Montavilla Neighborhood

photo tour of lents
Montavilla Neighborhood Portland was in the top 10 most popular neighborhoods in the country in October 2017, according to The Lonely Planet survey! That is amazing! Montavilla Neighborhood has been getting more and more popular every year, but to be in the top best neighborhoods in the country? Wow! Montavilla Neighborhood lays across both SE and NE Portland, and goes behind Mt Tabor; so it includes the east Tabor area, the Stark Street shops and restaurants and farmers markets, as well as the back of Mt Tabor! The street boundaries are 84 to the north, 205 to the east, Division to the south, and then it follows 76th along behind Mt Tabor goes west on Burnside, and then follows 68th to meet 84.
Montavilla Neighborhood has lots to offer. It is an older historic little town, with it’s own community center, little town area, farmers market and has tree lined streets with cute little bungalows and gardens. Plus it is right by Mt Tabor Park, which is a volcanic Butte with trails, views, parks and a forest. You can read more about Mt Tabor below in our park section. It also has good public transportation, the Max isn’t too far, buses go down Burnside, 82nd, Glisan, and there are sidewalks and bike paths! The community center at Montavilla Neighborhood has lots of classes for all ages, (you can read more about it below), the Farmers Market is amazing, and the community is really pulling together. It shows!
Stark St has become a hot little business district in the past few years, offering awesome restaurants, bars, cafes, shops and entertainment. It is just behind Mt Tabor. There is also a big farmers market that people love.

Parks in Montavilla Neighborhood

The community Center has alot of classes and fun things to do for families. They have an indoor basketball court, community center, gymnasium, reservable kitchen, meeting room and party room, a preschool program, and wireless Internet access. They offer all kinds of classes including art, baby mother gym classes, dance classes, basketball (for under 4), weight lifting, music, weight lifting and all kinds of cool classes. There is a class brochure on their website.

History of Montavilla Neighborhood

In 1889, Montavilla was an unnamed tract of land located in East Portland and known for being a rural farming community. Its 1,209 acres were located between Rocky Butte and Mt. Scott and were used mainly for farming and orchards.
Fire engine montavilla historyThe name Montavilla, actually a contraction of the name Mt. Tabor Villa Addition, was platted in 1889 according to Multnomah County records. Mt Tabor Villa was a cumbersome name to repeat and Montavilla became the accepted popular substitution. Villa is a Latin word meaning “county seat” or “farm buildings”. The contraction Mon-ta-villa became so popular that by 1905, numerous newly platted areas used Montavilla as part of their formal land title applications.
In addition to these large farm sites, a small business district montavilla shopshad developed near the landmark survey marker P.5 or mile post 5 – located five miles outside of the city center near the intersection of SE 78th Avenue and Stark Street. The marker had been erected in 1854 on Baseline Road (Stark St) where it served as a mileage post for visitors coming in and out of Portland.
The Montavilla community changed in the mid-1880’s when local farmers sold off portions of their Donation Land Claims to land speculators. Speculators purchased parcels of land, platted it out into subdivisions following the rural roads grid pattern already established by the boundaries of the Donation Land Claims. Visionary speculators also picked out street names and potential home sites in subdivisions that used country names in their land titles. The growth was so rapid that by 1891, Montavilla had its own post office. The majority of this growth would radiate outward from that initial business district (near SE 82nd and Stark Street, P. 5 marker) and include numerous residential subdivisions that developed after 1889.
montavilla street carBy 1890, Montavilla Neighborhood had grown enough to boast of “three grocery stores, a couple of meat markets, a livery stable, a privately owned bank and two blacksmith shops”. Capitalists who had invested in real estate speculation and in the proposed Portland and Fairview Railway Company were eager to advertise and market the district so as to recoup their initial financial investment. Lots were advertised as being for sale for $100 down with $5 down and payments of $5 a month.
Montavilla Neighborhood celebrated its 100 year birthday in 1989. Within themontavilla streets historical last 30 years, Montavilla has continued to flourish with activity and development. The busy thoroughfares of Stark, 82nd, Glisan and Burnside bring literally thousands of commuters daily throughout the neighborhood commuting to jobs throughout Portland and contribute to a thriving neighborhood community.
History of Montavilla Community Center: This neighborhood has always cared alot about community spirit and involvement. Way back in the 1920s, the original community center was built and it had a gymnasium and the outdoor pool. When the pool was open during the summer, the gym was divided down the middle with floor-to-ceiling wood walls and used as locker rooms. Over the years, several improvements and expansions were made to the original building. A 1950 tax levy provided money to build a combination room that was used as a dressing room in the summer and for social activities during the winter. A 1992 renovation added permanent preschool and gymnastics rooms. In 1998, another classroom was added, the multi-purpose room was upgraded, the parking lot was doubled, and new equipment was added to the outdoor playground. On a new gymnasium was dedicated.

Eats and Sips

Montavilla has an amazing farmers market that brings the community together

Of all different types of homes, including older Craftsman, Bungalow, Old PDX, mid century, daylights, split levels and new! Many of the lots were originally large, and were split up and sold for new houses over the years, so there is a real conglomeration! The area almost feels like you are in the suburbs, but you are in the Inner City of Portland!
This is a wonderful neighborhood of older Portland homes and old growth trees lining many of the streets. The Montavilla Farmers Market is not to be missed. This farmers market is is amazing and adds alot to the community, as a hub during the months it is open. The shops and restaurants along Stark behind Mt Tabor are trendy and cute, and it brings the community together. The neighborhood half way encircles Mt Tabor, which has lots of hiking trails, biking trails, parks, lookouts and other activities. Mt Tabor is an active volcano in the city of Portland.
Hungry Heart Bakery has delicious cupcakes and pastries.
Cold as Ice has amazing ice cream
The Bipartisan Café, has really good homemade pies made from scratch like grandma, handcrafted coffee beverages, all kinds of teas and soups!
The Country Cat has home made made from scratch food made by husband and wife team. Here is what they say: have created a menu that reflects the ever-changing culinary landscape of American heritage cuisine, featuring classic dishes from Adam’s Midwest country upbringing recreated with Northwest style and ingredients. Their dedication to seasonality means a majority of their produce is hand-picked from the local farmer’s market. Adam, a James Beard Award nominee the past three years, is arguably Portland’s top chef/butcher composing a variety of rotating dishes to highlight every part of the animals he breaks down weekly in his back kitchen. Jackie is a talented pastry chef creating nostalgic delights filled with sophisticated flavors made from the Northwest’s seasonal bounty.

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.