Oregon Design and Architecture Oregon History Portland History

Walking around Portland’s Central Eastside Industrial District

A warm late spring walk around the Central Eastside Industrial District.

I’ve been spending more and more time in the Central Eastside district. Each Wednesday I hop on at the end/beginning of the Orange Line and take the 20 minute ride in for a weekly gig I have with a content marketing agency. During lunch, I wander around and discover something new each time. Boxing gym? Check. Old restaurant storefront that looks like it comes from a noir flick? Check. Brick. Ohhhh, yeah.

I wrote about the area back in 2010 for Neighborhood Notes (now offline) and had this to say:

With newer businesses moving in, a strong sense of community among merchants, the addition of the Portland Streetcar, and after years of stops and starts, the area is definitely evolving and moving ahead full throttle but thankfully keeping its original, industrial history and soul intact.

I guess you could write the same thing today. At the time of the post, residential housing was forbidden to be built (I’m talking mostly the area around Water Avenue and a few blocks east). I wonder of that’s still the case.

Meeting someone for coffee recently,  I walked down SE 3rd from the 500s down to the single digits at f&b and was blown away by the change. I’d only seen the Yard from a distance but up close? It’s huge. Like towering.

In 2010, I don’t think I would’ve guessed that block would be transformed so much.

Anyhow, the Central Eastside is probably my favorite place in Portland. It *still* has the grit, the produce heritage, the lack of sidewalks (stay out of the way of the delivery trucks — this is their territory). There’s now more places to eat and drink, and work. I’ll be writing more about this part of Portland that’s has undergone some huge changes and is going to see even more during the next few years.

That art deco glass at the top of the entrance? Hang in there.
Brick! Former life: John Deere manufacturing.
What goes on in places like this? No windows.
Simplicity reigns.
God bless you, City Liquidators.
Built in 1909. For lease!
Remove that car and replace it with a 40s car, stat.
These are the kinds of architectural details that make the neighborhood so unique.

2 replies on “Walking around Portland’s Central Eastside Industrial District”

I love the East side of Portland! Lived in Southeast in the 70’s as a hippie, sharing several old classic Victorian and Bungalow homes with multiple “cool” people. I live in North Texas now which is very different from Portland, to say the least. I still get terribly homesick and would live in Portland if I could afford it. All the immigrants from California and other places have priced the city way out of my price range! We used to help occasionally at Genoa when it was just getting going, along with various “Reedies”. Also worked with Jimmy Beller at the “Stomach” health food communal restaurant. Does anyone remember the Stomach? Bob Parker, an ex-Reed College person had an old 1940’s car that we would ride around in and I remember the inside of that car was gigantic! We sure had a lot of fun!

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