Woodstock is a defined neighborhood located in the southeast section of Portland, Oregon. It is shaped somewhat like a flag, or like a giant P (for Portland!), with Woodstock Park located in the middle of the upper rectangular area. The neighborhood is bordered on the west by SE Cesar Chavez Ave. (formerly 39th) and on the north by SE Holgate Blvd. The eastern boundary follows SE 60th Ave. south to SE Duke St., then jogs west to about SE 50th Ave., south again to SE Glenwood Street, west again to SE 45th Ave., then south to SE Crystal Springs Blvd., its southernmost border. Despite its many unimproved streets, Woodstock is considered one of the most walkable neighborhoods in Portland, and many of its residents live within walking distance of basic services and amenities, most clustered along a ten-block strip of Woodstock Blvd. with others scattered up and down 52nd Ave.
Click on map to download a full-size PDF map of Woodstock Neighborhood (via portland.gov).
According to the website, pdxhistory.com:
“Woodstock bears the name of a real estate tract platted in 1889. At that time it was in vogue to name housing tracts after Sir Walter Scott’s novels. In the Southeast part of Portland we have Woodstock, Ivanhoe, Kenilworth and Waverly (spelling is different from Waverleigh). The word “stoc” is an Anglo-Saxon word which means a stockaded place and woodstock means a place fortified with wooden posts. Woodstock had a post office, as a separate town, with its own postmark, beginning in 1891 and it lasted until 1912.”
The northern portion of Woodstock contains the majority of the neighborhood’s older homes, some built as early as the 1880s. Post World War II housing construction is concentrated in the southern panhandle and the northeast corner of the neighborhood. More recent urban infill housing is scattered throughout the area, although this is more concentrated in the eastern portion of the neighborhood. Additional interesting facts about the neighborhood can be found on Woodstock’s Wikipedia page.
Woodstock Park is situated right in the center of the top half of the Woodstock Neighborhood. This wonderful asset includes a fir-lined pedestrian path, a children’s play area, an off-leash dog area, a large picnic area, and multiple sports fields. Nearby parks outside Woodstock Neighborhood boundaries include Berkeley Park, Brentwood Park, Creston Park, and Mt. Scott Park and Community Center. Crystal Spring Rhododendron Garden borders Reed College at SE 28th Ave, which intersects Johnson Creek, the site of some exciting neighborhood watershed restoration efforts.
Woodstock neighborhood contains two elementary schools; Woodstock Elementary School, which lies immediately south of the park, and Meriwether Lewis Elementary School (commonly known as Lewis), which is located at 4401 SE Evergreen St.
The Woodstock Library, part of the Multnomah County Library system, offers classes and activities for all ages in addition to loans of books, DVDs and other media, plus access to computers.
Business and civic activity is concentrated in Woodstock’s commercial village, centered on SE Woodstock Boulevard between SE Cesar Chavez and SE 52nd Avenues. Large and small commercial establishments offer a range of consumer goods and services; many are members of the Woodstock Community Business Association. The Woodstock Farmers Market happens every Sunday from 10am to 2pm, from June through October, in the Key Bank parking lot (4600 SE Woodstock Blvd.). The Woodstock Community Center is located just north of the boulevard, on SE 43rd Ave.
Members of Woodstock Neighborhood Association drafted a Woodstock Neighborhood Plan that was adopted by the Portland City Council in 1995. Policies, objectives and action items provide vision and direction for the neighborhood. Chapters cover neighborhood history as well as visions for the future. Although now outdated, this plan offers perspective on the history of development of the neighborhood. Reference copies are available at the Woodstock Community Center and the Woodstock Branch Library. Copies are also available for purchase for $5 from the City of Portland Planning Bureau, 1900 SW 4th Ave., 4th Floor, 503-823-7700.
In 2014, Woodstock Neighborhood Association partnered with the Woodstock Community Business Association, Woodstock Stakeholders (Woodstock’s commercial property owners group) and Reed College on a Woodstock Visioning Project also known as the Woodstock Charrette. A four-day, community visioning process led by the National Charrette Institute brought together many Woodstock residents and business and property owners to consider and have input to zoning and design questions that may very well shape future development in the commercial section of Woodstock. The final report is due to be released in early 2015.
Woodstock does not exist in a vacuum. The neighborhood blends seamlessly into its adjoining neighborhoods. In one case (Ardenwald-Johnson), there is an overlapping section claimed by two different neighborhood associations. All of these SE Portland neighborhoods are supported by the nonprofit neighborhood coalition known as SE Uplift. Here is a list of all the neighborhoods, plus a couple other neighborhood-focused nonprofits, that border on Woodstock: