Portland's Woodlawn Historic District -- located in the inner portion of the city's Northeast quadrant -- has a cohesive, community feel to it. Despite having the bustling, urban NE Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard as its western border, the neighborhood maintains its longstanding residential, predominantly working class profile with single family bungalows -- many of which date from late 19th and early 20th century -- making up the majority of the homes.
According to Remembering Woodlawn (Arcadia Publishing, 2008), the area transformed from a small, rural village when the Portland and Vancouver Railway built a train station along what is currently known as NE Dekum Street. Visitors and businesses sprang up, but they remained centered along that road. Today, Dekum Street, which runs from east to west and roughly bisects the Woodlawn neighborhood, continues to host the area's small but thriving commercial center, with everything from build-it-yourself frozen yogurt creations to fine dining. Along with many of the surrounding North and Northeast Portland neighborhoods, Woodlawn is among the most racially diverse areas in the state: According to the 2010 census (as broken down here by the City of Portland), the neighborhood is 56.6% white, 30% black and 10.6% Hispanic.
While Portland has plenty of more frequented sites and areas that are well worth a visit, to truly get a sense of the city means getting off the well-trodden paths and checking out some of its quirky neighborhoods. Woodlawn's main attractions lie between NE MLK and NE 15th, so start at one end and wend your way to the other. A visit to this district is easily combined with the nearby and popular Alberta Arts District (about one mile to the south) and N Mississippi Avenue (one mile to the west).