Pearl District Neighborhood Association Website
Neighbors West/NW Website and Calendar
Neighborhood Boundaries Map
Capital Improvement Projects*
Northwest Neighborhood Events Calendar
Northwest Neighborhood News
River District Urban Renewal Area Info
Public Land Use Notices
It may not look like it, but the Pearl District is a neighborhood. The Pearl District Neighborhood Association was founded in 1991 as a result. The neighborhood encompasses the North Park Blocks, the 13th Avenue Historic District, the city's Main Post Office, and the Hoyt Street Rail Yards, a 40-acre downtown land parcel still largely undeveloped.
The area was platted as part of Couch's Addition in 1869, and the area around North Park Blocks was developed primarily with one and two-story houses. The North Park Blocks contained the first park block dedicated to exclusive use by women and children, and later the first supervised children's playground. Around the turn of the century, expansion of the rail yards from the north halted the growth of park blocks and housing, leading to the neighborhood's gradual conversion to commercial and industrial uses. By 1910, the multi-story warehouses and commercial buildings with characterize the Pearl District today had become predominant.
Pioneering developers rediscovered the area in the 1980's beginning the conversion of many of the old buildings to residential and multiple uses.
The term "Pearl District" caught on as a way to describe a neighborhood of rough old buildings each concealing "pearls" in the form of artists' studios and art galleries.