Portland Neighborhood Guide: Overlook
Secluded on the other side of Interstate Avenue, Overlook is a close-in neighborhood of North Portland with a cozy vibe, yet all the amenities that come with city living. Occasionally referred to as “Mock’s Crest”, this neighborhood is dotted with small parks and public spaces along the bluffs with gorgeous views of the Willamette River. Though slightly less walkable on average than most neighborhoods in Portland, Overlook stands out as a haven for bikers with extremely quick commutes downtown, and to most errands. If you’re looking for a place to raise a family, this neighborhood is a top choice with tree lined streets, low traffic, and tight-knit community.
(from Cafe Unknown, an excellent blog of Portland history)
Overlook sits on seven of the original Portland area Pioneer Donation Land claims that were awarded to early settlers in the 1840s. As time passed, the donation claims were divided into smaller lots, farms, pastures and woodlots. Roads appeared on the bluff. In 1890, the Willamette Bridge Railway built a steam powered passenger railroad through the area. It followed the future alignment of Killingsworth to Greeley, then on to Lombard and west to St. Johns, then an independent city.
The Kaiser Swan Island shipyard was built on the site of the airport (pictured above) which had outgrown its location. Around the clock, workers constructed T-2 tankers for the war effort. At night, work continued beneath the bluff under massive light towers that cast a glow visible for miles.
The name Overlook comes from the Overlook Addition, the area south of Skidmore and west of Interstate.
Home Styles / Architecture:
Overlook contains the classic mix of Portland architecture ranging from Craftsman and Four Squares, Ranches and Cape Cods. This neighborhood also contains a few Victorian style homes as well.
The culture of home ownership in Overlook tends towards a well-maintained yard or front landscape, creating a markedly suburban feel absent in many other parts of the residential inner city. See for yourself on Google Maps!
Beach Elementary School, located at the heart of Overlook, is a k-8 integrated school with a highly regarded English-Spanish immersion program.
Food and Entertainment:
Overlook is no slouch when it comes to representing the best of the Portland restaurant and bar scenes. Running within its boundaries are North Killingsworth and Interstate Ave, both hotspots with a very wide variety of shops and eateries. On Killingsworth, a short walk away from the residential proper is the dog-friendly Portland staple Lucky Labrador; as well as The Hop & Vine, an upscale bottle shop featuring more than 400 beers and wines in an intimate setting.
Overlook is also located walking distance across Interstate from the famed Mississippi District in neighboring Boise, allowing residents easy access to one of the trendiest food, entertainment, and shopping destinations east of the river and without the need to find parking (yes, it’s that scarce).
(from the City of Portland Parks and Recreation)
The Interstate Fire House Cultural Center (IFCC) is a community-based arts center located in a 1910-built former fire station within Overlook neighborhood. The IFCC is and now contains a 99-seat theater, an art gallery, and space for rehearsal or classes and is often a good place to catch community theater.
Overlook Park is the largest park in the area complete with, baseball and soccer fields, volleyball and basketball courts, track, and an off-lease area for dogs. Mock’s Crest and Madrona Parks are also popular destinations for their natural scenery and views overlooking the Willamette.
Beach Community Garden has been in use since the 1960s when two families started a garden on unused city land. They hired a farmer to plow the site each spring. By the 1980s, the garden was so well tended that it won a national contest and was featured on the Victory Garden show on public television. To this day, this garden remains an icon of community development in Northeast Portland.
Demography & Statistics:
(from Fidelity arcGIS Maps)
|2015 Median Household Income||59,886|
|2015 Median Age||38|
|2015 Median Home Value||363,977|
|2015 Population Density (persons/sq mi)||2,043|
City Data for Overlook Neighborhood