Guide to the Arlington Heights Neighborhood in Portland, Oregon
Arlington Heights is a neighborhood in Southwest Portland with some of the city’s most renowned parks such as the International Rose Test Garden, Japanese Garden, and Hoyt Arboretum. It has about 300 single-family homes and sits on the north edge of Washington Park. The homes in the neighborhood cover about a quarter of the park acreage and its population was 718 in the 2010 Census. It is bordered by the Hillside, Sylvan-Highlands, Southwest Hills and Goose Hollow neighborhoods.
View a map of the Arlington Heights neighborhood.
Arlington Heights, one of Portland’s most scenic neighborhoods, is just west of city center, giving residents easy access to the spectacular Portland International Rose Test Gardens and all of the Washington Park attractions. Many of the streets offer access to the ten miles of trails in the 183-acre Hoyt Arboretum. Walk to the Japanese Gardens as well as to the Oregon Zoo. Arlington Heights residents can walk to work (all downhill) and take the bus home. Some even ride their bike to work. If you’re up for it, you can hike down to one of the many restaurants on Northwest 21st and 23rd Avenues and enjoy an evening meal. You just have to remember the uphill walk home.
Arlington Heights is a veritable museum of architectural styles. Ranging from Victorian cottage to the latest contemporary dwellings, these homes are graced by lovely gardens and spectacular views. This is an old neighborhood with 60 percent of the homes built before 1939.
History of Arlington Heights: A Neighborhood in the Park
Arlington Heights is situated on the Tualatin mountain range. It was once part of a conifer forest, mainly composed of Western hemlock. The presence of broad-leafed deciduous trees, not to mention roads and houses, is evidence that the area has been disturbed within the last hundred years. The landscape is hilly, dissected, and fairly steep, yet not quite steep enough to be regarded as a mountain.
What was true of the hill on which Portland Heights is now located, as described by pioneer John Talbot’s daughter in a 1914 The Oregonian interview, almost certainly was true of Arlington Heights just to the north. When Portland became a city in 1851, the hill was “forest land, with cougar and panther waiting to drop down out of the dark firs.” By 1890, due to the “great wind of 1880 and the labors of Chinese logging gangs,” it was no longer a forest. Arlington Heights was logged of its conifers in the late 1890s and into the early 1900s.
Jane Hofmann, a resident of Arlington Heights for many years, wrote the history of the neighborhood in the late 70s. Click here to download the document.
Origin of the Name Arlington Heights
The derivation of the name Arlington Heights is not known for certain, but we can speculate. Arlington had previously been applied to an 1889 plat of a tract that’s now the site of the Westgate Office Complex at Sylvan. In 1905, that Arlington Heights was renamed Concord Heights. The Arlington Club’s present building in Goose Hollow was completed in 1910. In 1910, Dorr Keasey and his wife, Evalyn, purchased a large tract of land in present-day Arlington Heights, and they may have wished to avail themselves of the prestige that Arlington conveyed. A third possibility is that Keasey wanted to honor his wife’s Virginia family roots where a community by the name of Arlington is located just across the Potomac River from Washington DC.
The community was originally called Melina Heights. In about 1888 the King Real Estate Association platted an area from SW Tichner Drive to the tennis courts by the Rose Garden and from SW Wright Avenue to SW Champlain Drive. They named it Melinda Heights as Amos King’s wife was named Melina. Amos was the founder of the King Real Estate Association.
Schools in the Arlington Heights 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 Arlington Heights neighborhood.
- Public Schools in the Neighborhood Elementary schools: Chapman and Ainsworth. Middle school: East-West Sylvan. High school: Lincoln 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.
Reservoirs 3 and 4 are in a Historic District
Washington Park’s two reservoirs and its gatehouse were built in the late 1800s as major facilities of the water system that first provided Portland drinking water from the Bull Run Watershed. The structures were designated as a historic district in 2004. Mount Tabor Park also has reservoirs to supply the eastside neighborhoods with water and Reservoirs 1, 5 and 6 are in a separate historic district. The Washington Park 95 acre historic district has five buildings, four structures, and the two reservoirs which are known as Reservoir 3 and 4. The style of the structures is Romanesque.
Approaching the neighborhood by foot or from a motor vehicle from the east (SW Park Place), Reservoir 3 can be seen from the road or paths. The reservoir makes a striking impression as seen in the photo. There are stairs leading down to the reservoir and walkers are allowed to hike around the reservoir which is about a quarter-mile in length. A wrought iron fence was installed in 2008 which adds to the beauty of the reservoir.
