Portland Real Estate Experts

Lair Hill Real Estate Guide


Lair Hill is part of South Portland, a long narrow strip of communities just south of Downtown. Bordered by the Willamette River and the West Hills, the Lair Hill community is full of Portland history, classic Northwest charm, and rich greenery. The neighborhood borders Homestead, Hillsdale, South Burlingame, Corbett, and Terwilliger, all areas known for their strong community support, great schools, sustainable ethos, and amazing homes. Lair Hill and the surrounding neighborhoods in South Portland were among the first areas to start the "neighborhood revolution" in the 1960's. Community members in the neighborhood banded together to prevent destruction of historical buildings, trees, and landmarks under the Portland urban renewal project. The fight against neighborhood destruction resulted in the creation of the first protected historical district in Portland and one of the first neighborhood coalitions, followed by the development of many neighborhood home owner groups and the official designation of the neighborhood government system in the City of Portland. This neighborhood pride is still evident today, as community members take pride in their historic homes and public buildings, green parks, and community stories. The winding streets, mature trees, and gorgeous homes in Lair Hill are constant reminders of the neighborhood's past, and the support of neighbors and natural restoration projects bring the area into the present and future. Lair Hill is a perfect place to raise a family and find a piece of Portland to call your own.


The Lair Hill neighborhhod was named not after a hill, as the name may suggest, but after William Lair Hill (1838-1924), a pioneer attorney, historian, and newspaper editor who owned the property in the area. Hill was responsible for codifying Oregon laws between 1882 and 1887. The Lair Hill area was part of historical South Portland, a district of Italian, Irish, and Jewish immigrants much of which was demolished by an "urban renewal" project in 1958. Signs of the early immigrant culture remain in the form of synagogues and ethnic shops.


Lair Hill is located in Southwest Portland, bordered by I-405 on the north, SW Barbur Blvd. on the south and west, and SW Naito Parkway on the east.


Lair Hill was one of the first areas to be established in Portland - in fact, the oldest home in Portland lies within its boundaries. Lair Hill homes cover the full variety of regional architectural styles and are amazing glimpses of Portland's past. The oldest homes, including Victorian mansions, date back to the 1870s, and can be traced back to the founders of Portland and the people who labored and loved in this city. Other home styles include classic Northwest, Colonial, English, Tudor, and simple craftsman bungalows waiting to be loved and restored.

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Lair Hill's local schools are: Bridlemile Elementary School (4300 SW 47th Dr.), West Sylvan Middle School (8111 SW West Slope Dr.) and Lincoln High School (1600 SW Salmon St.).


Lair Hill Park: Lair Hill Park is a small, picturesque neighborhood green space, shaded beneath big-leaved maple and chestnut trees that light up in yellow and orange and red in the fall. The park has a nice playground, benches on grassy knolls, public sculptures, tennis courts, and access to local running tracks and nature trails.

Marquam Nature Park: This popular trail area starts just south of downtown at the foot of the West Hills and winds up the hill to the Homestead neighborhood. The Nature Park is home to many native plant species and has several trails that wind through majestic Douglas fir, Western hemlock, Red cedar, and Big-leaf maple trees. The trail system connects Council Crest and the Oregon Zoo. The main trail is less than a mile, with 10 marker posts.

Duniway Park Lilac Garden: This gorgeous public space, once home to Portland's first Italian community, features a state-of-the-art running track, 225 lilac plants blooming in the spring (including a large Japanese Tree lilac which blooms in June), and steep hillsides cover with fir and cedar trees. People come from miles around to smell the amazing lilac blooms, grown by B.O. Case in the early 1900's. The Duniway Park running track is made from recycled rubber, including over 20,000 lbs. of athletic shoe soles donated by Nike, Inc in Beaverton.


Lair Hill Market Café: (2823 SW 1st Ave) This charming neighborhood joint is known for its appreciation of neighborhood history and community. It's a unique space in the Lair Hill neighborhood where friends and family can enjoy a wonderful lunch, breakfast or dinner in a warm and inviting atmosphere. If you want the kind of place where people remember your name and a cat curls up on a bar stool next to you, Lair Hill Market is the perfect spot.

Paloma Clothing: (6316 SW Capitol Hwy) This friendly, upbeat boutique is located in the Hillsdale Shopping Center near Wilson High School, right next to the Food Front co-operative grocery. New stuff arrives every day, and many accessories are made locally, You can find some amazing, beautiful pieces here, including brands like Aventura, Bryn Walker, Citron, Cut Loose, Flax, Free People, Jag pants, Kenzie, Loco Linda, Nic and Zoe, Neesh, Nomadic Traders, Putumayo, S.F. City Lights, Two Star Dog, URU, Willow, Weston Wear and XCVI.

Sushi Takahashi 2: (2415 SW 5th Ave) This hole-in-the-wall space with feel like your private sushi chef, with great prices, FRESH seafood, and awesome ambiance. With one of those cool sushi toy trains and excellent hand-rolled sushi, this place is both quality and fun! tempura tai - deep fried snapper on piece  of rice with a light creamy sauce. Try the salmon skin roll (salmon skin fried to a nice crisp and finely chopped rolled with scallions, carrots, cucumber) and the salmon nigiri. The prices can't be beat!

Chart House: (5700 SW Terwilliger Blvd) This favorite luxury restaurant has an amazing view over Portland and the Willamette River, with 5-star food. For a never-fail meal, try the crab, mango and avocado stack for your appetizer and the macadamia nut encrusted fish of the day for your entree. Sit back and enjoy the view!

Bamboo Grove Hawaiian Grille: (0515 SW Carolina St) This great lunch place has tons of choices for every appetite. They have different sizes for a lot of the plates, so everyone can choose what portion they want. Warning: the big portions are REALLY BIG. The Shoyu chicken is delicious, as are the Korean ribs. They've also got a sweet little patio, perfect for sipping Passion Fruit Margaritas in the summertime!

Corbett Fish House: (5901 SW Corbett Ave) These guys have the BEST chile-fried catfish fish and chips in the city! It's got a chili-garlic oil underneath the breading, and its fried to a perfect crisp. Everything is gluten-free, perfect for people with and without dietary restrictions, and the atmosphere is amazingly welcoming. They are also committed to the idea of sustainable seafood, so they follow the guidelines of the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch Program.


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