Guide to the Hillsdale Neighborhood in Portland, Oregon

Hillsdale Public Library

The Hillsdale neighborhood is in Southwest Portland. Hillsdale borders these neighborhoods: Southwest Hills, Healy Heights, and Homestead on the north, South Portland on the east, South Burlingame and Multnomah on the south, and Hayhurst and Bridlemile on the west.

View a map of the Hillsdale neighborhood.

Travel down I-5 south for 3.5 miles from downtown and the area off to the west is Hillsdale. 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. 

Capitol Highway, running east-west through the center of the neighborhood, is also its “main street”—a congested automobile marketplace both dividing and uniting the neighborhood. Close by is Wilson High School, located on a dominant hilltop. It is a focus of community pride where one can grasp Hillsdale’s distinct neighborhood districts.

Located in 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 includes a bakery, bank, cleaners, clothing, ice cream, laundromat, liquor store, pharmacy, pet wash, post office, veterinary, and video store. Restaurants include a number of 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 Hillsdale Farmers’ Market is a year-round farmers market. 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.

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.

Here are some websites to visit to learn more about Hillsdale:

History

hillsdalesignIn 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.

Schools in the Hillsdale 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).

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.

Spreading downhill from the high school is Wilson Park—Portland’s land of the split-level ranch with the city’s highest concentrations of these multilevel versions of the classic horizontal ranch house.

To the uninitiated, Wilson Park’s houses may all look the same but there are actually several distinct versions of the American ranch.

  • Split-level (ranch): Two of the most popular types of the “classic” split-level are the split-level house and the split-entry house. To distinguish between these two basic types, remember that from the street, the classic split-level shows three separate floor levels, containing the three zones of the basic ranch house (garage, living rooms, and bedrooms).
  • Split-entry (ranch): The split-entry or two-story ranch house, on the other hand, is basically a standard two-story house with the major living rooms on the second floor, but with a front door (or entranceway) that is often dramatically separated, or “split,” in between the first and second floors. In Wilson Park, this front door is often simply placed on the second floor level with a tall stair entry.

Finding a home that needs 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.

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 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: 

Hillsdale Demographics  Below is some facts about the Hillsdale 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 Hillsdale by visiting the Portland Monthly’s website.

  • Average year homes built in the neighborhood:  1961
  • Percent of residents below poverty level:  10.5%
  • Percent of neighborhood size with parks:  6%
  • Percent of resident that live within a 1/2 mile of a park:  85%
  • .Commute by bike or walking:  8.6%

1Hillsdale Home Prices:  2007-2015

  • Number of Homes Sold in Hillsdale—►  157 homes were sold and 3.2% were distress sales. 143 homes were sold in 2014 and 3% were distressed property sales. 145 homes were sold in 2013 and 4% were distressed sales. 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—► $500,00 in 2015, $399,900 in 2014, $395,500 in 2013, $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.
  • Average Cost per Square Foot—►  $209 in 2015, $195 in 2014.
  • 1-Year Median Sales Price Change in Hillsdale—► 25% in 2015. 2014 the change was 1%. 2013 the change was 8%. 2012 the change was 9%. 2011 the change was 3%. 2010 the change was -5%.
  • 5-Year Median Sales Price Change in Hillsdale—►  48.7% change for the years 2011-2015. 2010 to 2014 the change was 1%. 2009 to 2013 the change was 0%. 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—► $308,000 in 2015, $288,500 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, $320,600 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 Hillsdale Neighborhood

Homes for Sale in Hillsdale

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 parkland and open spaces according to Metro and the Portland Department of Parks and Recreation.

Walking in Hillsdale

The 4-mile Hillsdale to Riverwalk 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 the 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 is 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 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 Hillsdale neighborhood is 52, the Transit Score is 45, and the Bike Score is 59.

Hillsdale

Somewhat Walkable

Walk Score®

52

out of 100

Hillsdale is the 56th most walkable neighborhood in Portland.

Find Hillsdale apartments on Walk Score

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 website was created by cycling enthusiasts volunteering their time, with support from Metro.

Here’s a video about biking in Portland.

More About Hillsdale

Learn more about Hillsdale neighborhood by visiting Portland Maps. The site provides a list of businesses, demographic data, crime stats, parks, schools, aerial photos, maps, elevation, and more for the Hillsdale neighborhood. All you need is a property address — use “1615 SW Canby Street” or an address of your choice.

  • Neighborhood Association  Website  Hillsdale. The SW Capitol Road neighborhood is on Facebook.
  • Neighborhood News  The Hillsdale News is a non-profit organization.
  • Hillsdale Boundaries  West: Dosch Road and SW 30th Avenue. South: Vermont Street to Bertha Blvd. and to Barbur Blvd. East: Slavin Road and Barbur Blvd. North: Sunset Blvd. to the base of the West Hills.
  • Map of Boundaries  Hillsdale.
  • 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 limitedƒ.
  • Public Transportation  TriMet has 16 bus routes in the neighborhood most of which are Express Routes on I-5 (east boundary of the 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.
  • Commuting   10.2% of the neighborhood residents commute  using public transportation, 2.2% bike, and 6.4% walk.
  • 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 homeowners: 63. Percent of renters: 37. Diversity: 10.7% non-Caucasian. More census data about Hillsdale at Portland Online and City Data.
  • 4Crime Stats  There were 105 property crimes  (assault, arson, burglary, larceny, robbery, theft from auto, vehicle theft) in 2014. There were four violent crimes (aggravated assault, homicide, robbery, rape) committed in 2014. There were 13 crimes per 1,000 residents in 2014. For the latest crime statistics and historical data for the Hillsdale neighborhood, visit the Portland Police Bureau website.
  • 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 “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 has an interesting decor (once a train depot and then coffee shop with a cigar store) with old-fashioned fixtures and outdoor seating and 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  Hillsdale has 8.6 miles of bike lanes.

Map of Hillsdale 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-year 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 2010 and www.portlandmaps.com.
4
Crime 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. 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.