One of my favorite Portland neighborhoods is in inner SE Portland, Ladd’s Addition. The neighborhood is one of Portland’s most unique neighborhoods. Ladd’s Addition is the oldest planned community in Portland. The neighborhood is named after William S. Ladd, who was a mayor of Portland in the 1850s. The neighborhood occupies what was once his farm. In the 1890s he subdivided his land and designed this unique neighborhood. Take a look at the map below to get an idea of its unique nature.
View Ladd’s Addition in a larger map
As you can see above, Ladd’s does not follow the traditional grid pattern that see in the rest of Portland. Ladd’s is designed around a central circular park and 4 rose gardens, on the north, east, south, and west ends of the neighborhood. The streets lead diagonally away from Ladd’s Circle, the park in the center of the neighborhood.
One of the reasons I love this neighborhood is that it is like driving into an oasis. Because of the design of the neighborhood you do not get a lot of through traffic. As a result, Ladd’s feels quiet and peaceful. I also love this neighborhood because the houses are amazing! Many of the houses in Ladd’s and the entire neighborhood itself are on the National Register of Historic Places. Even the houses that are not designated as historic are still pretty amazing.
Also adding to the uniqueness of Ladd’s Addition are the four rose gardens on the north, east, south, and west ends of the neighborhood. Some of the most stately houses in Ladd’s are around the rose gardens.
Ladd’s Addition also happens to be bordered by Hawthorne St. which is a great place for restaurants, pubs, and shopping, especially if you are in to vintage shopping. Right outside Ladd’s is the Hawthorne food cart pod. This pod includes Potato Champion and Whiffies Fried Pies. Lardo is also on the edge of the neighborhood and is terrific.
On the south end of Ladd’s on Division St. are two really terrific pubs, Apex and The Beer Monger. Apex has more beers on tap then you could imagine and many are hard to find craft beers from across the country. It is the only place in town, that I know of anyway, where you can find Pliny the Elder on tap. One downside of the bar is that it is cash only and has a bit of a hipster vibe, but it is worth putting up with those annoyances for the beer selection. Across the street from Apex is the Double Dragon specializing in Banh Mi sandwiches.
If you are looking to stay in the Neighborhood there is one B&B that I know of which is located in the neighborhood, The Slater House. Just outside the neighborhood across from Ladd’s is The Cecelia. Homeaway.com also lists some vacation rentals in and around the neighborhood.
This is a fantastic neighborhood, close in to downtown Portland, yet still maintains an away from it all feel. If you are looking for staying someplace different from the usual downtown hotel atmosphere, this is a neighborhood worth checking out.by