Guide to the Laurelhurst Neighborhood in Portland, Oregon

laurelhurst_headerLaurelhurst is a neighborhood of vintage homes and undulating streets surrounding a park of the same name, straddling the NE and SE sections of Portland. The neighborhood borders Sunnyside to the south, Kerns to the west, North Tabor to the east, and Hollywood to the north.

Laurelhurst is an area of 428 acres containing 1,819 households with a total of 4,633 people (2010 census). It’s a neighborhood of homeowners as 90.8% of the Laurelhurst residents live in their own home and in 11-12 minutes you can be downtown traveling west on East Burnside Boulevard.

You know that Laurelhurst residents care about their community when you view the committees for the Neighborhood Association: Land Use, Transportation, Traffic, Trees, Safety, Garage Sale, Friends of the Laurelhurst Park, Bike, Clean-up, Environment, and Community Safety.

If you looking to nurture your young ones and instill in them caring values, find a home in Laurelhurst. Members of the neighborhood’s Laurelhurst Kids Club not only have the names, phone numbers and addresses of other parents with children the same age in the area, but also have access to weekly playgroups, vetted babysitters, critiques of nearby preschools and e-mail alerts with key information, such as a stroller recall or free swim lessons. All parents have to do is log on to the Kids Club at the Laurelhurst neighborhood association website.

History of Laurelhurst

In 1850 congress passed the Donation Land Act, which encouraged individuals to head out west and claim large tracts of land. Those arriving on December 1st, through to the time when the Act expired (December 1, 1855), were eligible for 320 acres if married, and 160 acres for unmarried males. Note that women could not claim land on their own, but if they claimed land as part of a married couple, their name was put on the deed, marking one of the first times in the history of the US when women could directly own property. To gain the deed to the land, a settler would have to live on, and maintain, the land for four years.

The area that would become Laurelhurst is comprised of two claims under the Donation Land Act. The first claim (claim #1008) was made by Elijah B. Davidson and his wife Saloma. The second claim (claim #1027) was settled by Terence and Mary Quinn.

In 1869, William S. Ladd began buying up the land that would eventually become Laurelhurst. It wasn’t his plan to turn the land into a place for a rich community to be formed…at least not a community of people. One portion of the land (320 acres) came from the purchase of Thomas Frazer’s Hazelwood Farm in 1869. After the 1869 purchase, other purchases were subsequently made in 1873 and 1876. Ladd named his land “Hazelfern,” the name of one of the streets in the area. Here Ladd developed one of the most prestigious stock farms in the West. His purebred Jersey cattle probably laid the foundation for Oregon’s future livestock industry.

Ladd died in 1893, likely marking the transition of the property from farming to residential use; though, like his son, William S. Ladd would have likely found both pressure from the surrounding neighborhoods (for such things as roads through the property) and skyrocketing land prices. 

The General Neighborhood History of Laurelhurst starting in the 1850s

Origin of the Name Laurelhurst

The Laurelhurst Company purchased most of the property in 1909 except for 31 acres that it sold to the City of Portland for the Laurelhurst park. The company christened the new subdivision “Laurelhurst,” using the same name they had already employed for a successful “Laurelhurst” residential area they developed in Seattle. “Hurst” is an old Anglo-Saxon word meaning “a wood, grove, or copse,” and “laurel” was chosen because of the shrubs growing in the Seattle development.

Schools in the Laurelhurst 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).

Laurelhurst Theater

The Laurelhurst Theater became part of Portland’s cultural and architectural history when it was built in 1923, one of the first art deco style buildings of the period.laurelhurst_theatre

Like every theater in the country, what was once a successful family theater lost out to the multiplexes of the late eighties. In 2001, months of renovation brought the theater back to stand again as a proud icon to Portland’s history and future. The theater’s four screens bring the best of modern cinema, independent art and classic film to Portland’s movie lovers at remarkably reasonable prices. Starred attractions are only $3 while general films are $2. It’s independently owned and operated without commercials and previews are limited to five minutes.

Laurelhurst Home Styles

The neighborhood has over 1,500 homes and most are vintage homes including Bungalow, English, and Tudors.

Websites to Learn More About Laurelhurst

  • Laurelhurst and Its Park  A sales brochure for the Laurelhurst neighborhood published in 1916.
  • William S. Ladd  All of Laurelhurst was once the property of this pioneer of Portland.
  • NE Flanders Street  This is an example of a street-level page. It contains history about the street, as well as a listing of the houses on the street.
  • Laurelhurst Park This park is probably the most well-known feature in Laurelhurst.
  • 3360 SE Ankeny Street   One of the over 1500 houses in Laurelhurst.
  • Sidewalk Stamps   Street names are stamped at most corners in Laurelhurst; though the name isn’t always what
  • Documents  A list of documents, primarily Oregonian articles, pertaining to Laurelhurst.
  • 1911  Laurelhurst events that happened in 1911.

