Laurelhurst Neighborhood


Established in 1909, Laurelhurst is an iconic Portland community known for its classic vintage architecture and lush park. This neighborhood spans the NE and SE sections of Portland that rest between Hollywood to the north, Sunnyside to the south, Kerns to the west and North Tabor East. Its charming streets are rich with over 1,500 homes consisting of Bungalow style estates or English Tudors – making it a beautiful place full of history worth exploring!

Portland’s Laurelhurst neighborhood is an architectural marvel, with streets meandering in all directions providing a unique charm. Expansive lots set the backdrop for magnificent homes that mark some of the city’s wealthiest and most esteemed areas. Visitors to this picturesque area are sure to find something breathtaking!

Laurelhurst, unlike adjacent Portland neighborhoods, is completely residential. It also has on its southern border the beautiful Laurelhurst Park, which has a man-made lake. You know that Laurelhurst residents care about their community when you view the committees for the Neighborhood Association: Land Use, Transportation, Traffic, Trees, Safety, Garage Sale, Friends of the Laurelhurst Park, Bike, Clean-up, Environment, and Community Safety.

Origin of the Name Laurelhurst:

The Laurelhurst Company purchased most of the property in 1909 except for 31 acres that it sold to the City of Portland for the Laurelhurst park. The company christened the new subdivision “Laurelhurst,” using the same name they had already employed for a successful “Laurelhurst” residential area they developed in Seattle. “Hurst” is an old Anglo-Saxon word meaning “a wood, grove, or copse,” and “laurel” was chosen because of the shrubs growing in the Seattle development.

Laurelhurst Theater:

The Laurelhurst Theater became part of Portland’s cultural and architectural history when it was built in 1923, one of the first art deco style buildings of the period. Like every theater in the country, what was once a successful family theater lost out to the multiplexes of the late eighties. In 2001, months of renovation brought the theater back to stand again as a proud icon to Portland’s history and future. The theater’s four screens bring the best of modern cinema, independent art and classic film to Portland’s movie lovers at remarkably reasonable prices. Starred attractions are only $3 while general films are $2. It’s independently owned and operated without commercials and previews are limited to five minutes.

Laurelhurst Park is a spring-fed pond on the property had always been a favorite watering-hole for cattle, as well as a favorite swimming hole for both children and adults. In 1911, seeing the potential for a park as part of the Olmsted’s plan, the City of Portland bought 30-31 of the acres, including the pond. Workers were hired to deepen the pond into a 3-acre lake. Also developed was a “play park” between Oak and Stark Streets. The boys were to play on the south side, the girls were to play on the north side, and general games were to be held in the eastern block. Laurelhurst has 33 acres of park land and open spaces according to Metro and the Portland Department of Parks and Recreation.

Walking in Laurelhurst:

This 3.5-mile walk loops through Laurelhurst. The walk passes wooded Laurelhurst Park en route to the Sunnyside neighborhood with its many Queen Anne homes and active businesses on SE Belmont Street. Joan of Arc memorializes the fallen soldiers of World War 1 in Coe Circle at NE 39th and NE Glisan. In honor of the American Doughboy, soldiers closely allied with the French in World War I, Dr. Henry Waldo Coe donated the statue (Joan of Arc, Maid of Orleans 1412-1431). She sits atop her horse at the intersection of NE 39 Street and Glisan (now called Coe Circle) in the Laurelhurst neighborhood. The statue was created by Emmanuel Fremiet in 1924. You’ll see her on the walking tour.

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