After 9-11, the federal government wanted all open water sources to be covered or buried. Portland city officials went along with the proposal but the citizens of Portland mobilized and fought the idea − they wanted to keep the reservoirs open. The Water Bureau’s Washington Park Reservoir Improvements Project proposes to build a new below-ground reservoir in the same general footprint as the existing upper Reservoir 3, with a reflecting pool on top. The lower Reservoir 4 basin and the slope west of it are needed to provide landslide abatement; the slope will be restored to its pre-reservoir condition. Reservoir 4 will be disconnected from the public drinking water system and a lowland habitat area/bioswale, and a reflecting pool is also proposed in the Reservoir 4 basin. Work will primarily be within the Historic District.
For more information about the reservoirs, visit the Friends of the Reservoirs website.
Arlington Heights Home Styles
You will find Cottage, English, Tudors, and a few ranch homes that were built in the 50s and 60s. Stilt homes have been built on steep hills in the last 20-30 years. The neighborhood has some homes on the National Register of Historic Places. This is the list as of 2009:
- A.H. Maegly House at 226 SW Kingston Street. This is a Prairie style home.
- Abraham Tichner House at 114 SW Kingston Avenue. The architectural style of this home is Classical Revival.
- 2910 SW Canterbury Lane: Canterbury Castle (also known as the Arlington Castle) J.O. Frye was the architect of this home as well as the J.O. Frye House. The Castle was demolished in 2009 due to structural damages.
- 2959 SW Bennington Drive: Digman-Zidell House. The architectural style of this home is Mission/Spanish Revival.
- 2997 SW Fairview Boulevard: J.O. Frye House (also known as the Fariss House as well as the “Spider House” because of the leaded windows resembling a spider web).
- 337 SW Kingston Avenue: Matthew and Florence Lynch House and Garden. The architectural style is Colonial Revival.
From 1911-1919, only nineteen houses were built in the neighborhood. During the post-war boom years, 1920-1929, one hundred houses were built. The Depression caused a big drop in construction: only twenty-three houses were built from 1930-1939. Even today, new homes are being constructed on hillsides that in years past would have been too steep to build on, but modern technology allows for construction.
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:
Arlington Heights Demographics Below is some facts about the Arlington Heights 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 Arlington Heights by visiting the Portland Monthly’s website.
- Average year homes built in the neighborhood: 1961
- Percent of residents below poverty level: 5.3%
- Percent of neighborhood size with parks: 63%
- Live within a 1/2 mile of a park: 100%
- Commute by bike or walking: 12%
1Arlington Heights Home Prices: 2007-2015
- Number of Homes Sold in Arlington Heights—► 14 sold in 2015 and 7.1% were distressed property sales. 14 sold in 2014 and there were no distressed property sales. 21 sold in 2013 and there were no distressed sales. 17 homes sold in 2012 and 6% were distressed sales. 13 homes sold in 2011 and 8% were distressed sales. 19 homes sold in 2010 and 11% were distressed properties sales.
- Median Price for Homes Sold in Arlington Heights—► $629,875 in 2015. $629,875 in 2014, $790,413 in 2014, $665,000 in 2013, $490,000 in 2012, $650,000 in 2011, $630,000 in 2010, $655,000 in 2009, $694,900 in 2008, and $750,000 in 2007.
- Average Cost per Square Foot—► $261 in 2015, $243 in 2014.
- 1-Year Median Sales Price Change—► 2015 the change was -20%. 2014 the change was 11%. 2013 the change was 36%. 2012 the sales price change was -25%. 2011 the sales price change was 2%. 2010 the sales price change was -4%.
- 5-Year Median Sales Price Change in Arlington Heights—► 2011 to 2015 the sales price change was -3.1%. 2010 to 2014 the sales price change was 14%. 2009 to 2013 the sales price change was -4%. 2008 to 2012 the sales price change was -29%. 2007 to 2011 the sales price change was -15%. 2006 to 2010 the sales price change was -9%.
- 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 Arlington Heights
- Homes for Sale in the Arlington Heights Neighborhood — View on all devices except Apple® mobile devices. To view homes for sale in Arlington Heights on Apple® mobile devices key in “Arlington Heights” in the “Location” field and click on the “Search Now” icon.
