Guide to the Piedmont Neighborhood in Portland, Oregon
Piedmont is a neighborhood in the north and northeast sections of Portland. The original subdivision, now known as “Historic Piedmont,” includes parts of the Humboldt and King neighborhoods, as well as the modern Piedmont neighborhood south of Rosa Parks Way. It is bordered by these neighborhoods: East Columbia to the north, Woodlawn to the east, Humboldt to the south, and Arbor Lodge along with Kenton to the west.
Peninsula Park is just a hint of what’s blooming in the Piedmont neighborhood, bordered by Interstate 5, Northeast Columbia Boulevard, Northeast Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and North Ainsworth Street. It’s a neighborhood in transition, with new affordable home developments being built, older houses being remodeled, and the Interstate MAX light-rail line just a few blocks west. It’s a convenient commute to downtown Portland and just take minutes by car or public transportation.
The Piedmont subdivision was one of the early streetcar suburbs so when the Interstate MAX light-rail arrived in 2004, the neighborhood revisited its past.
Peninsula Park was originally the site of Liverpool Liz’s Place, a roadhouse and horse-racing track. The 16-acre plot of land was purchased by the city in 1909 and reconfigured as a grand city park by noted architects Ellis Lawrence and Ormond Bean. The park, its Italian-style community center, and rose gardens, opened to the public in 1913. The rose gardens were a big hit, drawing 300,000 visitors in their first year. The octagonal bandstand overlooking the rose garden was constructed in 1913. It was used for World War I patriotic demonstrations and is now the site for many summer weddings and concerts. This wonderful gazebo-like structure is a National Heritage historical structure and was designated a Portland Historic Landmark in 1973. It is the last of its kind in Portland.
The Piedmont subdivision was platted in 1889 by Edward Quackenbush and promoted in an early flyer as “The Emerald, Portland’s Evergreen Suburb, Devoted Exclusively to Dwellings, A Place of Homes.” The original subdivision is now known as “Historic Piedmont”, and includes parts of the Humboldt and King neighborhoods, as well as the modern Piedmont neighborhood south of Rosa Parks Way.
In 1947, after a failed attempt to build a NABISCO factory in the Rose City Park neighborhood, a factory location along Columbia Boulevard was chosen. The plant was completed in August 1950.
The Piedmont Neighborhood Association website has extensive information about the history of the community.
Villa St. Rose Convent, the former convent and school for girls closed for good in 1995 and fell into disrepair before the Georgian-style building and its 7.7-acre site were purchased by the Portland Development Commission in 1998. The Villa St. Rose convent, built in 1916 and now listed on the National Register of Historic Places, has been renovated as a $22 million, 100 unit low-income senior rental housing. The Commons is located at 597 North Dekum Street.
In the early 2000s, the acreage has been redeveloped into an urban village for all ages, and incomes. Besides the Commons, 18 family rental townhomes; 10 Habitat for Humanity homes; six Home Ownership a Street at a Time (HOST) homes; and 10 market-rate houses. An Albina Head Start facility has also been built to serve infants and pre-schoolers.
Origin of Name
Piedmont means “lying or formed at the base of mountains” so we can assume the name refers to the land lying at the base of the Cascade Mountain Range.
Schools in the Piedmont Neighborhood
Find your school attendance area or a school site and view the boundary area using School Locator. Read how to use the interactive map by clicking on the “Information” icon (circle with an “i” in the center).
- Schools in the Neighborhood A list of public and private schools in the Piedmont neighborhood.
- Public Schools in the Neighborhood Elementary and middle school: Woodlawn. High school: Jefferson High School.
- School Report Cards Report Cards for schools and districts in Oregon. Select “Portland SD 1J” to view individual schools within the Portland Public School District.
Portland Monthly Magazine Guide to Neighborhoods
In their April issue every year, the Portland Monthly Magazine features the past year home prices along with other information about Portland neighborhoods and suburban communities. To read the magazine’s latest stories and numbers visit the Real Estate section.
The numbers on the website and the printed magazine are divided into four sections (real estate, people, crime, and lifestyle) on each of the Portland 90 plus neighborhoods as well as about 25 suburban communities. The website offers over 50 items of information about each Portland neighborhood and suburban community.
The magazine added a feature on their website for homes sold in 2014 and it’s also available for homes sold in 2015 — an interactive map where you can click on a neighborhood and a pop-up displays five items (1-year median price change, 5-year median price change, median gross rent, walkability score and percent of newcomer) for a Portland neighborhood as well as a suburban community. Note the detailed numbers for each of the four sections for homes sold in 2015 are displayed below the map.
