Portland’s Best Neighborhoods: Ladd’s Addition

A private, picturesque nook all unto itself, Ladd’s Addition is Portland’s oldest planned community and one of the oldest in the western United States. Strolling along its elm-shaded streets on a summer day, one might even forget they’re living in the midst of a bustling city.

Part of the larger Hosford-Abernethy neighborhood and one of fifteen Portland area historic districts listed on the National Register of Historic Places, Ladd’s Addition was once a sprawling 126-acre farm owned by William S. Ladd, from whom the neighborhood takes its name. A former Portland mayor in the 1850s, Mr. Ladd divided up his land for residential use when the area was incorporated into Portland proper in 1891, resulting in one of Portland’s most unique neighborhood layouts.

Now considered inner SE Portland, Ladd’s Addition does not conform to a traditional grid. Inspired by the L’Enfant Plan for Washington, D.C., its design consists of a series of diagonal streets extending outward from a central garden hub—Ladd’s Circle. Because of this configuration, Ladd’s Addition does not receive a lot of through traffic, making it ideal for walking and biking, and contributing to the easygoing, back-in-time atmosphere of the district.

Four rose test gardens, one for each quadrant (north, south, east, west), further define the neighborhood. Planted in 1909, the gardens offer more than 60 varieties of roses, all adopted and cared for year round by local residents.

Situated between the culturally infused Hawthorne Avenue and the recently revived and blossoming Division Street, a varied selection of trendy eateries, coffee shops, wine bars, specialty boutiques and classic Portland liveliness is only a short distance away.

Residents of Ladd’s Addition take pride in their neighborhood and strive to foster a tight-knit community—an ideal setting for young families with children as well as retirees. Houses in the area are mostly single-family homes dating from 1905-1930 with styles ranging from Craftsman, bungalow and American Foursquare to Mission, Tudor, and Colonial Revival.

Parents of young children won’t have to travel far to take their kids to school—Abernethy Elementary is located right in the neighborhood. Running late? Grab a cup of coffee and a pastry at Palio Dessert & Espresso House located in the center of the community.

If the quietude and slow pace of a small neighborhood nestled within the heart of Portland culture and activity sounds like your speed, then call me today to talk about making Ladd’s Addition your next home.