- Displays Homes for Sale in the Arlington Heights Neighborhood — View on all devices. Photos of home displayed along with detailed description of the property
Homes for Sale in Arlington Heights
Parks and Gardens in the Neighborhood
Located just minutes west of downtown, Washington Park (130 acres) is one of the most used parks in Portland. The city purchased the original 40.78 acres in 1871 from Amos N. King for $32,624. Many people questioned the purchase given that the population of Portland at the time was only 8,000 and the site was thick with brush and timber, and cougars roamed the hills. The site was inaccessible until years later when logging and the installation of a cable car made the park accessible. Early in the 1900s, sentiment began to change, and Portland’s forefathers were heralded for their long-range vision.
A bronze statue of Sacajawea holding her son Jean-Baptiste is located near the east entrance to the park. In commemoration of the heroic Shoshone Indian woman who helped lead the Lewis and Clark explorers through the mountains of the west, the statue was unveiled on July 7, 1905, at the Lewis and Clark Centennial. Among those present at the event were Susan B. Anthony, Abigail Scott Duniway, and Eva Emery Dye. Hidden among the trees, the Coming of the White Man statue was completed in 1904. The bronze statue, sculpted by Hermon A. MacNeil and cast by Bureau Brothers Foundry in Los Angeles, features two Native Americans standing on a block of rough-hewn native stone. Facing eastward, they look down upon the route that ox teams trudged bringing settlers to this part of the country.
Entering the park’s east entrance via SW Park Place/SW Lewis-Clark Way are these two attractions:
- Reservoirs There are stairs leading down to Reservoir 3 and walkers are allowed to hike around the reservoir which is about a quarter-mile in length.
- Holocaust Memorial The memorial is the park newest attraction, and it was dedicated on August 29, 2004. The memorial features a stone bench adorned with wrought-iron gating, screened from the street by rhododendron bushes. The bench sits behind a circular, cobblestoned area simulating a town square.
These are the attractions all within the area of the International Rose Garden:
- International Rose Garden With over 10,000 rose plantings; the garden attracts a million visitors annually. Many come to the Rose Garden to walk among the roses, others to marry, and some just to have their wedding pictures taken after the ceremony. The Rose Garden offers a magnificent view point overlooking downtown Portland and Mt. Hood in the Cascade Range.
- Rose Garden Store Portland’s very own rose-themed specialty shop. To qualify to be in the shop, each piece of merchandise must “look like a rose, smell like a rose, taste like a rose, have a rose on it, hold a rose in it, or be for or about growing roses.”
- Children Playground The popular, accessible play area (sand boxes, swings, jungle jims, etc.) was built in 1995 by the Portland Rotary Club. It is located just around the corner from the International Rose Garden and on the original site of the Oregon Zoo.
- Train to the Zoo The Washington Park Run goes through the forests of Washington Park to a station above the International Rose Test Garden and back to the zoo. In the early 50s, hundreds of volunteers built five miles of track and kids bought zoo-railway shares for a dollar each and copies of the book, Clickety Clack and the Bandits. Watch a video of the train ride.
- Japanese Garden At the heart of a Japanese garden is harmony with nature. These peaceful spots in the Garden lend themselves to meditation and contemplation. The 5.5 acre Japanese Garden is composed of five distinct garden styles. View a video of the garden by clicking here.
These are found all within a few blocks of each other and located on the far west side of Washington Park:
- Oregon Zoo The Zoo celebrated its 100th birthday in 1987. Packy put Portland on the map in 1962 when he made international news for being the first elephant born in the Western Hemisphere in over 44 years.
- Portland Children Museum The mission of Portland Children’s Museum is to inspire imagination, creativity, and the wonder of learning in children and adults by inviting moments of shared discovery. The Museum is now the sixth oldest children’s museum in the country, and each year the Museum welcomes more than 245,000 children from birth to age ten and their caregivers.
- Forestry Discovery Center Founded in 1964, the World Forestry Center’s mission is to educate and inform people about the world’s forests and trees, and their importance to all life, to promote a balanced and sustainable future.
- Vietnam Memorial The curved black granite wall lists the names of all Oregon residents who died in Vietnam or who are missing in action. The wall also chronicles three years of the conflict and concurrent local events, providing a poignant contrast.
