairies and vegetable farms to supply food for the growing city of Portland.
In the 1890's, Southern Pacific Railroad built a line from Portland to Forest Grove, running along present day Barbur Boulevard, to what is now known as Bertha Boulevard. The Hillsdale stop was named the Bertha Station after the wife of one of the Southern Pacific officials.
In 1912, Terwilliger Boulevard opened. In 1950, Fred Meyer built a large supermarket on Barbur Boulevard at Bertha Boulevard. In 1954, a 54 acre parcel was developed called the Wilson Park housing development. In 1956, Wilson High School and Wilson Park Elementary School were built on the former Fulton Park Dairy site.
In 1993, the Hillsdale Vision Group was formed to discuss ways to improve Hillsdale. Hillsdale was nominated to become a Town Center under Metro's Region 2040 plan. In 1997, the Portland City Council approved the Hillsdale Town Center Plan. The project made Hillsdale consumer and pedestrian friendly.
In 2010, the Hillsdale Town Center was designated a Main Street District by the National Trust for Historic Preservation. The Main Street program aims to preserve and revitalize historic commercial districts.
Origin of the Name of Hillsdale
The name has been in used since early pioneer days. Hill is from the old Anglo-Saxon hyl and Norse holl. Dale means a small valley.
Hillsdale Home Styles
Although the area started developing in the 20s, most of the homes in Hillsdale were built after WWII so you will see an abundance of ranch style homes. You will find homes built in just about every year from 1950 to the present day. A couple of condo buildings are located in the 6000 block of SW Capitol Highway.
Finding a home that need updating with good "bones" and pleasant surroundings (woods) is possible in Hillsdale. You're close in, easy access to shopping, and the price of a home is within reach for most families.
1Hillsdale Home Prices
- Number of Homes Sold in Hillsdale—► 117 homes were sold in 2012 and 17% were distressed sales. 87 homes were sold in 2011 and 20% were distressed sales. 86 homes were sold in 2010 and 7% were distressed properties sales.
- Median Price for Homes Sold in Hillsdale—► $364,900 in 2012, $340,000 in 2011, $331,250 in 2010, $350,000 in 2009, $404,500 in 2008, and $388,000 in 2007.
- 1-Year Median Sales Price Change in Hillsdale—► 2012 the change was 9%. 2011 the change was 3%. 2010 the change was -5%.
- 5-Year Median Sales Price Change in Hillsdale: 2008 to 2012 the change was -8%. 2007 to 2011 the change was -12%. 2006 to 2010 the change was -4%.
- Portland Metro Area Median Home Price—► $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.
- Portland Metro Area Average Home Price—► $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.
Hillsdale Homes for Sale
Parks and Community Centers in the Hillsdale Neighborhood
The neighborhood has a number of parks, something for everyone:
- George Himes is a 35 acre park located in the southeast corner of the neighborhood that is for hikers and runners.
- Long and narrow, the 103-acre Southwest Terwilliger Boulevard Park follows the meandering SW Terwilliger Boulevard and it is a favorite for bikers, hikers, and runners.
- Hillsdale Park is located at SW 27th Avenue and Hillsdale Highway. The 5.17 acre park offers a dog off-leash area and picnic tables.
- The 1.13 acre DeWitt Park is for parents with small ones as it has a playground and picnic tables.
- Stephens Creek (3.38 acres) is part of the Willamette watershed, one of three major watersheds in southwest Portland.
- Just a quarter mile southwest of Hillsdale lies the 90 acre Gabriel Park in the Multnomah neighborhood.
Hillsdale has one private community center and health club: The Mittleman Jewish Community Center is located at 6652 SW Capitol Highway. Next door in the Multnomah neighborhood you will find the Southwest Community Center (swimming, exercise classes, etc.) located in the 90 acre Gabriel Park. The Fulton Community Center is located just across the Hillsdale west boundary and includes a basketball court, kitchen, meeting room, party room, and a stage.
The Sprout Academy is an educational preschool with a 'green' focus offered by Portland Parks & Recreation's Southwest Community Center, located in the Southwest Community Center. "Sprout" students acquire the foundations of learning, including math, science, language development, art, music, and social skills. All the while, children experience nature and learn about ecosystems, sustainable living, and caring for the environment through developmentally appropriate activities in and out of the classroom.
Hillsdale has 65 acres of park land and open spaces according to Metro and the Portland Department of Parks and Recreation.
Walking in Hillsdale
The 4-mile Hillsdale to River walk combines several city staircases, forest paths, and a river walk. It offers great views and significant elevation gain. You'll find plenty of places to eat along SW MacAdam Avenue, which intersects the walk at about the halfway mark. Click here to download the guide.
"Roaming Hillsdale," a beautifully designed and illustrated booklet takes readers on a five-mile walk around the neighborhood. The walk begins and ends in the town center takes walkers near or over Fanno, Stephens and Trillium creeks. Some sections of the walk are steep and sidewalks are not always present so you will discover why Hillsdale is called Hillsdale. The book is available for $5 at a number of businesses in Hillsdale and the Hillsdale library has copies.
