Hillside is a scenic Portland neighborhood nestled in the Tualatin Mountains that overlooks Downtown and the sprawling city beyond. Also known as King’s Heights, Hillside earned the nickname when Amos Nahum King purchased 513 acres of hillside territory in 1852. Hillside had traditionally attracted a wealthy demographic, and its neighborhoods feature lavish homes and beautiful parks. It also hosts various tourist attractions and community centers representing the historic and neighborly character of Hillside.
The Hillside Community Center was once owned by an art center facing tough financial times; rather than allow the building to sell to developers from outside the Hillside neighborhood, residents raised more than $100,000 to purchase the property and convert the building into a community center. To reach that sum, a dozen families took out second mortgages, showing exceptional dedication to their community and its families and youth. The City of Portland recognized the Hillside residents’ efforts and agreed to staff and help maintain the Hillside Community Center and its property as a public park.
Another historic Hillside site is the Pittock Mansion, so named for former residents Henry and Georgiana Pittock. As publishers of The Oregonian, they helped establish a thriving journalistic and publishing industry in Hillside and for Portland residents at large, an appeal the city still holds for aspiring and established writers today. The Pittock family continued residing in the home until it was severely damaged during the Columbus Day Storm in 1962, when Hillside residents raised $75,000 to help the City of Portland purchase and restore the Pittock Mansion, which has been a historic landmark in the Hillside community since opening its doors to the public in 1965.
Hillside is a wonderful community for those who desire a view of the mountains, the city and the Willamette River. The old-growth timber in the region add to its historic ambiance, and the many beautiful homes complement the communal feel its residents provide. Hillside is an extension of the Northwest District of Portland that continues beyond Northwest 23rd Avenue and is home to thousands of acres of parkland, incorporating hiking and biking trails, streams, forests and grassy land as far as the eye can see.
Forest Park is the largest park in Hillside (and all of Portland), and it has all the usual park amenities: picnic areas, playgrounds, basketball courts and the like. It also includes various plaques with historical anecdotes and facts on them, including information about the wildlife that calls Hillside its habitat. The 40 Mile Loop of Portland, a century-old greenway trail that connects hundreds of parks throughout the city. The loop has grown since it was named and now spans over 140 miles throughout Hillside and the rest of Portland.
Washington Park borders the Hillside area and is home to the Portland Zoo, the Hoyt Arboretum, the Children’s Museum, the Japanese Gardens, a Holocaust memorial, a memorial honoring Vietnam veterans, and the youth-friendly Hillside Community Center that provides children with soccer fields, basketball courts and tennis courts, exercise facilities and a safe environment. Hillside offers a great mix of natural beauty, culture, history and strong community that establish it as one of Portland’s friendliest neighborhoods and a great area for families.
Hillside is a sublime community for nature lovers, history buffs and residents seeking a neighborhood with a strong sense of community. An added bonus are the views from Hillside—at 1,000 feet above sea level and with most of its residential housing situated overlooking Portland, the sight of the city is consistently beautiful.