Hoyt Arboretum lies on the west side of the Arlington Heights neighborhood. The 232-acre wooded site possesses the largest group of distinct species of any arboretum in the U.S. Its plant collection contains 10,000 individual trees and shrubs, representing nearly 1,000 different species from around the world. The Arboretum is a favorite place for hikers and runners with its ten miles of trails. The Wildwood Trail is part of the 40-Mile Loop and passes through Hoyt Arboretum. The Wildwood leads into Forest Park on the north side and the Council Crest Trail by the Oregon Zoo. Go to Forest Park Conservancy for Forest Park trail information.
The park also includes an archery range, soccer field, amphitheater, tennis courts, picnic sites, and restrooms. During the summer months, TriMet, the regional public transportation organization, operates a shuttle bus that circles through the park. Click here to view a map of the park.
Arlington Heights has 323 acres of park land and open spaces according to Metro and the Portland Department of Parks and Recreation.
Zoobombers and Skate Boarders
On children’s bikes that have been customized − banana seats, swooping handle bars, mini-wheels − “Zoobombers” whoosh down SW Fairview Boulevard from the Oregon Zoo and into the Arlington Heights neighborhood. The skate boarders often take side streets off of SW Fairview Boulevard for a more thrilling ride. After passing through the neighborhood, they enter the Goose Hollow neighborhood where they catch a ride on the MAX Light Rail line back to the zoo and repeat their performance. It’s downhill all the way from the Zoo to the Goose Hollow MAX stop − a drop of about 500 feet or so in a two-mile run.
The Zoobombers’ make their most frequent appearance on Sunday evenings − skate boarders are out at all times of the day and evening. Arlington Heights residents are divided about the disturbance and safety issues along with the entertainment that the Zoobombers and boarders create; many are disturbed by the noise (skates making contact with the road and Zoobombers shouting out their rallying cry, “Zoobomb”) especially those that live along the route the bombers and boarders use. Whether it’s working with TriMet to extend their Washington Park MAX stop hours, or sitting down with the Police to share concerns and work through issues, Zoobomb has worked hard to become a recognized and respected Portland tradition and most concerns with the Zoobombers appear to have been resolved. It’s a different story with the skate boarders. You can catch a video of the bombers.
The Arlington Heights Neighborhood Association in late 2011 tackled the problem by arranging meetings with the police, reps from the skaters, and board members to resolve the issue. One of the main concerns for Arlington Heights residents is the safety issue as skaters often appear out of’ ‘nowhere’ when the residents are driving in the neighborhood.
The Arlington Heights Yahoo Discussion Board reported some positive developments on the skateboard front in July 2012.
- The city posted signs, one at Knights & Fairview and the other on Madison Drive, by the reservoirs, asking skaters to skate more responsibly and quietly. The plan is to install two more: one at the Goose Hollow Max Station and one in the elevator at the Washington Park Max Station.
- The city distributed brochures to several skate shops that attempt to deliver a similar message.
- Some of the skaters we’ve been meeting with have started to organize a group of “Hill Monitors”, skaters who will wear orange vests and attempt to engage other skaters in the neighborhood about skating responsibly.
- The police have promised to mount a couple of targeted enforcement efforts in the coming weeks, to cite skaters for traffic violations. Unfortunately, under current law, the maximum fine for a skater is $25, while fines for similar violations by bikes or cars are $260. Still, it’s a start.
- Some of the skaters have put up a website aimed at educating skaters about responsible skating. Watch the “Safety Huey” video, which sends a very positive message and appears to be getting wide circulation already.
The City Council passed a rule in September 2012 prohibiting skateboarding on certain streets from 10 p.m. until 7 a.m. Other regulations for skateboarders throughout the city include skateboarders younger than 16 are required to wear helmets, everyone must use lights at night, and being caught blowing a stop sign costs $260.
Walking in Arlington Heights
Hoyt Arboretum with 10 miles of walking trails is in the middle of the neighborhood, and most residents can be on the trails within 1-3 blocks of their homes. Walkers also find many exciting opportunities to get off the concrete and blacktop and pursue walking on more natural and yielding surfaces, such as sand, grass, gravel, snow, and mud. The Wildwood Trail in Hoyt Arboretum (also in Forest Park) boasts some of the finest mud around for a few months of the year before turning to hard-packed dirt, making for some amazing and ever-changing walking terrain. Click here for a trail map. Other neighborhood walks include:
- Reservoir 3 is located in the quiet, scenic hills of Washington Park. Enjoy a quarter-mile walk around this tranquil resource.
