Woodlawn is a great, old neighborhood finally coming into it's own. Woodlawn neighborhood is the oldest settled area in the old Albina area -- now referred to as the Woodlawn Historic District. Initially settled in the 1860's as a rural farming village, it was the only independent town that existed outside the city of Albina (now Portland). Woodlawn's character changed dramatically in 1888 when the railroad running from Portland to Vancouver located a train station in the center of the village. This connection to a larger market stimulated commercial and residential development. The commercial uses centered around the train station with homes development surrounding the city center. The train depot was located at the intersection of today's Durham and Dekum avenues and the station's waiting room was built in the middle of a triangular park which is still present today.
Woodlawn is a commonly overlooked neighborhood as it seems somewhat tucked away. Bordering industrial north and northeast Portland, Woodlawn really is a little gem of a neighborhood which is being slowly but surely built into a wonderful family oriented neighborhood. New businesses have popped up in the last few years such as: Buffalo Gardens, Woodlawn Coffee and Pastry and Breakside Brewery are local hangouts and area favorites. Others like the Good Neighbor Pizzeria shop and The Firehouse, are well known staples having weathered the early dormant years. The Firehouse is a must-visit restaurant, well known for their excellent wood-fired pizzas and amazing locally sourced dishes served in a beautiful and unique dining setting.
The Firehouse in Woodlawn
Woodlawn Street Art
The Woodlawn Coffee and Pastry
Woodlawn's Breakside Brewery
Woodlawn's Good Neighbor Pizza
Woodlawn School is connected to the Community Garden which is connected
to Woodlawn Park -which is complete with a fun water feature and big basketball
court- making for a huge neighborhood gathering area. Nearly all the
businesses in Woodlawn are locally owned.
Atop the bluff, Woodlawn is mostly residential, with Queen Annes, Craftsman bungalows, and an influx of modern infill housing and condos. Some of those homes are occupied by families who have lived in Woodlawn for six generations. In the 40's and 50's many ranch and smaller homes were built throughout the neighborhood to house the working class residents and evacuees of the Vanport Flood. Many of the Vanport people had worked in the shipyards during WW2.
Woodlawn is a very desirable neighborhood with the Woodlawn Park as a centerpiece. Art and culture are eagerly supported here, and overflow crowds attend the productions of Trek in the Park each summer. Woodlawn in the 21st century has fascinating businesses and unique landmarks. In recent years there’s been a revitalization of businesses along Dekum, as envisioned in the 1993 Woodlawn Plan. We have exquisite pastry and coffee houses, fabulous restaurants, a brewpub, and a public benefit pub, a movement studio and a massage studio, a resale shop, a bicycle repair shop, ceramic studios, plant nurseries and many other fascinating businesses. The newest addition to the commercial triangle is a LEED Platinum remodel of a historic building housing a company that makes high quality, locally sourced, organic foods for local businesses. Light and heavy industrial businesses flank the current train route, as do a variety of businesses that need space, such as plant nurseries.
A special thanks to locals Ayleen Crotty and Anjala Ehelebe who contributed this Woodlawn neighborhood profile.
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