To visit the magazine’s website latest stories and numbers visit their Real Estate section — click on “Neighborhoods” to view the numbers for the Portland neighborhoods and click on “Suburbs” for the numbers on communities in the metro area. Note the detailed numbers for each of the four sections for homes sold in 2014 and 2015 are displayed below the map. To access the Portland neighborhoods and metro communities demographic data and home prices by year:
Piedmont Demographics Below is some facts about the Piedmont neighborhood gleaned from the magazine’s website. A few numbers can tell much about the character of a neighborhood. You can view more data about Piedmont by visiting the Portland Monthly’s website.
- Average year homes built in the neighborhood: 1944
- Percent of residents below poverty level: 16.7%
- Percent of neighborhood size with parks: 5%
- Live within a 1/2 mile of a park: 94%
- Commute by bike or walking: 10.4%
1Piedmont Home Prices: 2007 – 2015
- Number of Homes Sold in Piedmont—► 175 homes were sold in 2015 and 5.1% were distressed sales. 118 homes were sold in 2014 and 3% were distressed sales. 123 homes were sold in 2013 and 7% were distressed sales. 121 homes were sold in 2012 and 26% were distressed sales. 101 homes sold in 2011 and 31% were distressed sales. 80 homes sold in 2010 and 19% distressed properties sales.
- Median Price for Homes Sold in Piedmont—► 370,000 in 2015, $322,500 in 2014, $301,000 in 2013, $239,000 in 2012, $212,500 in 2011, $249,500 in 2010, and $290,000 in 2008.
- Average Cost per Square Foot—► $188 in 2015, $161 in 2014.
- 1-Year Median Sales Price Change in Piedmont—► 14.7% sales price change in 2015. In 2014 the sales price change was 7%, in 2013 the sales price change was 26%, in 2012 the sales price change was 12%, in 2011 the sales price change was -15%, and in 2010 the change was -5%.
- 5-Year Average Sales Price Change in Piedmont—► 74.1% sales price change for the years 2011-2015. 2010 to 2014 the sales price change was 11%. 2009 to 2013 the sales price change was 4%. 2008 to 2012 the sales price change was -18%. 2007 to 2011 the sales price change was -17%. 2006 to 2010 the change was -3.
- Portland Metro Area Median Home Price—► $308,000 in 2015, $285,500 in 2014, $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.
- Portland Metro Area Average Home Price—► $354,500 in 2015, $333,000 in 2014, $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.
Find a Home in the Piedmont Neighborhood
- Homes for Sale in the Piedmont Neighborhood — View on all devices except Apple® mobile devices. To view homes for sale in the Piedmont neighborhood on Apple® mobile devices key in “Piedmont” in the “Location” field and click on the “Search Now” icon.
- Displays Homes for Sale in the Piedmont Neighborhood — View on all devices. Photos of home displayed along with detailed description of the property.
Homes for Sale in Piedmont
Parks and Health Clubs
Peninsula Park is a formally designed neighborhood park, typical of the early 1900s. It includes the city’s first public rose garden and first community center, an historically designated bandstand, and Portland’s second oldest playground.
The rose garden, designed by Emanuel L. Mische, is one of Portland’s most beautiful formal rose gardens, with 8,900 plantings on a two-acre site. The garden entrance is located on Albina Ave, between Ainsworth and Rosa Parks Way. Visitors are greeted by magnificent plantings of 65 rose varieties which border the steps leading to the sunken rose garden, the only one in Oregon. The rose garden was the showplace of its time, with 300,000 visitors in the first year alone. The official Portland rose, named Mme. Caroline Testout, was cultivated in the garden. Once planted by the thousands along the streets of Portland, this rose earned Portland the name ‘City of Roses.’ In 1913, floral enthusiasts selected Peninsula Park as the location for an annual rose show. In 1917, Washington Park on Portland’s west side was selected as the site of the International Rose Test Garden and most of the rose show activities were moved there.
In 1957, the city zoo housed its Humboldt penguins in the center’s pool for six months because the zoo lacked the proper facilities when the birds arrived from Antarctica. Many Portlanders still remember calling it Penguin Park!
The 16 plus acre park includes a basketball court, disabled access picnic area, disabled access restroom, fountain, horseshoe pit, paths, picnic site with picnic tables, playground, public garden, rose garden, soccer field, softball field, lighted tennis court, and wedding site.
View a video of the park with pleasant music.
The Peninsula Community Center and Pool was built in 1913 and the Italian-villa style facility was the first community center in the Portland park system. Its original floor plan was perfectly symmetrical, consisting of two pools and two gyms − one for men, the other for women. Such separate-but-equal social attitudes were also reflected in the entryway murals: young men featured in the area leading to the men’s side, and young women on the women’s side!
