Located between NE Fremont and NE Broadway, and bordered by the Willamette River and NE 7th, the Eliot neighborhood is one of the best locations in Portland for commuters working in other parts of the city. Its location as a Portland hub is no accident: it used to house the downtown district of the city of Albina, before it was annexed by the city of Portland in the late 19th century. Prior to being settled by expansionists, the Albina area was inhabited by the Clackamas Indian tribe. The neighborhood continues to hold on to its history, even as it increases in popularity and number of residents.
Many residents of the Eliot neighborhood have lived in the area their whole lives, which makes the community’s sense of pride and activism no surprise! The name Eliot itself is a reminder of Portland’s activist past: Eliot’s namesake is Thomas Lamb Eliot, the first minister of Portland’s Unitarian Universalist Church and an early supporter of women’s suffrage, school reform, Native American rights, and mental health reform. Whether you’re looking to visit or live in Eliot, the sense of community is infectious, and the mix of residential and commercial real estate on every street is bound to reveal a new set of Portland treasures.
While Eliot is so close-in that it could rely on downtown Portland or its more famous neighbors, Mississippi and Lloyd Center, to provide residents with entertainment, it more than holds its own as a destination. Cafes, restaurants, two popular music venues (The Secret Society Ballroom and the Wonder Ballroom), and the Matt Dishman Community Center, which has a public pool, all draw Portlanders from every quadrant. Bike corridors along North Williams and Vancouver make getting to Eliot incredibly easy for bike commuters, to say nothing of the Max and TriMet hubs found in the neighborhood as well.
Eliot offers residents not one but two community gardens, Boise-Eliot and Patton, both of which provide gardening space for neighbors to plant food and flowers in the middle of a rapidly expanding urban area. Unthank Park is another favorite of the area, located on Shaver Street and containing sports fields and a well-kept playground in addition to paved walkways for exploring.