Alameda Neighborhood Portland
Features of Alameda Neighborhood
Alameda is a gorgeous neighborhood with quiet, tree-lined streets and some gorgeous homes, many on larger lots. Homes that are located on Alameda ridge have a stunning view of Portland and the West hills. Alameda is a popular and prestigious community with a strong sense of neighborhood pride. Nearby (Beaumont-Wilshire) you will find coffee shops, a brewpub, and some nice residential and commercial areas to take a stroll. Alameda overlaps on one side with Irvington, also an older historical neighborhood with grand homes.
Platted in 1909, Alameda has a long history that intertwines with the rest of the city. The neighborhood was originally called Alameda Park, taking its name from the Spanish word for “tree-lined promenade.” Much of the land was purchased by the Alameda Land Company after the Lewis and Clark Exposition in 1905 brought new residents and interest to Portland.
Many of the first homes were built in the 1910s and 20s, and some of them still exist today. At the time, however, much of the land was still used for farming, with orchards and working dairy farms littering the landscape. As homeowners moved in, the trees and greenery were paved over. However, some homes still have orchard trees growing in their backyards – a living piece of history.
In 1922, the Alameda Elementary School was founded, and has been in continuous operation since (although it has had some upgrades since then). Overall, Alameda is almost purely residential, thanks in part to this early development and the Alameda Ridge, an ancient geological formation that carves through the middle of the neighborhood.
The creation of this naturally-occurring ridge is far more fascinating than you might think. It all started roughly 13,000 to 15,000 years ago, during the last Ice Age. When an ice dam burst, it sent millions of gallons of water to cover the Pacific Northwest, pouring over Washington, Idaho, and much of Oregon.
At the time, the Willamette Valley was underneath 400 feet of water. The burst dam brought tons of sediment, including boulders and lots of gravel. The resulting chaos carved out Sullivan’s Gulch and produced the Alameda Ridge. This ridge extends up between 100 and 150 feet high, making it an excellent viewpoint for the city.
Early residents of Alameda loved the views, so they started building on the ridge almost immediately. Because this spot was so desirable, many of the homes were custom-built for wealthier families. These properties included multiple stories and even quarters for live-in nannies and wait staff. Many of the original buildings still stand, giving Alameda a regal and historic presence.
The ridge actually runs through multiple neighborhoods, including Sabin, Beaumont-Wilshire, Roseway, and Rose City Park. However, some of the priciest homes are in Alameda’s borders.
Alameda Neighborhood Businesses of Note
Because Alameda is almost purely residential, it is hard to find new and exciting businesses. For that, you will likely have to go to a nearby neighborhood, such as Irvington, Beaumont-Wilshire, or Sullivan’s Gulch. However, Fremont Street does have a few gems, which we’ve listed below.
If you’re a fan of the classic film The Princess Bride, this cafe’s name should sound familiar. As the sworn enemy of Florin, Guilder has a long and storied history of battles, political intrigue, and heroism.
The coffee shop, however, has a history of serving up delicious brews and eats. Although it is relatively new to the neighborhood, Guilder has already made its mark as the top coffee spot around.
Part of Guilder’s appeal is that the owners, Caryn and Mike Nelson, have a lot of experience in brewing coffee. Mike actually studied coffee production and sustainability, which helps him craft some high-quality beans. He also has worked in multiple specialty shops, giving him valuable insight into the industry as a whole.
With such a developed pedigree, it is no wonder that the coffee here is superb. However, when stopping by, be sure to check out the food menu as well. Guilder serves bowls, burritos, sandwiches, and toast. Some of the items related back to The Princess Bride, such as the InconcievaBowl and Buttercup Toast. We also recommend the Miracle Max Breakfast Sandwich – it’ll bring you back from the dead! (If you’re mostly dead, that is).
Guilder Cafe – 2393 NE Fremont St, Suite B
If you’re planning an event in Portland, you have a wealth of venues to choose from. While there are tons of high-class spots in the city, 24 Fremont is one of the newer places available. Interestingly, even though the venue is new, it harkens back to the spirit of Old Portland, thanks to its industrial-chic design and minimalist décor.
If you’re confused about the name, it refers to the fact that the space boasts 24-foot high ceilings. With so much room to stretch out, the venue looks a lot larger and grander than it seems from the outside.
Inside, 24 Fremont has two stories, making it a versatile and remarkable space. Both levels have bars, although the upper bar can be removed if necessary. This venue is ideal for musical guests and performances since it comes with its own green room, a 22-foot stage, and built-in audio equipment. Whether it’s an album release party or a reception, you and your guests are sure to have a great time.
24 Fremont – 2393 NE Fremont St, Suite C
When it comes to fine dining, you can’t do much better than Italian. There is something so pleasant about Old World dishes and perfectly aged Italian wine. No matter what you’re celebrating, the meal elevates the experience to become timeless.
Such is the atmosphere at Lucca. This ristorante is a crown jewel of the Alameda/Irvington neighborhoods, thanks to its quality and attention to detail. Lucca specializes in artisan wood-fired pizzas, but you can also get plenty of traditional Italian dishes here as well.
One element that sets Lucca apart is that you can buy dinner packages to go. For example, you can ring in the new year with a fancy meal for two, complete with a bottle of wine. Outside of holidays, Lucca offers a standard “bottle and box” combo of pizza and wine, for when you want to indulge, but in a classy way.
Beyond pizza, Lucca creates world-class meals with favorites like braised pork shoulder, grilled half-chicken, penne Bolognese, bucatini, and radiatore. For dessert, be sure to try their olive oil cake (much sweeter than it sounds) or panna cotta. Lucca also offers sides of focaccia and roasted carrots to complete your meal. Buon appetito!
Lucca – 3449 NE 24th Ave.
Alameda Neighborhood Parks
Alameda Community Resources
Alameda Neighborhood Vibe
This is a popular historical neighborhood with a comfortable family vibe. It feels like a classic old neighborhood where people still know their neighbors and enjoy spending time at the park and school events, as well as hanging out at local establishments that have been in the neighborhood for decades.
Homes and lawns are well kept and show pride of ownership. There are some wonderful views along Alameda Ridge, so this is also a popular neighborhood for walking tours.
Zip Code 97211
Alameda Real Estate
Homes in Alameda consist of older East Portland styles of Craftsman, Bungalow, and larger custom designs, as well as some more modest cottages, cape cods, and ranch style homes. This is a beautiful established neighborhood. Some homes along Alameda Ridge offer nice views.
To learn about the Portland real estate market, we recommend this local Portland-based, top 100 real estate blog in the world.
If you are interested in buying a home in Portland, we recommend meeting up with these top 1% Portland buyer’s agents, or if you are considering selling a home we recommend these top 1% Portland seller’s agents. Visit our Portland Real Estate Page for more information.
Alameda Neighborhood: Friends We’ve Lost
- Alameda Brewhouse – Local brewpub and restaurant
- Alameda Cafe – Excellent breakfast spot serving classic dishes and tasty coffee.
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