Portland Monthly Magazine Guide to Neighborhoods

PDXMonthlyMag_April2014In 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 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: 

Laurelhurst Demographics  Below is some facts about the neighborhood gleaned from the magazine’s website. A few numbers can tell much about the character of a neighborhood.

  • Average year homes built in the neighborhood:  1927
  • Percent of residents below poverty level:  5.1%
  • Percent of  neighborhood land area that is in parks:  8%
  • Percent of residents that live within a 1/2 mile of a park:  85%
  • Percent of residents that commute by bike or walking:  13.1%

1Laurelhurst Home Prices:  2007-2015

  • Number of Homes Sold in Laurelhurst—►  89 homes were sold in 2015 and 1.1% were distressed sales. 100 homes were sold in 2014 and 2% were distressed sales. 93 homes were sold in 2013 and 4% were distressed sales. 89 homes sold in 2012 and 10% were distress sales. 70 homes sold in 2011 and 13% distressed sales. 63 homes sold in 2010 and 6% distressed properties sales.
  • Median Price for Homes Sold in Laurelhurst—►   $649,900 in 2015, $543,000 in 2014, $535,000 in 2013, $472,500 in 2012, $440,500 in 2011, $445,000 in 2010, $460,000 in 2009, $491,000 in 2008, and $514,000 in 2007.
  • Average Cost per Square Foot—►  $221 in 2015, $200 in 2014.
  • 1-Year Median Sales Price Change in Laurelhurst—►  19.5% sales price change in 2015, in 2014 the sales price change was 2%, in 2013 the sales price change was 13%, in 2012 the sales price change was 9%, in 2011 the sales price change was -1%, and in 2010 the change was -3%.
  • 5-Year Median Sales Price Change in Laurelhurst—►  50% sales price change in the years 2011-2015. 2010 to 2014 the sales price change was 11%. 2009 to 2013 the sales price change was 9%. 2008 to 2012 the sales price change was -4%. 2007 to 2011 the sales price change was -14. 2006 to 2010 the change was -10%.
  • 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.
  • 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 Laurelhurst Neighborhood

Homes for Sale in Laurelhurst

Parks in the Neighborhood

laurelhurstLaurelhurst Park is a spring-fed pond on the property had always been a favorite watering-hole for cattle, as well as a favorite swimming hole for both children and adults. In 1911, seeing the potential for a park as part of the Olmsted’s plan, the City of Portland bought 30-31 of the acres, including the pond. Workers were hired to deepen the pond into a 3-acre lake. Also developed was a “play park” between Oak and Stark Streets. The boys were to play on the south side, the girls were to play on the north side, and general games were to be held in the eastern block.

In the park’s early years, it was patrolled by a white swan named General Pershing (for his militant attitude). He forbade anyone to approach the edge of the lakeshore. In later years a black-beaked, black-toed swan, named “Big Boy,” was lake marshal. A man known only as Mr. Martinson fed Big Boy every day for 15 years. Mr. Martinson taught Big Boy to nod his head and honk “Hello!”

In the Laurelhurst park’s early years, it was patrolled by a white swan named General Pershing (for his militant attitude). He forbade anyone to approach the edge of the lakeshore. The park includes a soccer field, basketball and volleyball courts, two lighted tennis courts and practice board, horseshoe pit, wading pool, playground, picnic tables, electricity, restrooms, and paths. In February 2001, Laurelhurst Park was named to the National Register of Historic Places, the first city park ever listed on the national register.

Laurelhurst has 33 acres of park land and open spaces according to Metro and the Portland Department of Parks and Recreation.

Walking in Laurelhurst

joan_of_arc

This 3.5-mile walk loops through Laurelhurst. The walk passes wooded Laurelhurst Park en route to the Sunnyside neighborhood with its many Queen Anne homes and active businesses on SE Belmont Street. Joan of Arc memorializes the fallen soldiers of World War 1 in Coe Circle at NE 39th and NE Glisan. In honor of the American Doughboy, soldiers closely allied with the French in World War I, Dr. Henry Waldo Coe donated the statue (Joan of Arc, Maid of Orleans 1412-1431). She sits atop her horse at the intersection of NE 39 Street and Glisan (now called Coe Circle) in the Laurelhurst neighborhood. The statue was created by Emmanuel Fremiet in 1924.You’ll see her on the walking tour. 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 Laurelhurst neighborhood is 79, the Transit Score is 64, and the Bike Score is 96.

