Buckman Neighborhood is an eclectic, quirky, neighborhood close to the Hawthorne District-really close in to downtown, a mix of huge gorgeous old Portland homes, Craftsmans, Victorian, Bungalows, and……some restored and some unrestored!
There are also duplexes, condos, shops, restaurants, boutiques, cafes and as you head towards the river, you run into industrial and local businesses. Buckman Neighborhood is quite a mix! You can look down almost any street and see downtown and the west hills rising above it. You are right in the heart of things- In fact just walk across the Burnside Bridge, and you are in the Alphabet District and Pearl, walk across the Hawthorne Bridge and you are right into the main downtown area! Head toward the river, jump on the Esplanade, and head either direction- it will hook you into the Springwater Trail, or take you across one of the bridges into downtown and Waterfront Park.
Burnside and the Kerns neighborhood is the official boundary to the north, The Willamette river and Esplanade to the west, SE 28th and Sunnyside Neighborhood to east, and Hawthorne Blvd and Ladds Addition to the south. The Hawthorne Belmont area is just to the SE-one of the most popular and colorful areas of Portland- with Grand Central Bakery, Powells Book Store being 2 of my favorites! If you head just a little to the south along 20th, you will run into Ladds Addition– a neighborhood of angled streets, roundabout rose gardens, charming historic homes of all sizes and tree lined streets. River City bicycles is an awesome bike store with all kinds of different bikes- they let you take the bikes for a test drive either upstairs on their ramp, or outside in the parking lot! I bought my bike there! There is also an amazing gluten free bakery called New Cascadia, that has scrumptious bread and food! They deliver to New Seasons and Whole foods every day for fresh gluten free baked goods.
If you take Sandy Blvd to the north, it takes you right into Hollywood- with it’s theaters and shops, restaurants and even a new Whole Foods. So you really are right in the center of things. No matter which way you go, you will hit interesting things- you will be able to walk or ride your bike everywhere-or jump on a bus!
Parks in Buckman Neighborhood
The Central Eastside Industrial District has always been an important part of Buckman Neighborhood. In 2006, it became an urban renewal district. This helped give funds so that the neighborhood could restore it’s homes, streets and other things. They also built the Vera Katz [esplenade], the first trolley on the east side of the river in sixty years and Buckman Community Garden, Buckman Field Park and Buckman Indoor Pool, along with many improvements to the industrial area.
History of Buckman Neighborhood
The East Side was involved in the settlement of Portland from its beginning. James B. Stephens arrived in the mid-1840s and settled on the east bank. In 1850 he received title to a 640 acre donation land claim that included much of what was to become the City of East Portland. The settlement grew and, with the arrival of the railroad, it became a city in 1870. A major facility for the treatment of the mentally ill and destitute was built in 1868 by the Dr. J. C. Hawthorne. The nearby east-west street was named Asylum Avenue and later was renamed Hawthorne Boulevard in honor of this civic leader. The Lewis and Clark Exposition in 1905 put Portland on the national map and led to a large increase in population that expanded in the east side.
Zoning came to Portland in the 1920s and began with only four zones for: homes, apartments, businesses, and industries. The residential area in Buckman began at SE 7th Ave. and over time, became zoned for apartments. World War II brought an influx of shipyard workers that caused a shortage of housing and many large older homes were subdivided into rooming houses leading to their misuse and deterioration. The area from SE 7th to 12th Avenues contained many nineteenth century Victorian homes that became victims of the expansion of the industrial district.
The automobile was replacing the trolleys and traffic and congestion led to the widening of east-west arterial streets. In the post war period, Buckman was in decline and the neighborhood became one of the depressed areas of inner Portland. There was a lack of investment which encouraged speculative interests to acquire properties east of SE 12th Ave. with the expectation of further commercial expansion.
In the mid 1960s, the Johnson Administration initiated the Great Society Program and the War on Poverty. One of the requirements of these federal programs was the involvement of low income residents in decisions about growth and change in their neighborhoods. The Portland Development Commission created SE Uplift to provide help with the rehabilitation and assistance. This led to the revival of the inner SE neighborhoods as greater interest developed in the area.
Planning was a vital part of the work, and it took the Buckman area several years to finally get funding for its neighborhood plan and the Buckman Community Association was created in 1971.
(taken from article written by By Don MacGillivray of the SE Examiner)
Other Important Links
The MAX and buses make public transportation really good!
You can find all kinds of [pmaps] 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.