Multnomah Village Neighborhood

portland neighborhood guide, multnomah Village

Here is a collage of some of my favorite parts of Multnomah Village!

Multnomah Village Neighborhood lies between SW 45th Ave. to the west, SW Capitol Hill Rd. to the east, SW Vermont St. to the north, and I-5 to the south. The Multnomah Village Neighborhood is bordered Maplewood, Crestview and Ash Creek on the west, Hayhurst and Hillsdale to the north, and South Burlingame, Marquam and West Portland Park to the south. It takes about 15 to 20 minutes to get to downtown Portland- depending on traffic.

portland neighborhood Guide, multnomah village

Multnomah Village at a glance

The Village  came into being in 1907 when the Oregon Electric Rail Way stopped here on it’s way between Portland and Salem. Woodward laid out the land around Multnomah Village Neighborhood in 1902, naming north-south streets after states and east-west streets after trees.
Multnomah Village Neighborhood is in the heart of Portland. It makes you feel like you are in a quaint little old fashioned town in the west hills. Winding cozy streets, lined with cute little bungalows and cottages, are perfect for long walks, and strolling into the cute little town of Multnomah Village Neighborhood to get a cup of coffee at one of the cafes, or a sandwich or salad at one of the bakeries or delis, do some wine tasting, looking at beautiful art at one of the galleries or shop for a unique toy at Thinker Toys. Some people want to be near the Village just so they can get their daily fix of homemade bread at the Grand Central Bakery!

Here is how it describes itself on it’s website: Quaint. Charming. A bit off-center and quintessentially Portland. Call it what you will, southwest Portland’s Multnomah Village is filled with character – as well as has dozens of unique shops, galleries, restaurants, a wine bar and a brewpub, professional services, and the rambling Multnomah Arts Center. “Only about a five minute drive from downtown Portland, Multnomah Village Neighborhood celebrated 100 years as a business district in 2009. Many of the original buildings are still intact and the compact pedestrian-friendly “downtown” retains the ambience and spirit of that earlier period. But the vibe is decidedly modern Portland that attracts a diverse and ever-growing fan base that has discovered why a decade or so ago the area was sometimes referred to as “Portland’s Best Kept Secret.”

The village kinda has the NW 23rd feel without all the hype and hustle and bustle. People are more down to earth, friendly and truly love their little community. And it’s more family and kid friendly! Thinker Toys is a really cool kids toy store with all kinds of unusual, high quality, thinking, creative and learning toys. The Village even has a huge park you can walk to; Gabriel Park.

You can take art, swimming or music lessons of all kinds at the Multnomah Community Center. They also have sports activities. Locals gather here to share their sense of community. The amazing thing is that it is still reasonable to buy there and it is only 5 minutes to downtown! The old Multnomah school built in 1913 is now the Multnomah Art Center.  It has such a wide range of classes that teach both kids and adults how to do so many things, including woodworking, drawing, dancing, metal works and on and on. Prices are very reasonable.  Right now my 11 year old grandson is taking drawing classes, and he loves it.  It is also a community amenity that people can use for all kinds of things.  My daughter actually got married here!

Multnomah Village Neighborhood  is the place for you if you don’t want the flat grid-like neighborhoods on the Eastside but don’t want to be in boring suburbia…to be able to have a sense of community and walk to town to get a coffee or meal. You get culture, cool historical houses and winding streets amid tree covered hills.

The architecture consists of Victorian, Old Portland Bungalows, Craftsman, cottages and newer homes. There are also a lot of 1970’s condos and newer town homes and condos. So there is a big variety in price range- you should be able to find something you can afford.
You can window shop at all the cool trendy shops and antique stores, Here is a Directory of shops found here

Parks in Multnomah Village Neighborhood

Gabriel Park is 90 acres with trails, ball fields, play equipment…plus it offers “Artists in the Park” which is a really unique program that helps friends and neighbors get together outside and feel inspired creatively by the park and nature. People do all kinds of creative things, like drawing, painting, knitting, sewing by hand, writing letters, or poems, taking photographs, or any other artsy thing they may want to do. Doing it with others makes it more fun and more inspiring! Other activities like Tai Chi or yoga, or playing a musical instrument could be fun as well. Artists are welcome to lead a group or work on a personal project. Some art supplies, easels and drop cloths are available for use for anyone who does not bring their own.
Gabriel Community Garden has been going for 33 years! It is still going strong. They even added an orchard in 1991. The raised beds maximize the sloped site, and classes are offered to people wanting to know more about gardening and harvesting.

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Gabriel Park map

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Here is the pool at the SW Community Center

Southwest Community Center & Pool – has lots of active things for people to do. Children can splash and play in one pool, while the adults exercise in the adjacent lap pool.

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Here is Custer Park in Multnomah

There is a gym, and exercise classes in mirrored room so you can make sure you are doing it right and concentrate on form! They even host classes for seniors, Mind Body Movement for children, Girlfriends for teens, and Aerokibo for adults. In the gym, kids or adults can play basketball.
Spring Garden Park is about 5 acres and was just newly improved by the Friends of Spring Garden Park. They put in natural climbing logs and made it a much more interactive park Custer Park is about 6.5 acres with a play structure, ball fields.

