Located just off I-5, in the heart of downtown Portland, the recently renovated Crowne Plaza Portland - Downtown - Convention Center is a great place to base your next trip to Portland. With a convenient location ...more
The Mark Spencer Hotel is located approximately two blocks from the Pearl District and 10 miles from Portland International Airport. This location is also two blocks from Powell's Bookstore, five blocks from Pioneer ...more
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About Pearl District
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The Pearl District is located in the Northwest Quadrant of Portland, Oregon. Currently, the area boasts many art galleries, parks, museums, shopping, and dining. However, the history of the Pearl District is a story of reclamation. The story began in 1845 when Daniel Lownsdale built a tannery in a wetland basin near Conch Lake, which was fed by what became known as Tanner Creek. The area, surrounded by lush forested hills, was originally platted as Conchs Addition in 1869. In the late 1800s, when the population of Portland grew, Tanner Creek was rerouted through a system of underground pipes to the Willamette River. The wetlands area and Conch Lake were filled in to make room for industrial development. Residential homes were constructed around the area of the North Blocks. However, around the turn of the century expansion from the railroad yards to the north halted growth of the north blocks and gradually the area converted into light industry and commercial use. By 1910, multi-story warehouses and commercial buildings had become characteristic of the area. The area became known as the Northwest Industrial Triangle.
The area remained relatively unchanged until the 1980s, when developers re-discovered the area and began converting many of the old buildings into residential and multiple uses. In the early 1990s, city began to consider urban revitalization of the area and plans included two parks, residences, and shopping. The Portland Street Car, the first modern streetcar system in the United States began operation in 2001. To increase accessibility to the area, the Portland Street Car route stops included the Pearl District. Part of the revitalization effort included a "mini-reclamation" of the former wetlands that once occupied the area. Tanner Springs Park, named after the original stream that flowed through the area, was completed in 2004. The 0.92-acre park features a wetland area that connects Tanner Creek to the pipes, which flow to the Willamette River as well as pathways.
Many of the former warehouses were converted into trendy art galleries and shops, a far cry from their roots in industry, thereby completing the cycle of reclamation. The term "Pearl District" was coined sometime in the late 1990s to early 2000s as a way to describe the many artists' studios and art galleries (the "pearls") located in the rough old buildings of the areas.