Ladd’s Addition, Clinton, and Colonial Heights


The most recognizable feature of Ladd’s Addition is its diagonal/circular street pattern. Although this is a busy section of town, virtually no traffic ventures onto Ladd’s odd streets. After all, a circle is never the fastest way to get from one point to another. This lack of traffic appeals to families seeking quiet and a safe place for kids to play while still remaining close-in to Portland’s attractions. Driving downtown takes less than 10 minutes; it’s a short drive down Hawthorne and over the bridge. William Ladd, an early Portland mayor, laid out the “wagon wheel” street design after a similar one created and built in Washington D.C. Four rose gardens and a central garden can be found within the street design.

Ladd’s Addition is one of the oldest residential neighborhoods in Portland and includes various homestyles from Arts and Crafts and bungalows to ranches. SE Hawthorne, Division St, SE 12th, and SE 20th comprise the neighborhood’s borders. Beautiful, gracious American elm trees line the quiet, family-friendly streets. This neighborhood has grown immensely popular in recent years and prices have risen accordingly. Abernethy Elementary, Hosford International Middle School, and Cleveland High School are all rated as strong by the Oregon Department of Education. The only neighborhood restaurant is European-flavored Palio’s Dessert and Espresso located at the center of the wagon wheel. Homes here are a reasonable walk from Hawthorne St or Division St.

Nearby Colonial Heights offers many of the same amenities of Ladd’s Addition, minus the strange street configuration. It’s still a short walk to the shops, restaurants, and amenities of both Hawthorne St and Division St. The neighborhood isn’t quite as old though; homes began being built in the 1920s and mostly finished in the 1950s. A few homes have views.

Clinton is an up and coming neighborhood clustered around SE Clinton and SE 26th. Like the rest of inner southeast, good restaurants and interesting shops are opening their doors here. This cute, funky neighborhood includes Swedish-restaurant and critical darling, Broder and the alternative arthouse Clinton Street Theater. This “alternative” section of town is gaining popularity, but home prices are still within reach of many. Fixer uppers are still prevalent; fully remodeled homes are not. The neighborhood schools are rated from exceptional to strong.

Transit options from inner Southeast are plentiful. Bus service runs alongs many of the main thoroughfares including Burnside, Hawthorne, Division, Powell, and Milwaukie. One bus even runs straight through the wagon wheel at the center of Ladd’s Addition. Each of the southeast neighborhoods is a short drive from downtown Portland, about 5-10 minutes depending on where you start and time of day. Portland International Airport is about a 20-25 minute drive.