Hillsdale Neighborhood

portland neighborhood guide, hillsdale
Hillsdale neighborhood is just minutes up I-5, from downtown, bordering these neighborhoods: Southwest Hills,   Healy Heights, and Homestead on the north, South Portland on the east, South Burlingame and Multnomah on the south, and Hayhurst and Bridlemile on the west. You will see it on your right as you drive up the hill and through the Terwilliger curves. Healy Heights is sometimes considered part of Hillsdale, connected right at the top of the Hill. The higher up the hill, the better the views of Mt. Hood and Downtown Portland. Once you get to the top of the hill, and hit Capital Hwy, you are in Hillsdale proper. It is a nice little downtown area, and then the streets go on up from there into the upper west hills.

Hillsdale Neighborhood was born in the 1920’s, but most of the houses were built after WW2, so there are a lot of Daylight Ranch, Split levels, and Mid Century one levels. Wilson High is up near the top of the hill, and the streets spread down from there, most houses having pretty big yards, and space around them. You can still find houses that have good bones, and just need some updating, adding on to, or just polishing and restoring!

Hillsdale Neighborhood is kind of special in one way. It, along with Multnomah Village, are the only 2 neighborhoods in the west hills that actually have a town area with shops, restaurants, cafes etc. Hillsdale is a good mixture of quiet small town feel with the all the conveniences of the suburbs. The great part is you are still so close to downtown, just 5 minutes going out Beaverton Hillsdale. A lot of people from thie Hillsdale Neighborhood commute by bike, but it is a pretty steep climb! The main street through Hillsdale is Capital Highway, which both divides and unites the neighborhood! You can walk or bike to cute little shops, pubs, restaurants and coffee houses, plus bakery, bank, cleaners, clothing, liquor store etc. It basically has everything you need. It isn’t really quaint or cute, but if you go west a little ways, there is a really artsy part of the town, with cute eating places. There is Einsteins Bagels, Pizzacato Pizza, Gigi’s Cafe, Starbucks and  Baker and Spice, which is my favorite bakery and cakery in Portland! It’s cozy and has amazing pastries beautiful breads and gorgeous cakes! There is a coop grocery, Food Front, which has fresh local, natural and organic food, and you can either be a member or not. Also, it has one of Portland ‘s famous McMenamins. It is called Hillsdale Brewery and Public House. I love the outdoor seating in the summer.

Hillsdale Neighborhood also has three great community centers close by. The Mittleman Jewish Community Center, Southwest Community Center with swimming and exercise classes near Gabriel Park, and The Fulton Community center, located just across the Hillsdale west boundary. It Includes a basketball court indoors, community center, gymnasium, kitchen- meeting room- party room- and stage- indoor.  Hillsdale is pretty walkable and bikeable, unless you live high up on the hill. You can usually walk or ride bikes to many schools and parks. The library and a shopping center is close by too. I love the library. It is huge and new. It was awarded LEED Gold certification as a “green building” in 2004, some of the reasons being it has really good access to public transit, it was built with really good water and energy efficiency, the materials came from local manufacturers, and the indoor air quality is really good, which isn’t true for most new buildings. I also like the brightness and the big windows!

The lay of the land is awesome too, because it is built up on rolling hills and winding streets. Many homes on the south side of the hill have an incredible view of Mt. Hood, the Willamette River and downtown. The other side also has great views of trees, valley or territory. The lots are big and well kept, with a variety of lush greenery.  The architectural style ranges from mainly the 1940’s to 1970’s with some older and newer mixed in. Some of them have awesome views of the valley or city below. Some of the streets are pretty steep as they go up out of Capitol Hywy.

Hillsdale Farmers’ Market: The Hillsdale Farmers’ Market is the only year round farmers market in the Portland metro area. There is often over 3,000 people each Sunday. The winter schedule is every other week from November to April. The Hillsdale Farmers Market is held in the parking lot between Rieke Elementary and Wilson High School where there is parking for several hundred cars.

More About Hillsdale:  Location is about 3.5 miles south on I-5 and then west. Drive Time to Downtown is about eight minutes if you take SW Barbur and SW Naito. It takes more time during rush hour if you travel on I-5 South. Public Transportation Tri-Met has at least a dozen bus routes in the neighborhood most of which are Express Routes on I-5 (east boundary of neighborhood). Hillsdale does not have a MAX light rail line or streetcar line.   Tri Met – Interactive Maps and Schedules for Bus, Max and Streetcar

Parks in Hillsdale Neighborhood

The neighborhood has several parks within its boundaries.

portland neighborhood guide Hillsdale neighborhood

George Himes Park

George Himes is a 35 acre park located in the southeast corner of the neighborhood which has a natural area and great unpaved trails for hikers and runners.
The 103-acre Southwest Terwilliger Boulevard Park is a favorite for running, biking and hiking. It has paved trails, picni c tables and a playground. It is known for its “heavily wooded character” and follows the winding Terwilliger Blvd.
Hillsdale Park is located at SW 27th Avenue and Beaverton Highway . The 5.17 acre park offers a dog off-leash area and picnic tables.
The 1.13 acre DeWitt Park is for great for kids. It has a playground and picnic tables.
Stephens Creek (3.38 acres) is part of the Willamette watershed, one of three major watersheds in southwest Portland . It has a natural area with a perennial creek running through it. The park is valued as neighborhood open space and as a refuge for wildlife and native plants.

About a quarter mile to the southwest of Hillsdale lies the 90 acre Gabriel Park in the Multnomah neighborhood.It has everything! A baseball field, basketball court outdoor, disabled access picnic area, disabled access play area, disabled access restroom, dog off-leash area, fountain, paths paved, paths unpaved, picnic site reservable, picnic tables, playground, soccer field, softball field, statue or public art, tennis court outdoor, and volleyball court.

History of Hillsdale Neighborhood

In 1851, John Slavin, a pioneer from Missouri, built a cabin and barn at what is now Capitol Highway and Sunset Boulevard. Slavin’s Road was later named Capitol Highway.
In the 1880’s, Hillsdale Neighborhood was settled by German, Swiss and Italian immigrants. These new settlers cleared the forests and operated dairies and vegetable farms to supply food for the growing city of Portland.
In the 1890’s, Southern Pacific Railroad built a line from Portland to Forest Grove, running along present day Barbur Boulevard , to what is now known as Bertha Boulevard. The Hillsdale stop was named the Bertha Station after the wife of one of the Southern Pacific officials.
In 1912, Terrwilliger Blvd opened.In 1950, Fred Meyer built a large supermarket on Barbur Boulevard at Bertha Boulevard. In 1954, a 54 acre parcel was developed called the Wilson Park housing development. In 1956, Wilson High School and Wilson Park Elementary School were built on the former Fulton Park Dairy site.
In 1993, the Hillsdale Vision Group was formed to discuss ways to improve Hillsdale. Hillsdale was nominated to become a Town Center under Metro’s Region 2040 plan. In 1997, the Portland City Council approved the Hillsdale Town Center Plan. The project made Hillsdale consumer and pedestrian friendly.
Origin of Name: The name has been in used since early pioneer days. Hill is from the old Anglo-Saxon hyl and Norse holl. Dale means a small valley.

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, 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.