Portland Neighborhood Guide: King
King is a vibrant and diverse neighborhood located in inner Northeast Portland between Alberta, Humboldt, and Woodlawn to the north. Situated along Martin Luther King Blvd, the neighborhood is at a crossroads walking distance between two major destination-streets, with easy access to the rest of the city via the 99E corridor. Great to walk, great to bike, loaded with bus lines, and just across the Broadway Bridge to downtown Portland, King is an excellent place to forego owning a car (any residents many do!). A defining characteristic of the neighborhood, King is home to an active and engaged citizenry that has, over the years, radically transformed their living space through collective action. A more recent example, residents have begun a de-paving program, dubbed “Green King”, to create more green space, plus improve environmental conditions and aesthetics throughout the area. Though King is no longer dangerous and dilapidated, as was most of Portland through the 80’s, the community remains tight-knit and spirits high. People often know each other’s names in passing, the names of their grocer, their bartender, and the like. King has become a warm, friendly place to live while remaining among the few affordable areas of inner-Northeast Portland.
(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 King, Humboldt, Boise-Eliot, 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.
Check out the King Neighborhood Association for more history!
Home styles / Architecture:
King Elementary is the public K-8 integrated school serving the King Neighborhood. Attached is also a park open to the community.
PCC – Cascade Campus is located on the border of nearby Piedmont and Humboldt neighborhoods.
Demography & Statistics:
(from Fidelity arcGIS Maps)
|2015 Median Household Income||$40,130|
|2015 Median Age||35|
|2015 Median Home Value||$335,575|
|2015 Pop Density (persons/sq mi)||9,946|
City Data for King Neighborhood
Food and Entertainment:
King residents are blessed with an abundance of options being located between both Alberta Arts District and Mississippi, in addition to its own slew of pubs and eateries. Located on Alberta St., Bye and Bye is pushing the envelope of vegan cuisine. With hearty bowls, smokey Southern flavors, and MacGyver-esque recreations of classic entrees, the unexpectedly hearty eats might convince you to forego your inner carnivore for an evening; or perhaps longer (yes, it IS that good). King neighborhood is also home to a Sunday farmers market featuring local produce, often sold by the farmers themselves, and artisanal goods of all shapes and sizes. Though smaller than many of the farmers markets in the Portland area, it’s outstandingly convenient; a definite must-visit for King residents looking for the farm-to-table produce locals are so fond of.
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-based 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 waffle combos, this is a waffle that your taste buds cannot afford to miss!
(from the City of Portland Parks and Recreation, photo by Larry Bingham/The Oregonian)
Two Plum Park is a small park in King with a rich local history. One day King neighborhood resident Joe Martin got tired of looking at the overgrown vacant lot near his home. The retired Union Pacific Railroad worker went down to Goodwill, bought an old lawn mower, and began cutting down the tall weeds. Neighbors joined him in cleaning out garbage, planting flowers, and soon began talking about turning the lot into a park. The timing was fortunate. The Trust for Public Land had recently obtained funding from the Lila Wallace Reader’s Digest Fund to help create parks in Portland and other cities. The city paid off the back taxes and took possession of the lots and the park was completed in November 2001. The neighbors named it Two Plum Park after the two plum trees that grow there.
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.