Over the past two decades, one of the most successful urban renewal projects in Portland is an industrial area transformed into a boutique neighborhood known as the Pearl District. The area is located just North of downtown and home to about 1,000 lucky inhabitants who live mostly in chic, ultra-modern condominiums, nestled among high-end art galleries, specialty coffee houses, and award-winning restaurants. To say that it is an area I have thought more than once about residing in is a huge understatement.
When Trevor was younger, we often visited Jamison Square, an urban park with an amazing fountain constructed of cement blocks simulating a waterfall that dumps into a shallow tide pool. Every few minutes, water cascades from small holes at the top of the fountain, recirculating treated water where kids splash and play on hot days.
When money began to flow into the area and the revitalization unfolded, many believed it should be renamed the “warehouse district” or the “beer district” since numerous local breweries called it home. But instead, a local gallery owner is credited for naming the Pearl after a dear friend. He believed the decaying industrial warehouses were like crusty oysters which, once restored, revealed pearls in the form of galleries, upscale lofts, and cool eateries.
If you visit Portland, please visit thePearl District and see for yourself why this is such a cool place.