Great Eats in Multnomah Village

Down to Earth Cafe- All natural and organic cafe. Great food, fresh organic fruit and vegetable juices, delicious desserts, and healthy smoothies.
Fat City Cafe has the best spinach salad I have ever eaten! It is an old fashioned diner. 30 years in business.
Grand Central Bakery is amazing, loved all over Portland, and new little shops springing up all over the east side. They sell artisan bread, pastries, soups and sandwiches provided by locally owned & operated Grand Central Baking Company. They make their own bread and sell it to local grocery stores like New Seasons and Whole foods.
O’Connor’s Restaurant has southwestern cuisine. Great daily specials. Breakfast, lunch, dinners.
Otto and Anita’s Restaurant has really good German food! I love their schnitzel and hot potato salad! They also have spaetzle, sausages and liver and onions, and yummy dill pickles! My husband used to eat there and work there when he was a kid, so it has been around a long time!
Renner’s Grill & Suburban Room The classic coffee counter serves breakfast & lunch until 3PM everyday. The lounge serves generous libations until 2:30AM, every day.
Village Hut is a neighborhood grill that feels like an open-air food bazaar because they have out-door seating set up in a super cozy way! The food is delicious!
Sip D’Vine is a wine shop, but not your stuffy wine shop! Relax with friends while enjoying Northwest wines by the taste, glass or bottle.
Sweets, Etc is a cute little candy store in the village.
Village Coffee serves Multnomah Village organic coffees and fine beverages for over 10 years.
Marco’s Cafe has wonderful creative sandwiches and coffee.

History of Multnomah Village Neighborhood

Portland Neighborhood Guide, historical Multnomah Village

Historical Multnomah Village

Multnomah Village was first given out as a land grant in around 1851, to a couple name Tice. It was a densely wooded area, without a name a very few residents. It was one of the stops on the Oregon Electric Railway as it traveled from Portland south to Salem in the early 1900s. It was official policy to use Native American names when they could, so in 1908 when the stop was established, they gave it the name of Multnomah, which is a Native American tribe, and probably the chiefs name. Lewis and Clark also called the Willamette River Multnomah.
Multnomah was annexed by the city of Portland in 1950. The Village was formed and called Wildwood, partly because it was a stop on the RR line, and it eventually was annexed by the city of Portland over an 8-year period beginning in 1954.
An interesting side note. Multnomah Village was, for a long time, home to the world’s first WikiWeb, houses in an office in the village and was the first Wiki application ever written! It was developed in 1994 by Ward Cunningham, to make the exchange of ideas between programmers easier and was based on the ideas developed in HyperCard stacks that he built in the late 1980s.

Shoping in Multnomah Village Neighborhood

Annie Bloom’s Books is a locally owned, independent neighborhood bookstore.
Beyond Borders is a fairly traded handcrafts. Non-profit store; high quality gifts from around the world made by self-help co-ops & family artisan groups.
Fibers In Motion is a quilt & wearable art fabric store: fabrics, buttons, notions, books, gifts & classes. All designed to inspire the artist within.
Front Porch Mercantile: Their message is to come visit our inspiring shop! We specialize in unique cottage decor, antiques & treasures for your garden.
Indigo Traders has Mediterranean chic! Hand-made bedding, textiles, ceramics & lighting. Tasteful gifts and home decor.
Jules of Morocco has been offering casually elegant ladies apparel for more than 20 years, using Morocco’s traditional hand woven all natural fabric.All the styles in the Jules line are designed to work together complimenting any figure using the natural drape of the fabric.
Multnomah Village Neighborhood Antiques: China, crystal, silver, vintage lighting & furniture.
Northwest Wools carries knitting yarns, spinning wheels & fibers, books & classes. Our summer hours: June 15th – Labor Day: Mon-Fri 10-5:30 Sat 10-5. Regular store hours: Mon – Fri 10-6 Sat 10-5.
Pagenwood Restoring has antiques, it also buys them! Specializing in old wood-working tools. Antique furniture restoration since 1976.
Peggy Sunday’s Delights for the home & a wonderful assortment of fine linens and gourmet cookware.
Stamp it up
Switch Shoes Unique Women’s Shoes and Clothing.
Thinker Toys is my favorite toy store. It has smart, fun, and inspiring toys that really help kids to be imaginative, creative and discover things…think about things!
Topanien Gifts of the Worlds- is a neighborhood and Web connection to gifts of the world.
Village Beads has unique pearls, crystals, glass, stone, shells and more! Classes too!
Village Frame & Gallery Offering the highest quality custom framing and design for artwork, memorabilia and mirrors.

Festivals, Schools, and Other links

Annual events include the Multnomah Days Parade and street fair on the 3rd Saturday in August, First Friday and Saturday of December. They have lots of other special days, projects and celebrations too. Here are some of them:
Multnomah Days is a parade and festival put on by the Multnomah Arts Center and the business association in the village. They have a parade at 10, then kids zone activities all day, with arts and crafts for sale, live music and performers.
First Friday all the businesses stay open late, so people can come in to the village and shop and eat till late!
Craft Night, where they do various crafts. They have very creative ideas! Then, in December they have a 2 day craft fair.
Schools: Elementary school – Rieke Elementary and Maplewood Elementary . Middle school – Gray Middle . High school – Wilson High School.
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.