Arlington Heights is up in the hills just west out of Portland tucked into the lush greenery of Forest Park and close to Washington Park, some parts of it walkable to downtown through Washington Park or down stairs and trails that connect the hills with the city! The houses up here are mostly very expensive, some over a million dollars, some with breathtaking sweeping views of the city, some on stilts, some historic and some are new! It is bordered by the Northwest Heights, Sylvan Highlands, Hillside,Northwest District and Goose Hollow neighborhoods, with the boundaries being E
Burnside to the north, SW Fairview to the south, SW Wright to the east and the west border is hard to determine! So it is the closest real residential area to downtown NW Portland-just 5 minutes or less. You can actually walk or easily ride your bike to the downtown area, Washington Park, and NW 23rd- and a lot of people do. You can then take a bus back- the hills are pretty steep. The roads are windy and hilly- many of the houses have awesome veiws of either the city and mountains, the forest the Cascade mountains- Mt St Helens or Mt Hood, or the west valleys and hills.
This neighborhood is really the closest neighborhood to being the home of Washington Park- a gorgeous, huge park that has the Oregon Zoo, Hoyt Arboretum, Rose Garden, Children’s Museum, Forestry Center, the Japanese Garden, the Holocost Memorial, and miles and miles of trails. The streets are narrow and quaint in this area and wind in and around Washington Park, so a lot of the houses are right on the edge of it. Miles and miles of trails traverse the SW hills, all through Forest Park, Washington Park and into the downtown through neighborhoods. Some of the neighborhoods are streets that feel like they are right in the park itself. It is amazing to drive around these streets and see the gorgeous homes, mostly historical.
There averages only 6 people per acre in this neighborhood, and the area of the neighborhood is just over 100 acres. Arlington Heights has all kinds of architectural styles-from the Victorian cottage, the English style, the Craftsman, to the latest modern styles, most of the homes have large lots, beautiful gardens and spectacular views. This is an older neighborhood- 60 percent of the homes were built before 1939! The homes prices go well over 1,300,000!
This neighborhood has outstanding schools-
Elementary schools: Chapman and Ainsworth
Middle school: East-West Sylvan
High school: Lincoln High School
This is us on the Magnolia Trail at the Hoyt Arboretum. We hike here all the time because there are so many beautiful trails, each with a different species of tree, e.g. Birch, Dogwood, Cedar. We choose the trail depending on the time of year. Magnolia is my favorite though!
Washington Park is absolutely my favorite park in the city. It has a wonderful zoo, an Arboretum, Rose Garden Japanese Garden, Childrens Museum, Forestry Center, crisscrossed by trails, and hooked into the rest of the city by the MAX. It is really hard to get parking anytime on a nice day, even during the week, so living close enough to walk would be amazing. I’ve taken the MAX train, but it can add up to quite a bit when you take your whole family!
Forest Park is the nations largest park in the city, and it is right on the edge of this neighborhood. It goes for 8 miles out along the hill that overlooks the Willamette River and it’s main trail, the Wildwood, is over 30 miles long! There is all kinds of wildlife, including the little pigmy owl that they have been showing on PBS! It is a spectacular forest in the city! You feel like you are way out, up in the mountains.
Pittock Mansion is off Burnside within the forest that becomes Forest Park. There are trails all over that lead up to it, and tours to see the inside. It has sweeping views from both the grounds and some of the house, of the city and River!
Arlington Heights used to be a conifer forest in the Tualatin Mountains! Back in 1851 there were couger, panthers and other wildlife, just like there was in any NW Forest.In 1845 Daniel Lownsdale had a land claim in the area, and operated a tannery on the creek now called Tanner’s Creek. Canyon Rd was built through the mountains to give Portland access to the farmland in the Tualatin Valley. In 1852, the 513 acres of land was sold to Amos King, from Ohio. The SW corner of his land grant later became Arlington Hts.
Portland used to have farmland going up hill in portlandKing made money by grinding hemlock bark and making tannic acid. He soaked the skins in this solution in large wooden vats that covered an acre of land! He also leased some of his land to the Chinese community so they could grow vegetables. There were alot of poor people then, as there is now, so in 1868 the city bought 160 acres of land, which later became Washington Park, to be used as the country farm for paupers. In 1870 a building was constructed to house the poor, which later became the zoo directors office! There was an orchard of 100 apple trees, livestock including cows, horses and pigs, 4 milk cows used for butter and milk and vegetables. All this helped feed the poor. It lasted 7 years.
The land was traversed by steep hills, deep canyons and gullies, fallen timber and brush, making it almost unpassable. But the city worked at it, and the goal was to make it into a park. From 1887 to 1894, it finally became the site for the zoo, a cable railway and 2 reservoirs.
By 1890, much of the forest had been cut down due to logging, which is sad. In 1890 the Portland Cable Railway started running, which opened up this area to development. To build the railway, they had to fill in some of the ravines, which they did with fallen timber, brush and loose rock, and a trestle was built. This was not very sound, as you can imagine, and clogged with water, finally giving way in 1894. It is an interesting story. You can read the whole thing, which covers the building of Washington Park, the reservoirs, and the neighborhoods like Arlington Hts, that were built on this steep mountain foothill!