Corbett – Terwilliger – Lair Hill Neighborhood

portland neighborhood guide, lair hill

Corbett, Lair Hill, Terwilliger and Waterfront collage

Corbett, Terwilliger, Lair Hill Neighborhood – Officially South Portland Neighborhood
Corbett, Terwilliger, Lair Hill Neighborhood all used to be separate before the South Waterfront was built, in our neighborhood guide, we still refer to Corbett, Lair Hill and Terwilliger separately because they do each have their own personality. We have them combined in this neighborhood section, but have added a John’s Landing neighborhood because it is so unique, and totally separate from this area, and have included Fulton Park in it. And we have also done a separate South Waterfront neighborhood, because that area is completely separate from the rest of the city, divided by freeway and busy roads, served by the Streetcar and the Aerial Tram. So if you want more details about these areas, go on and read the sections that elaborate on them! Here is the link to the South Portland Neighborhood Association.

Lair Hill- is in the northwestern part of the neighborhood, bordered by I-405 on the north, SW Barbur Blvd. on the south and west, and SW Naito Parkway on the east. This area was part of historical South Portland, a district of Italian, Irish, and Jewish immigrants much of which was demolished by an “urban renewal” project in 1958. It still has some of the oldest homes in the City of Portland, some dating back to 1870. Many are lavish Victorians, Old PDX, Craftsman, or Four Square, with beautiful original details! There are also smaller bungalows, old and new townhouses and condos. Whenever there is room, a builder will grab a lot and squeeze in a brand new house. So the neighborhood has many styles and ages of homes.  The location used to be somewhat cut off from the city, because of 405, I5, Barbur Blvd and other busy streets. But in the past few years, Portland has made a huge effort to connect this area to the rest of downtown. Just recently they put in the Gibbs St Pedestrian Bridge. It gives Lair hill area access to all the shops and restaurants in the SW Waterfront District, and is approximately 700-foot long. It crosses I-5 and SW Macadam Avenue, and connects SW Kelly Avenue on the west side to SW Moody Avenue on the east side. At the Moody Avenue end, there is also a stop on the Portland Streetcar’s NS Line, and the Portland Aerial Tram’s lower terminus is located across the street.
Portland also recently finished the Tilikum Crossing bridge, which is the largest car-free bridge in the United States, and carries the Portland Streetcar, the MAX Orange Line, TriMet buses and cyclists and pedestrians. This connects this whole area to the east side of Portland.

Corbett – The Corbett area (and SW Corbett St. running north-south through the entire neighborhood) It lies just east of Lair Hill, bounded by I-405 on the north, SW Naito Parkway on the west, SW Macadam Ave. on the east. Its southern boundary is the SW Corbett St. bridge over I-5. This a small neighborhood that runs right below Lair Hill, built about the same time, and having very similar features in housing styles, walkable parks and the SW Gibbs St Pedestrian bridge. This area has improved immensely since the South Waterfront area along the river was built, because now Corbett has access to all the restaurants and shops down there by way of the SW Gibbs Pedestrian Bridge. You can read more about the South Waterfront District in our neighborhood guide

Terwilliger- lies south of Corbett, between SW Barbur Blvd. and SW Macadam Ave, straddling Terwilliger Ave. Terwilliger is a winding street through the hills canopied by lush greenery with a peek-a-boo view of the River, Mountain and City below every once in a while. There is a trail that follows the road and you always see joggers and bikes, even in the rain! So many Portlanders will ride downtown to work and this is a great way to do it! The houses are amazing along this road, some worth 2 million plus. The views are spectacular! It winds from Lair Hill, downtown, all the way up past OHSU, past Hillsdale, past Burlingame and almost to Lake Oswego. But these areas are not part of the Corbett-Terwilliger-Lair Hill neighborhood. There are also many more affordable homes along Terwilliger too. If you love the lush, green, wooded lots with lots of privacy, this is a great neighborhood. It is also so accessible to downtown. I love the trails and green space that this neighborhood offers!

South Waterfront is right along the Willamette River, between I5, and the Willamette River, and is connected to OHSU by the tram. It is a cool neighborhood, oriented to the river. They have plans to add more pathways, a swimming beach and all kinds of things to make this area nicer. It is already beautiful. I love being able to walk along the river, or ride my bike through town along the Willamette, which you can do from here. You can also ride your bike or jog south to Johns Landing!

Parks in Corbett, Terwilliger, Lair Hill Neighborhood

Lair Hill Park has a beautiful playground beneath Old Chestnut and Maple tress. There are public sculptures, tennis courts, and access to local running tracks and nature trails.
The Marquam Nature Park starts in Lair Hill and goes all the way up the hill into the OHSU Hospital area in Homestead. It is a gorgeous greenway trail with many native plant species, old growth Fir, Hemlock, Cedar, and Maple trees. The trail also connects to Council Crest and all the trails in Washington Park.
The Duniway Park Lilac Garden in a sunny spot to lay on the grass and relax. There are 225 lilac plants and a large Japanese Tree. It was planted in the early 1900’s. It was once home to Portland’s first Italian community, and planted the lilacs back in the early 1900s. It also has a state-of-the-art running track made from recycled rubber, including over 20,000 lbs. of athletic shoe soles donated by Nike, Inc in Beaverton. The park is partly flat, but also on a hillside covered with fir and cedar.

History of Corbett, Terwilliger, Lair Hill Neighborhood

Duniway Lilac Gardens: I found this history online written by someone who had visited the lilac gardens.
Portland is known as the “City of Roses”, however; at this time of the year, before the roses begin to appear in earnest at the public rose gardens, there is another, lesser know garden just reaching its peak beauty. The Duniway Lilac Garden has been at the bottom of Marquam Hill since the 1930s. The original collection was the work of a Mr. Case, who’s specimens were given as a gift to the city when he passed away. A lilac specialist was called in to arrange and place the plants and there they have remained for 70 years. There garden is named after Abigail Duniway, the first registered woman voter in our county and an early feminist, who as far as I can tell, had no interest in lilacs or gardening in general.

Other Important Links

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, 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.