Woodlawn Neighborhood Guide

The Woodlawn Historic district, is experiencing a sort of renaissance. Initially settled in the 1860’s as a farming village, Woodlawn’s changed dramatically in 1888 when the railroad running from Portland to Vancouver located a train station in the center of the village. This connection to a larger market helped create a bustling commercial district and also stimulated residential development. The completion of the Interstate Bridge in 1917 brought about an economic decline, as many businesses closed up shop. During WWII, many African Americans who had relocated to Portland to work for the Kaiser Shipbuilding Corporation settled in Woodlawn, racially integrating the neighborhood. Post-war unemployment brought a second wave of economic decline to Woodlawn, which continued for several decades, and made the neighborhood susceptible to crime and gang activity. But slowly families have moved back in, gang activity has subsided, and businesses have returned over the past fifteen years, producing Woodlawn’s 21st century revitalization.


Woodlawn is located in Northeast Portland. It is bordered by the Piedmont, Concordia, Vernon and King neighborhoods.


Woodlawn residential architecture boasts a mix of old Portland homes, Victorians, 1920’s bungalows, mid-century ramblers, modern style homes, and apartment buildings. The Woodlawn Triangle is the center of Woodlawn’s commercial district, with multi-dwelling housing, restaurants, a garden nursery, and a healthcare clinic, yoga studio and more. Further down Dekum, there is more – restaurants, bars, a a family-owned market and restaurant. More businesses lie along the borders of Woodlawn, on the main thoroughfares of NE Martin Luther King, Lombard, and Columbia Boulevard. See our business guide for more information. There are over 14 buildings on the historic registry in our small area. Nearly all the businesses in Woodlawn are locally owned.

Woodlawn School is a Pre-K through 5th Grade school with a long history in the neighborhood. Some families have sent their children to Woodlawn for multiple generations, and many folks who send their kids there comment on how warm and welcoming the school’s environment is. Adjacent to the school is a Portland Community Garden, and just beyond the fence lies Woodlawn Park – seven and a half acres with an accessible play area, accessible restrooms, basketball court,  paved paths, picnic tables, playground, soccer field, softball field, splash pad, and outdoor stage.

From Woodlawn you can reach Vancouver, Washington in about ten minutes, downtown Portland or Portland International Airport in 15 or so. Many residents commute by bicycle.


  • Protect Your Move This is a US Department of Transportation Web site. You can learn red flags for spotting rogue movers and how to choose a reputable mover. The site has a section about “knowing your rights when hiring a mover.”
  • Moving Scam At the core of the website are message boards staffed around the clock by experienced volunteers who answer moving-related questions promptly and at no cost to the consumer. None of the volunteers receive any income from this activity. The site does officially endorse some moving companies and the “endorsement is based on the positive experiences of many consumers who have used them.”
  • Moving Cost Calculator  The tool offers a really simple comparison of moving and relocation options available.