The SW Trails Group is a committee of Southwest neighborhoods that uses volunteer efforts to make trail improvements, lead walks, work with Safe Routes to School, plan and advocate for pedestrian and bicycle safety and other improvements in Southwest Portland. Their walks are the second Saturday of each month. After a decade of lobbying, Hillsdale residents are getting their Red Electric Pedestrian and Bike Trail. In March, 2009, Metro approved $1.93 million to pay for the first segment of 15-mile link between the Willamette River and Fanno Creek. Part of the money will go to filling in one of the creek's ravines along Southwest Bertha Boulevard that's impossible to navigate by foot or bike. The head of SW Trails and the Hillsdale Neighborhood Association, Don Baack, along with the help of Bicycle Transportation Alliance and Hillsdale residents and businesses, has fought to make the greenway trail a reality.
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 Hillsdale neighborhood ranks 49 out of 88 Portland neighborhoods. Below is a Walk Score for an address in the center of the neighborhood.
Biking to Work in Portland
To bike from Hillsdale to downtown, here is a route: Take the painted lanes on Beaverton-Hillsdale Highway to the painted lanes on Capitol Highway, then either the painted lanes on SW Terwilliger or SW Barbur. Download the SW Bikes Routes map for details. You can also use byCycle bicycle trip planner, a free online tool to help both new and seasoned cyclists plan safe trips through the city. This private Web site was created by cycling enthusiasts volunteering their time, with support from Metro.
Here's a New York Times video about biking in Portland.
More About Hillsdale
- Neighborhood Association Web site Hillsdale. The SW Capitol Road neighborhood is on Facebook.
- Neighborhood News The Hillsdale News is a non-profit organization.
- Location About 3.5 miles south on I-5 and then west.
- 2Drive Time to Downtown About ten minutes.
- Topography Moderate rolling hills and wooded.
- Streets and Sidewalks Up and down and then around! Find a street running true north/south or east/west and your compass will probably get so excited it will jump out of your hands. Sidewalks are limited.
- Livability Study 96.8% of the Hillsdale residents rated their neighborhood "good" or "very good." See Livability Study.
- Public Transportation TriMet has over a dozen bus routes in the neighborhood most of which are Express Routes on I-5 (east boundary of neighborhood). Hillsdale does not have a MAX light rail line or streetcar line. 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: 7,540. Area size: 1,131 acres. Average population density: 6 persons per acre. Number of households: 3,541. Average size of household: 2.13 persons. Median household income: $82,135. Families with children: 22.1%. Percent of home owners: 63. Percent of renters: 37. Diversity: 10.7% non-Caucasian. More census data about Hillsdale at Portland Online.
- 4Crime Stats 14 violent crimes and two crimes per 1,000 residents in 2012. 19 violent crime in 2011 and the total crimes per 1,000 residents was 2. For the latest crime statistics for the Hillsdale neighborhood, click here.
- Sex Offenders Click here for the State of Oregon Sex Offender Inquiry System. After agreeing to the "Conditions of Use Statement" you will be redirected to a "Enter Search Criteria" page. Insert a zip code in the "Zip" field and click on the "Query" button. Hillsdale zip code(s): 97218, 97239.
- 5Shopping and Services Number of supermarkets: 2. Number of health clubs: 1. Number of coffee shops: 2. Is it a mall or village center? Located at 6000's SW Capitol Highway you'll find a good variety of shops to include restaurants, a co-op food store, coffee shops, and service industries.
- Farmers Market Wilson High School parking lot, Southwest Capitol Highway at Sunset Boulevard. 10 am-2 pm Sundays, First Sunday in May to Sunday before Thanksgiving, twice monthly December-April. See hillsdalefarmersmarket.com.
- Eating Out Located at 6000's SW Capitol Highway are numerous small shops and eating places. You will find every kind of store that you need in the shopping area to include a bakery, bagel shop, and a Starbuck's. The Capitol Coffee House and Bistro at 6446 SW Capitol Highway offers not only an interesting decor (once a train depot and then coffee shop with a cigar store) with old-fashioned fixtures and outdoor seating but interesting food (Franco-Cuban-Cascadian).
- Public Library The Hillsdale Library was awarded Leed™ (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) gold certification as a "green building" in 2004, the year the southwest Portland library reopened in its new location. The library boasts a large collection of books as well as audio and visual materials.
- Who Lives in Hillsdale People who want to live on the edge - a bit of suburbia yet close to downtown. The median age is 41.
- Autos in the Neighborhood Small cars and big cars, just about everything they make can be seen in Hillsdale.
- 6Biking Quality is low. Hillsdale has 16 miles of bike lanes.
- Schools Elementary: Rieke Elementary and Capitol Hill Elementary. Middle school: Gray Middle. High school: Lincoln High School and Wilson High School.
- 7School Report Card Grades Elementary schools: O. Middle schools: S. High schools: O. Click here for report card details.
Map of Hillsdale Neighborhood
Fly to the Hillsdale Neighborhood via Google Earth
45° 28′ 53.46″ N
122° 41′ 26.46″ W
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 www.portlandmaps.com.
4Crime Statistics Numbers on crime were obtained from Portland Police Bureau. Violent crimes are defined as murder, rape, robbery, and aggravated assault. Crimes per 1,000 are based on reported incidents of violent crime, as well as burglary, larceny, and motor vehicle theft.
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 Schools ratings from the Oregon Department of Education 2009-2010 performance assessment. "O" = Outstanding; "S" = Satisfactory; "I" = In Need of Improvement; NR = Not Rated.
To learn more about the
Hillsdale Farmer's Market
The Hillsdale Farmers' Market runs weekly May through October and twice monthly November through April.