Mississippi is the common name that Portlanders use for this neighborhood- but Boise is the official name, spilling north into Humboldt and south a little bit into Elliot. The Boise neighborhood is one of the hottest neighborhoods in Portland right now- with trendy shops, cafes and eateries, plus an area of Food Carts. There are also lots of really cool old houses- some gorgeous! And it’s just a few blocks to the MAX on Interstate! The boundaries are not exact, but I would say from I-5 on the west, Williams to the east, Alberta to the north and Fremont to the south. There are some cool food carts in this neighborhood too. Plus the neighborhood is just a few blocks from the MAX Train on Interstate- there is a footbridge that goes over I-5 to Interstate and the stop is right there!
Boise neighborhood is still coming up- Lots of the houses have already been restored, and more are being fixed up all the time. People who know about this area, seem to like the business district and shops as much as they like Hawthorne or Sellwood– it is just not as well known.
Above is a collage showing some of the features of Mississippi- all the cool shops, the Victorian homes, the down to earth-back to nature feeling with the chickens….It is a unique, creative neighborhood full of vibrance and life! Lots of unique, quality, hip shops- none of the fast food or big corporate businesses!
Parks in Boise Neighborhood
Denorval Unthank Park is a 4.5 park in the heart of the Boise Neighborhood. Facilities include a softball field, soccer field, basketball court, and playground- and there is a 2 mile walking trail that starts at the Overlook, and goes across a footbridge along Failing, connecting all the Mississippi shops to the Overlook Neighborhood, the MAX and Interstate!
There is also a Community Garden- The Boise Eliot Community Garden– on 318 N Fremont.
History of Boise Neighborhood
Mississippi- Boise Neighborhood was settled in the mid 1800’s by shipworkers – it was a thriving community- with a downtown business area, public transportation and families! It became home to blacks that were wiped out in the huge flood in 1948- This is a sad story: In the 1940’s, the city built VanPort, which was built on a flood plane to house shipworkers – now called Delta Park. 100,000 people had moved into the area- with nowhere to live. Portland had a policy that kept blacks confined to the small Albina neighborhood- but with the great influx of all these people, 6000 of them black- they had to figure out what to do with them. VanPort was the first area in Portland for integrated living. With 40,000 people pressed together in thin-walled buildings, some working days and others at night, noise was constant. Because both mothers and fathers worked, children were often left unattended. And thanks to the Northwest weather and the project’s location, mud was everywhere. For many, though, the biggest adjustment was living beside people different from themselves.
It seemed to be working ok, until 1948, when there was a horrible flood. The little city was wiped out, the blacks had nowhere to go, so moved into the Albina-Mississippi area. Later, when Interstate 5 was built right through the neighborhood, it went downhill even farther- so that in the late 80’s it was full of drugs, gangs, street crime, prostitution, abandoned houses — all the elements of urban decay To learn more about the flood and what happened.
In the 1990’s, the city started the revitalization project with the Mississippi Historic District Target Area implemented so they could improve public safety, upgrade housing and attract businesses. They offered home improvement loans, the PDC offers the 20% Down payment Assistance Program, they built the MAX Train line and gave loans to businesses. It is amazing how much and how quickly this area has changed! And it is still getting better and growing!
Other Important Links
- There are now more than 40 businesses in the Mississippi.
- Boise Elliot is really 2 different neighborhoods in one with 2 Neighborhood Associations – Eliot and Boise
- The MAX and buses make public transportation really good- and it’s free!
The MAX and buses make public transportation really good!
Schools In Portland- people are permitted to send their children to whatever school they want within the Portland School District, as long as there is room. If the school is important to you, it is probably a good idea to check and see which school your neighborhood is assigned to- because it seems logical that the best schools will have a waiting list- and if you live there, you will be at the top! Find your school attendance area or a school site and view the boundary area using School Locator Page for: Portland Public Schools
Read how to use the interactive map by clicking on the (Information) icon (circle with an i in the center).
School Report Cards for schools and districts in Oregon. Select (Portland SD 1J) In the District Selection Heading to view individual schools within the Portland Public School District.
You can find all kinds of All kinds of information about crime, maps, etc, Portlandmaps.com even exactly what happened where, if you just put in an address in Portland. There are lots of other things you can learn there- like census information, maps, school info, parks, environmental issues, permits on houses, nuisance complaints and taxes.