Portland Neighborhood Guide: Humboldt
Humboldt is a very hip, very young neighborhood located in inner North / Northeast Portland between Boise-Eliot, and King neighborhoods. This neighborhood is front and center in offering the incredible accessibility and urban lifestyle that is a major draw of modern Portland, Oregon. A part of the greater Albina area, Humboldt also houses a highly engaged citizenry that cares deeply about the quality of life within the neighborhood. Community gardens, art walks, farmers markets, and community organizing are all deeply engrained within the culture of this area. This is a place where the neighbors are very often on a first-name basis with each other. A paradise for alternative commuting, owning a car in Humboldt neighborhood is 100% optional for day to day life. With bike lanes blanketing nearly every roadway, and close proximity to the MAX Yellow line along Interstate, commuting anywhere is extraordinarily easy.
(from The History of Albina by Roy Roos )
By the late 1880s, Albina, located across the Willamette River from Portland, was the fastest growing city in Oregon. In July 1891, the city was annexed by the City of Portland, which at the time existed only on the west side of the river. East Portland, south of Albina, was also annexed, and Portland grew to more than twenty-six square miles. As a result of the annexation, much of the city’s residential population began shifting to the east side of the river into the borders of modern day Humboldt, Boise-Eliot, King, Overlook, Irvington, and Piedmont.
The original Town of Albina was platted and laid out in 1873 by developers who had connections with railroad interests. In 1879, developers William Reid and James B. Montgomery, also with ties to transportation, purchased most of Albina and established a new industrial infrastructure, which was strengthened when the transcontinental railroad link was completed in 1883. Residents found work in the railroad shops terminal, on the docks, and with other industrial operations that opened up. Many small businesses were established, and construction boomed with new buildings and homes that shaped the face of today’s neighborhoods.
Home styles / Architecture:
Humboldt contains the classic mix of Portland architecture ranging from Craftsman and Four Squares to Bungalows and Cape Cods. You’ll even see a few older Victorians mixed in! Being among the first suburbs east of the Willamette and part of historic Albina, century-old trees can be found on nearly every street.
You’ll find the colorfully painted houses and unique landscaping common to the Portland area in every corner of Humboldt.
PCC – Cascade Campus is located on the border of Piedmont and Humboldt neighborhoods. Many residents of both are students.
Food and Entertainment:
The tyranny of choice looms over the residents of Humboldt. Located right between two of the hottest, hippest neighborhoods East of the river, Humboldt has enough locally owned restaurants, concert venues, parks, bars, and shops to make your head spin. This is on top of the neighborhood’s own businesses located along both Albina and Killingsworth. A few standouts include Albina Press, En’joni Ethiopian Cafe, Saraveza bottle shop, and Sweedeedee Cafe.
On perennially hip Mississippi Ave, locals can find some of the city’s favorites: Miss Delta, Por Que No? taqueria, Bar Bar & Mississippi Studios for concerts, Gravy, Ruby Jewel Scoops, and much more sprinkled in between a variety of specialty shops. If you’re looking for all the wonder and amusement of a natural history museum in a boutique, check out Paxton Gate. With curiosities ranging from beautifully preserved butterfly specimens and fossils, to colorful and interesting mineral formations, you may just find that oddly perfect gift for a special someone. A jackalope head, maybe? Even if nothing strikes you as fitting the ticket, just visiting is a blast (but be sure to support your local businesses, eh?). Mississippi is an excellent place to spend a day just exploring; if you do, be sure to set aside an entire afternoon for best results. For a more in-depth look, be sure to check out our Boise-Eliot Neighborhood page.
Alberta Arts District to the East is also chock full of amazing local spots with the bohemian flair that permeates the neighborhood’s culture. You can catch a fresh cup of tea at Townshend’s Alberta, a quick cocktail at the Radio Room, or some delicious Mexican cuisine on almost every block (the staff pick is El Nutri Taco). Portland-wide favorites Barista, Petit Provance, and Pine State Biscuits are all present and amazing, as always! Just walking down the street on Alberta, the rich smells of its many restaurants are sure to reach out to your nostrils, beckoning you to come closer; but, one unexpected scent stands out among the rest: fresh waffles. The Waffle Window is a (poorly) hidden secret that is serving up a new take on traditional street fare seen in Northwestern Europe…but from a service window. With innovative sweet and savory combos, this is a waffle that your taste buds cannot afford to miss!
(from the City of Portland Parks and Recreation)
Sumner-Albina Park is the only park located physically in the Humboldt neighborhood. Though small, it serves as an event space for a very active and involved community in the Albina area. The park also features a stage and large mural painted by local artists, Chris Johnson and Jo Jackson.
Peninsula Park is a formally designed neighborhood park, typical of the early 1900s. It includes the city’s first public rose garden (contributing heavily towards Portland’s eventual moniker) and first community center, a historically designated bandstand, and Portland’s second oldest playground. Planned by renowned Oregon architects Ellis Lawrence and Ormond R. Bean, the park was a result of Portland’s 1912 ‘City Beautiful’ movement. Completed in 1913, much remains of the original features, including the lantern-style streetlights, the stone pillars, vast brickwork, and the 100-year-old fountain in the center of the rose garden.
Demography & Statistics:
(from Fidelity arcGIS Maps)
|2015 Median Household Income||$36,118|
|2015 Median Age||34|
|2015 Median Home Value||$362,081|
|2015 Pop Density (persons/sq mi)||9,789|
City Data for Humboldt Neighborhood