Homestead neighborhood sits partly above downtown Portland, includes the OHSU complex, and continues down to the area right above the South Waterfront. The upper part of the neighborhood has very little residential, it is mostly Marquam Nature Park. The lower part starts at Barbur Blvd and goes up the hill, into the forest, meeting the lower part of the OHSU campus; it has more proportionately more forest and green space than any other Portland neighborhood, with trails and nature everywhere around it! The eastern lower section of Homestead sits right above the South Waterfront, with the streets rising steeply from the river area, and many of the houses sitting high above the street, affording spectacular views of the Willamette River, the mountains, the bridges and city lights at night.
I’ve sold several houses in this neighborhood over the years, but one stands out above the rest. It was built in the very early 1900s, sitting high above Bancroft St, with spectacular historic detail like leaded glass, beautiful built-ins, inlaid oak floors, and 180 degree view of the river and Mount Hood. Right above it was the forest with trails that lead up to OHSU, below it was the South Waterfront, and access to downtown! You could walk down the hill, and walk north into downtown, or up the hill and catch a trail to OHSU, or over the pedestrian bridge and be in the South Waterfront! I’ve also had listings in this neighborhood that are tucked into the forest above, with peek a boo views of the river and city below. It is a very small neighborhood as far as residential homes, but a huge neighborhood when you consider the forest, miles and miles of trails, and the OHSU campus.
Locals call this area, “Pill Hill,” because of all the medical facilities located here. The OHSU campus area includes OHSU campus, The Portland Veterans Affairs, Doernbecher Children’s Hospital, Casey Eye Institute, Knight Cancer Institute, and other medical facilities; all of these being very close to Homestead neighborhood houses, yet completely separated from them by lots of forest and trails! Many people who live in this neighborhood commute to OHSU, some walk, some ride their bike, (although it is a steep hill!), others take public transportation. Homestead neighborhood is bordered on the North by the SW Hills neighborhood, to the east is the Corbett Lair Hill neighborhood, Healy Heights to the SE, and Hillsdale to the south.
Schools: The schools in this neighborhood are some of the best, and most high demand in Portland. The neighborhood is served by Ainsworth Elementary School, West Sylvan Middle School, and Lincoln High School. These are the most sought after schools in Portland!
Parks in Homestead Neighborhood
Marquam Nature Park: This popular trail area starts just south of downtown at the foot of the West Hills and winds up the hill to the Homestead neighborhood. The Nature Park is home to many native plant species and has several trails that wind through majestic Douglas fir, Western hemlock, Red cedar, and Big-leaf maple trees. The trail system connects Council Crest and the Oregon Zoo. The main trail is less than a mile, with 10 marker posts.
Duniway Park Lilac Garden: This gorgeous public space, once home to Portland’s first Italian community, features a state-of-the-art running track, 225 lilac plants blooming in the spring (including a large Japanese Tree lilac which blooms in June), and steep hillsides cover with fir and cedar trees. People come from miles around to smell the amazing lilac blooms, grown by B.O. Case in the early 1900’s. The Duniway Park running track is made from recycled rubber, including over 20,000 lbs. of athletic shoe soles donated by Nike, Inc in Beaverton.
History of Homestead Neighborhood
The Homestead area was once a private property belonging to Portland pioneer Phillip Marquam. Marquam purchased the 298 acres in 1857 for $2500, and a section of the hilly area was portioned off into 400 square foot blocks initially quartered into four home properties. Because of the difficult natural surroundings, many of these plots have remained undeveloped, giving the surrounding areas a retreat-like feel. The major road through the area, Terwilliger Parkway, is one of Portland’s most scenic routes. Built in 1911 on what was once a railroad line, the road was created to be a recreational drive for “pleasure cruisers,” gifted to the city by the Terwilliger family with the condition that it remain scenic, green, and not used for commercial traffic or developed for commercial use. Because of its early history, Homestead has the largest amount of open green space of any neighborhood in Southwest Portland, and many homes border private woods and nature trails.
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.