The Peninsula Pool was built in order to fill the need created by the closure of the bath houses that had been in use on the Willamette River. These structures were closed due to increasing pollution in the Willamette. As popular as the pool is with people, it also has a history of being enjoyed by Humboldt penguins. In 1957, when the penguins were scheduled to make their debut at the Washington Park Zoo, the zoo’s penguin facilities were not yet finished, so the Peninsula Park Pool was used as a holding area until their own space was ready.
The center includes a basketball court, gymnasium, meeting room, party room, and outdoor swimming pool.
Farragut Park 16-acres includes a basketball court, disabled access play area, disabled access restroom, paths, picnic tables, playground, and softball field.
Walking in the Piedmont Neighborhood
This Peninsula Park and four neighborhoods 2.6-mile walk begins at the Multnomah County library and passes through Piedmont before heading back along Interstate Avenue. Click here to download the guide.
Another walk (2.5-mile) in the neighborhood offers these points of discovery: Peninsula Park sunken rose garden, the North Portland Library, Portland Community College Cascade Campus, a new urban village, Portland Boulevard and N Killingsworth MAX Stations, a community art installation and the pedestrian bridge that conveniently crosses I-5 with a connection to the MAX light-rail line. 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 14th most walkable city in the U.S. with a Walk Score of 63, a Transit Score of 50 and a Bike Score of 72. There are over 3,000 restaurants and coffee shops in Portland. People in Portland can walk to an average of five restaurants and coffee shops in five minutes.
The Walk Score for the Piedmont neighborhood is 67, the Transit Score is 56, and the Bike Score is 89.
More About Piedmont
Learn more about the Piedmont neighborhood by visiting Portland Maps. the site provides about businesses, demographic data, crime stats, parks, schools, aerial photos, maps, elevation, hazards, and more. for the neighborhood. All you need is a property address – use “409 N. Bryant” or an address of your choice.
- Neighborhood Association Website Piedmont Neighborhood Association.
- Neighborhood Location About three miles north of downtown Portland just to the east of I-5.
- Piedmont BoundariesWest – Interstate 5. East – Northeast Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard. North – Columbia Boulevard. South – Ainsworth Street.
- Map of Piedmont Boundaries Piedmont.
- Topography The topography is flat with mature trees.
- Sidewalks and Streets The street pattern is a grid layout. The neighborhood has sidewalks for walking.
- 1Drive Time to Downtown Piedmont is 12-14 minutes from downtown.
- Public Transportation There are bus routes on NE Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, Portland Boulevard, Lombard Street, and North Albina Avenue for a total number of four routes. The Interstate MAX light rail nearest stops are on North Interstate Avenue (at North Lombard Street) and at North Portland Boulevard. These stops are just a few blocks west of Piedmont’s boundary and within walking distance for many residents of Piedmont. The downside is that you have to cross I-5 to get to the MAX. 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.
- Commuting 13% of the neighborhood residents commute using public transportation, 8.6% bike, and 1.8% walk.
- 2Census 2010 Demographics Population: 7,025 persons. Area in acres: 615. Average population density: 11 persons per acre. Number of households: 2,983. Average size of household: 2.36 persons. Median household income: $48,354. Families with children: 19.1%. Homeowners: 64.2%. Renters: 35.8%. Diversity: 34.8% non-Caucasian. More census data about Piedmont at Portland Online and City Data.
- 3Crime Stats There were 189 property crimes (assault, arson, burglary, larceny, robbery, theft from auto, vehicle theft) in 2014. There were 19 violent crimes (aggravated assault, homicide, robbery, rape) committed in 2014. There were 31 crimes per 1,000 residents in 2014. For the latest crime statistics and historical data for the Piedmont neighborhood, visit the Portland Police Bureau website.
- 4Shopping and Services Number of supermarkets: 0. Number of health clubs: 0. Number of coffee shops: 0. Most Piedmont residents head west (cross I-5) and shop along N. Interstate Avenue where there are two supermarkets and numerous stores and restaurants.
- Eating Out Very limited within Piedmont. More on the east border (Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.). Try Betty Jean at 825 North Killingsworth Street. BJ is actually located just a few blocks south of North Ainsworth Street in the Humboldt neighborhood. Betty Jean’s specializes in hamburgers and spicy, curly fries with that “down home taste”. Lots of kids seats. Visit Willamette Weeks’ Restaurant Guide by Neighborhood for a review of eating places in Piedmont.
- Public Library The closest branch library of the Multnomah County Library system is the North Portland at 512 N. Killingsworth Street. This is just 3-4 blocks south of the neighborhood.
- Who Lives in Piedmont A mix of blue collar and white collar. The median age is 36.7 according to Census 2010.
- What They Drive in Piedmont GMC and Ford – sedans, pickups, and a few SUVs.
- Biking Piedmont has 5.3 miles of bike lanes. Bicycle Trip Planner will map a route for you and − just provide a starting point address and your destination address.
Map of the Piedmont Neighborhood