My first Neighborhood Focus was about my own ‘hood, Sullivan’s Gulch. Of course, when I tell people I live in The Gulch, I am met with blank stares. So, then I say that Sullivan’s Gulch is just southeast of Irvington. Then they smile and nod and usually say, “Oh, I love Irvington!”
Everyone loves Irvington, including me. It is historic, has incredible homes, and is filled with trees, trees, and more trees. A nightly walk through the Irvington district does my soul good.
It is very historic. It was founded in the late 1800s as one of the first upper middle class neighborhoods in Portland, thanks to the burgeoning trolley car system that cost only a nickel (which is five cents more than riding the MAX from Irvington into downtown these days in the fare free zone!)
Walking around Irvington today, you will see many homes with signs marking them as “Century Homes,” meaning they have been in the neighborhood for 100 years. And, a few select abodes have been added to the National Register of Historic Places. Thanks to the diverse collection of well-maintained arts-and-crafts, craftsman and colonial revival homes, the entire Irvington district itself has been nominated this year to be one of the few neighborhoods included in the National Register.
Each May, you can get an inside look at some of the homes if you come for a stroll through the Irvington Home Tour.
But it is not just the homes and impressive tree-lined streets….there is a lot to love in Irvington. The Irvington Club has been around since 1898, providing tennis courts and more to local residents. Irving Park, which used to be a racetrack, offers field for nearly every sport and an off-leash dog run. And, you can keep up to date on the goings-on around Irvington via the Irvington Community Association.
Time for basic goodness. Irvington is very convenient to shopping and restaurants on Alberta, Fremont and Broadway. The MAX is located close-by at Lloyd Center. Property values are strong, but affordable deals can still be found on the outskirts of the neighborhood (buy low in a good neighborhood, is what I always say).
In closing, I have to share one of my favorite Irvington moments that I think represents the neighborhood. We were walking home and saw a cat sleeping in the middle of the cobblestoned street. That is how calm and quiet it is. We walked by, scratched its head for a little purr, and finished the stroll thinking how nice it would be to buy a home in Irvington one day.