- Come early April; you will want to catch the first Magnolias in bloom. Click here to download the guide.
- Laura Foster’s Portland Hill Walks book is available from Timber Press here in Portland. The book has a walk through the streets of Arlington Heights.
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 Arlington Heights neighborhood is 27, the Transit Score is 53, and the Bike Score is 35.
Rose Garden Wedding
During the summer many weddings take place in the International Rose Garden.
More About Arlington Heights i
Learn more about Eastmoreland by visiting Portland Maps. The ste provides you with a list of businesses, demographic data, crime stats, parks, schools, aerial photos, maps, elevation, hazards, and more. All you need is an address so use “611 SW Kingston Avenue” or an address of your choice.
- Neighborhood Association Website Click here to access the Arlington Heights neighborhood website. They also have a Yahoo Discussion Group. Join the group by sending an email to Yahoo Discussion Group.
- Location of Neighborhood West of downtown – it takes about 5-6 minutes to cross I-405 and be downtown. A five-minute drive to be in the Northwest shopping area.
- Boundaries of Arlington Heights To the north, West Burnside; to the east and south, the outer boundaries of Washington Park; and to the west the outer boundaries of Hoyt Arboretum.
- Map of Arlington Heights Boundaries Arlington Heights.
- 2Drive Time to Downtown 7-9 minutes. Some residents bike to work downtown and take the bus home to avoid the 500 plus foot climb.
- Topography Moderate to steep hills and winding streets. Mature trees and woods.
- Street and Sidewalks All the side streets are narrow and many cars park partially on the sidewalks. Most of the streets have sidewalks although the walks are narrow on the side streets.
- Livability Study 96.4% of Arlington Heights residents rated their neighborhood “good” or “very good.” See Livability Study.
- Public Transportation Arlington has seven public transportation lines. Bus route 63 connects downtown with Washington Park and Arlington Heights, and there are four other lines all on the perimeter (i.e., West Burnside) of the community. A MAX light rail has a stop at the Oregon Zoo which is considered part of the Arlington Heights neighborhood. Residents living on the west side of the neighborhood can walk over to the MAX light rail stop at the Oregon Zoo and catch a ride to work. 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 6.6% of the neighborhood residents commute using public transportation, 6% bike and 5.9% walk.
- 3Census 2010 Demographics Population: 718. Area in acres: 576. Average population density: One person per acre (includes vacant spaces). Number of households: 307. Average size of household: 2.34. Median household income: $114,325. Homeowners: 74%. Renters: 5%. Diversity: 10.0% non-Caucasian. More census data about Arlington Heights at Portland Online and City Data.
- 4Crime Stats There were 118 property crimes (assault, arson, burglary, larceny, robbery, theft from auto, vehicle theft) in 2014. There were two violent crimes (aggravated assault, homicide, robbery, rape) committed in 2014. There were 125 crimes per 1,000 residents in 2014. For the latest crime statistics and historical data for the Arlington Heights 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 an “Enter Search Criteria” page. Insert a zip code in the “Zip” field and click on the “Query” button. Arlington Heights zip code: 97205.
- 5Shopping and Services The only retail establishments are the Rose Garden gift shop, Hoyt Arboretum gift shop, and the Japanese Garden gift shop. If residents want to shop, it means getting into your car and driving a few minutes to the Northwest District or downtown. Or you can do what 80 plus-year-old Arlington Heights resident Annie does. She walks down to Trader Joe’s or Fred Meyer, does her shopping and takes the number 63 bus back home.
- Eating Out Its means getting into the family car and driving a few minutes to the Northwest District or downtown. If you’re a walker, you can make it down to the Northwest District with over ten restaurants, but it will take much longer to walk back as an elevation gain of 300 – 500 feet.
- Public Library You have to go downtown to the Multnomah County Central Library or the Northwest District branch located at 2300 NW Thurman Street. Both are an 8-9 minute drive.
- Who Lives in Arlington Heights Married couples in their 30s and upward, couples with teenage children, about 20 percent of the households have children under 18. Median age is 46.
- Cars in the Neighborhood View homes will have a luxury sedan such as an Audi, BMW, Mercedes, or Volvo. I counted nine Toyota hybrids driving through the neighborhood one day.
- 6Biking Quality is rated low. Arlington Heights has 1.3 miles of bike lanes.