Woodlawn Neighborhood Website
Northeast Coalition of Neighborhoods Website
Neighborhood Boundaries Map
Capital Improvement Projects*
Northeast Neighborhood Events Calendar
Northeast Neighborhood News
Public Land Use Notices
The oldest settled area in the Albina area is the Woodlawn Historic District. Initially settled in the 1860s as a rural farming village not called Woodlawn, it was the only independent town that existed outside the city of Albina. Woodlawn's character changed dramatically in 1888 when the railroad running from Portland to Vancouver located a train station in the center of the village. This connection to a larger market stimulated development. The commercial uses centered around the train station with residential development surrounding it. The depot was located at the intersection of today's Durham and Dekum avenues. The station's waiting room was built in the middle of a triangular park.
In the 1920's, paved major roads, the improved automobile and a bridge between Vancouver and Portland gave residents more shopping options and businesses in Woodlawn were either swept aside for housing or converted to factories. Woodlawn is 15 minutes travel time by car to Washington State, 10 minutes to the Portland International Airport, 15 minutes to downtown Portland and 15 minutes to excellent shopping malls (slower at rush hours). Woodlawn is well served by buses, and freight trains glide by at the base of the bluff. Some residents move here because they love the sight and sound of trains. Many residents commute by bicycle to their jobs. The Airport sometimes has planes taking off and landing over this and nearby neighborhoods (depending on wind direction), and that has become an issue taken up by neighborhood associations.
Atop the bluff, Woodlawn is mostly residential, with Queen Annes, Craftsman bungalows, and an influx of modern infill housing and condos. Some of those homes are occupied by families who’ve lived in Woodlawn for six generations. In the 40's and 50's many ranch and smaller homes were built throughout the neighborhood, to house the working class residents and evacuees of the Vanport Flood. Many of the Vanport people had worked in the shipyards during WW2, and some were African American. Integration happened in Woodlawn very smoothly.
It’s a very desirable neighborhood with the Woodlawn Park as a centerpiece. Art and culture are eagerly supported here, and overflow crowds attend the productions of Trek in the Park each summer. White, Black, Hispanic, and Pacific Island residents are noted in recent census records. Woodlawn in the 21st century has fascinating businesses and unique landmarks. In recent years there’s been a revitalization of businesses along Dekum, as envisioned in the 1993 Woodlawn Plan. We have exquisite pastry and coffee houses, fabulous restaurants, a brewpub, and a public benefit pub, a movement studio and a massage studio, a resale shop, a bicycle repair shop, ceramic studios, plant nurseries and many other fascinating businesses. The newest addition to the commercial triangle is a LEED Platinum remodel of a historic building housing a company that makes high quality, locally sourced, often organic foods for local businesses. Light and heavy industrial businesses flank the current train route, as do a variety of businesses that need space, such as plant nurseries. Two miles of Ainsworth Blvd, mostly within the Woodlawn and King neighborhoods, form a unique linear arboretum.