Generations rotate through neighborhoods as life cycles round and round. Like the 75. Young buy from old, grow old themselves, sell and move out, replaced by the next wave. Some homes turn over fast, others just a few times in a hundred years.
Alameda Ridge in NE Portland has seen generations revolve for over a century. Bus 75 goes up and over Alameda Ridge on NE 42nd Avenue. This 5-mile long ridge rising over NE Portland was formed 14,000 years ago when Glacial Lake Missoula flooded over this entire region. Portland would have been 400 feet under water.
Portlanders began building on Alameda Ridge in the early 1900s. Real estate agents and developers catered to wealthy individuals, who staked claims on the high ground. Many real estate agreements of the time had “whites only” provisions.
Today, Alameda Ridge is home to some of the most expensive residences in Portland. The architecture varies widely. Atop the ridge, large homes hoard the view, almost standing arm in arm to block outsiders from getting a free look.
Designed for walkers, the neighborhood includes many public stairways that go up and down the hill. One is just a few feet from where the 75 passes by. These secluded flights of stairs, built a century ago, are still used every day by locals who know where they are.
Elise, who grew up along Alameda Ridge on NE Wisteria, remembers what it was like living here: “The bus went right by our house, every 15 minutes. I counted it off at night lying awake in bed. The headlights would go through my window and across the ceiling. I remember it vividly. Every time it happened I thought there went another 15 minutes of my life.”
“The bus went right by our house, every 15 minutes. I counted it off at night lying awake in bed. The headlights would go through my window and across the ceiling.”