The classically inspired Pioneer Courthouse is the oldest federal building in the Pacific Northwest. Portland was once also known as Bridgetown, due to the high number of bridges in town – in fact Hawthorne Bridge, Steel Bridge and Broadway Bridge are over a century old and have been designated historic landmarks. The Morrison Street Bridge has a cameo in the opening credits of iconic comedy sketch Portlandia. The French Chateauesque Pittock Mansion in the West Hills, the Richardsonian Romanesque Union Station, and the Romanesque-styled Piggott Castle in southwest Portland are hallmarks of the city’s Gilded Age architecture.
Powell’s City of Books in the Pearl District bills itself as the world’s largest independent bookstore. Stumptown Coffee Roasters is an iconic landmark in the city’s green business movement. Oaks Amusement Park has been a go-to recreational destination since 1905. Of the world’s copper statues only the Statue of Liberty takes up more real estate than “Portlandia,” an artwork based on the city seal. The city symbol stands at the entrance of the Portland Municipal Services Building.
Portland has five major real estate “quadrants,” each projecting its own distinct character. Inside these boundaries are 167,285 single-family homes. Portland’s eclectic pride permeates its housing market as no fewer than 9,524 residential properties are designated as being neither multi-family buildings (2,846) nor apartments for sale (13,213). Entrepreneurs hoping to tap into Portland’s green economy can select from 10,204 commercial properties and 4,829 industrial properties. Another 19,796 properties have been classified as mixed use. Wooded tracts, building lots and farms are all included in the inventory of 2,270 vacant lots in Portland.
More commuters bicycle to work per capita in Portland than in any other major American city and Biketown operates 100 stations for bike-sharing along the city’s bicycle-friendly streets. The Tri-County Metropolitan Transportation District of Oregon handles mass transit with 78 bus lines and 60 miles of light rail tracks to 97 stations. The City of Portland operates two streetcar lines downtown that service nearly 5 million riders every year.
The Portland education map is broken into six public school districts which are augmented by a network of private schools. Portland State University is Oregon’s 2nd largest college with an enrollment of over 30,000.
Portland Medical Center, part of the 27-hospital non-profit Providence Health & Services System is a major health care provider in metro Portland. Legacy Health offers 6 primary-care hospitals in its portfolio of clinics and outpatient facilities.
FBI statistics report a 1 in 190 chance of violent crime in Portland, less than half the rate of Oregon overall. Property crimes are reported at a more comparable rate: 1 in 26 in Portland and 1 in 34 in Oregon.
Portland embraces a participatory culture in step with its most famous corporate citizen, Nike – just do it. There are regular running and cycling events for Portlanders and over 50 active breweries inside city limits to provide refreshment afterwards. Farm-to-table dining is the culinary standard in Portland and locals do not even have to sacrifice their vegan diets at Voodoo Doughnut before an outing to the Portland Saturday Market.
The city’s vibrant music scene embraces classical performances of the Oregon Symphony and the Portland Opera, as well as scores of karaoke bars. The Oregon Museum of Science and Industry and the Portland Art Museum are cultural staples. The Portland Rose Festival in June is so big it now features three parades. Later in summer, the Oregon Brewers Festival is the largest outdoor craft beer festival in the United States.
Washington Park is the city’s outdoor showcase and home of the Oregon Zoo, considered the Beaver State’s most popular paid attraction. The International Rose Test Garden, the Hoyt Arboretum and the formal Japanese Garden are also housed in the 410-acre park.