It’s hard to believe that the Pearl District was once home to rail yards and warehouses. Originally part of the 1869 “Couch Addition”—the original land acquisition of Northwest Portland, the area slowly emptied out as traffic patterns moved away from railroads and towards highways for automobiles. This proved providential for artists and business start-ups, attracted by low rent. Today, the Pearl District is known as an icon of “New Urbanism,” which prizes walkability, conservation, and diversity. However, the neighborhood is also true to its roots, maintaining an artistic and bohemian flair.
The Pearl District encompasses approximately 100 city blocks between West Burnside Street and NW Broadway. A large majority of Pearl District residents reside in renovated historic buildings or warehouses that have transformed into sleek and modern condominiums, apartments, or townhomes. As of 2016, the population is approximately 5,900 people.
Pearl District Attractions
The Pearl District is known as a hub for Portland’s art scene. Multiple art galleries can be found in the neighborhood. On the first Thursday of each month, multiple art galleries in the neighborhood stay open after normal closing, and offer guests the chance to meet the artists behind their favorite pieces. In addition to art galleries, the Pearl is home to a number of unique boutiques, including “Made Here PDX”—a retail location stocked solely with products made in Portland.
One of Portland’s most well-known icons, Powell’s Books, has its flagship location in the Pearl District. It is the largest independent bookstore in the United States, with more than 68,000 square feet devoted to new and used books.
The Pearl is also a great location for dining. Award-winning cuisine representing numerous ethnicities can be found in the Pearl, in addition to some of Portland’s most frequented coffee shops.
The Pearl District is known for its livability—many amenities are available within walking distance for residents. The Portland Streetcar is also an easily accessible form of public transportation for Pearl District Residents.
Zip Code: 97209
Daily errands do not require a car
Transit is convenient for most trips
Daily errands can be accomplished on a bike