Laurelhurst

Very Walkable

Walk Score®

79

out of 100

Laurelhurst is the 23rd most walkable neighborhood in Portland.

Find Laurelhurst apartments on Walk Score

More About Laurelhurst

Learn more about the Laurelhurst 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 Laurelhurst neighborhood — use ”404 NE Glisan” or an address of your choice.

  • Neighborhood Association WebSite  The Laurelhurst Neighborhood Association.
  • Location  Just 9-10 minutes east of downtown. From downtown cross over the Willamette River on the Burnside Bridge and you’ll be heading east. When you arrive at 33rd Avenue look right or left and you’re in Laurelhurst. About a quarter of the Laurelhurst neighborhood is in southeast Portland and the rest in northeast Portland.
  • Boundaries of the Laurelhurst neighborhood Beginning at the intersection of SE 44th Avenue and Stark Street, then north along 44th Avenue to the Banfield Freeway (I-84), then generally westerly to NE 33rd Avenue, then southerly to NE 32nd Avenue and then continuing southerly to SE Stark Street, then east to NE 44th Avenue, the beginning point.
  • Map of Boundaries  Laurelhurst.
  • 2Drive Time to Downtown  11-12 minutes by car.
  • Topography  Flat and most homes have beautiful and mature trees. Parks are wooded.
  • Sidewalks and Streets  The street pattern is a combination of grid and winding streets. The neighborhood has sidewalks for walking.
  • Public Transportation  TriMet has six bus routes in Laurelhurst. The Northeast schedule and routes can be found at TriMet Website. There are three MAX light rail lines in Laurelhurst. 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  7.6% of the neighborhood residents used public transportation, 9% by bike, and 4.2% walk.
  • 3Census 2010 Demographics  Population: 4,633 people. Area in acres: 428. Average population density: 10 persons per acre. Number of households: 1,819. Average size of household: 2.55 persons. Median household income: $92,377. Families with children: 26.4%. Home owners: 90.8%. Renters: 9.2%. Diversity: 8.5% non-Caucasian. More census data about Laurelhurst at Portland Online and City Data.
  • 4Crime Stats  There were 129 property crimes  (assault, arson, burglary, larceny, robbery, theft from auto, vehicle theft) in 2014. There were five violent crimes (aggravated assault, homicide, robbery, rape) committed in 2014. There were 28 crimes per 1,000 residents in 2014. For the latest crime statistics and historical data for the Laurelhurst neighborhood, visit the Portland Police Bureau website.
  • 5Shopping and Services  Although shopping and services are lacking within the Laurelhurst neighborhood, you will find supermarkets and coffee shops just blocks from the boundaries of the neighborhood. a Whole Foods Market is located at 28th and East Burnside. The intersection of East Burnside and 28th has about 20 commercial establishments to include a movie theater, coffee shop, and 3-4 restaurants. East Burnside has changed dramatically over the last couple of years as many new retail outlets have opened. Laurelhurst Market at 3155 E. Burnside offers a full restaurant and butcher shop that serves sandwiches for lunch and a full menu for dinner.
  • Eating Out  Nothing in the heart of Laurelhurst but lots on the edges. It will require a drive of a few minutes or a short walk. The intersection of East Burnside and 28th has about 20 commercial establishments to include a movie theatre, coffee shop, and 3-4 restaurants. Another area for dining is on the north end of the neighborhood on NE Broadway but you will have to cross the I-84 freeway. Visit Willamette Weeks’ Restaurant Guide by Neighborhood for a list of eating places in Laurelhurst.
  • Public Library  The closest branch library of the Multnomah County Library system is the Belmont at 1038 SE 39th Avenue.
  • Who Lives in Laurelhurst  Professionals who chat across the fence with their neighborhoods. Do eastside residents take life at a slower pace than west side people? That seems to be the opinion of many. Former Oregon Governor Ted Kulongoski has a home in Laurelhurst. The median age is 42 according to Census 2010.
  • Autos in the Neighborhood  Irvington residents care more about their families and community than their cars so don’t expect to see many high-end luxury vehicles.
  • 6Biking  Quality is high. Laurelhurst has six miles of bike lanes.

Map of the Laurelhurst Neighborhood

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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. The One Year Median Sale Price Percent Change is based on a comparison of the rolling average sale price for the last 12 months with the 12 months before — this is an example for 2014:  (1/1/2014 – 12/31/2014) with 12 months before (1/1/2013 – 12/31/2015). The Five Year Median Sales Price Percent Change is calculated in the same way using a five-ear time span.
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 2000 and www.portlandmaps.com.
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. Crimes per 1,000 figures are based on reported incidents of violent crime as well as larceny, burglary, and vehicle theft. To view 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.