St Johns Neighborhood

Dated: May 17 2016

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The historic neighborhood of St. John’s may be the best kept secret in Portland.  Settlement in this area began in the 1840’s.  Development of a “city” began in the 1860’s and it later merged with Portland.  St. John’s is nestled in a triangle of land created by the Columbia River and the Willamette River.  The traditional imagery of large trees, rivers and bridges provide a unique sense of place.

The most famous feature in the St. Johns neighborhood is undoubtedly the St. John’s Bridge.  This beautiful suspension bridge spans the Willamette from St. John’s Cathedral Park to the Western Edge of Forest Park.  This bridge was almost not built.  Many civic leaders in Portland thought that the distance of 5 miles from St. John’s to downtown Portland was simply too long.  Construction began in 1929. As the Great Depression began, many were thankful for the jobs the construction provided.  The bridge was considered an engineering marvel of the time.  It’s official Grand Opening was held during The Rose Festival of 1931.

St. John’s is a great location for outdoor enthusiasts. Public parks in St. John’s include amenities such as a river beach area and river access for fishing.  Marinas are close by. This is also a great starting point for jaunts up the Columbia River Gorge or over to the coast.  On a daily basis, nothing could beat the beauty of the 5,000 acre Forest Park and it’s 70 miles of hiking trails.

The area under the bridge in St. John’s is Cathedral Park.  Many of St. John’s festivities, such as The Jazz Festival, are held here.  It is also a great location to view The Portland Marathon.  The largest annual event is The St. John’s Parade and Bizarre. A traditional parade with decorated floats and marching bands is followed by a street party called The Bizarre.  The Bizarre features bands, food booths, art shows and more.

Shopping Highlights:

  • Leavitt Station is a unique space that provides a retail outlet to artists and craftsmen. Vendors and stock change periodically.  7441 N. Leavitt.

  • City Farm is a  local gardening store sells native plants, heirloom veggies and more!  You can even rent a spot of land to create your own veggie garden.  7636 Lombard.

  • McMenamins St John’s Theatre and Pub is a must see!  This lavish building was constructed for the Lewis and Clark Exposition in 1905.  You can eat and drink at the Pub and watch movies in the opulent theatre.  8203 North Ivanhoe.  At the intersection of Ivanhoe and Lombard.

The slogan of St. John’s is “ a small town in a big city”.  St. John’s features: easy freeway access, a variety of housing styles, community events, access to fishing and waterside parks, shopping and dining.  This might be the perfect location to find your new home!

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Shawn Skinner

Your Portland Metro Broker with over 15 years experience Shawn remains continuously updated on market trends, financing and legal reforms, so he can help you make informed decisions. The real estat....

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