Alameda Neighborhood Portland
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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.
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.
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 couple of 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. Open since 2017, 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
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 neighborhood doesn’t have any official city parks, however, there’s an area that surrounds Alameda Elementary School called Harvard Square. It’s a designated spot that honors the school’s past principal Bernard Harvard who passed away in 2007. The arch that serves as an entryway to the area that depicts his musicianship with a tuba and a guitar. Stand under the arch and look up. You’ll see the notes to the ABC Song, which he loved to play for all the kids.
Adjacent to Harvard Square are Playground A and Playground B, designated park-like play areas.
Alameda Community Resources
Alameda Neighborhood Schools
Middle School—Beaumont Middle School
High School—Grant High School
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.
Alameda Neighborhood History
First platted in 1909 as a city unto itself, Alameda was developed by Alameda Land Company. This came after the company bought the land—part of the 1859 William and Isabella Bowering Donation Land Claim, which included orchards, burned timberlands, and a working dairy, and at least one Native trail—following the Lewis and Clark Exposition in 1905, which created a real estate boom and population growth in the Portland area. Neerchokikoo, a Chinook village resided just north of Alameda.
The first home in Alameda was built in 1910, and the expansion of the Portland streetcar system allowed residents to live in this bedroom community and commute to work in Downtown Portland within 15 minutes. Attraction to Alameda grew when the Alameda Land Company paid $60,000 to Portland Railway, Light, and Power Company to extend the streetcar tracks to NE 19th Ave and Mason St. in 1910-1911.
Construction boomed after that into the 1920s and brought a variety of architectural styles to the community: Craftsman, Arts and Crafts, English Cottage, and Tudor Revival, several of which are on the National Register of Historic Places.
In 1922, the Alameda Tuesday Club—organized by a group of activist Alameda women—was instrumental in seeing through the construction of the Alameda Elementary School, still in operation today.
While other East Portland neighborhoods struggled, and even declined, between the 1950s and 1980s, Alameda maintained its presence and value, with younger families moving into the neighborhood and refurbishing homes.
How Did Alameda Neighborhood Get its Name?
Alameda neighborhood got its name from the Spanish “alameda,” which translates to mean “tree-lined walkway” or “tree-lined street.”
Alameda Neighborhood Stats
Zip Code 97211
Alameda Neighborhood 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.
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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.
- 24 Fremont—Industrial-chic venue with 24-ft. ceilings that hosted music events, receptions, and other gatherings.
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Decker, Doug. Oregon Encyclopedia. “Alameda Neighborhood.” Blog. Updated March 11, 2022. Access September 9, 2022.