About Mississippi – Boise/Eliot
Mississippi is the common name that Portlanders use for this neighborhood- but Boise is the official name, spilling north into Humboldt and south a little bit into Elliot. This is one of the hottest neighborhoods in Portland right now- with trendy shops, cafes and eateries, plus an area of Food Carts. There are also lots of really cool old houses- some gorgeous! And it's just a few blocks to the MAX on Interstate!
The boundaries are not exact, but I would say from I 5 on the west, Williams to the east, Alberta to the north and Fremont to the south. To learn what businesses are in this neighborhood, go to www.portland-neighborhood-business-guide.com?content=Mississippi There are some cool food carts in this neighborhood too. Plus the neighborhood is just a few blocks from the Max Train on Interstate- there is a footbridge that goes over I-5 to Interstate and the stop is right there!
This neighborhood is still coming up- Lots of the houses have already been restored, and more are being fixed up all the time. People who know about this area, seem to like the business district and shops as much as they like Hawthorne or Sellwood- it is just not as well known.
Here is a collage showing some of the features of Mississippi- all the cool shops, the Victorian homes, the down to earth-back to nature feeling with the chickens....It is a unique, creative neighborhood full of vibrance and life! Lots of unique, quality, hip shops- none of the fast food or big corporate businesses!
Bike Riding, street fairs- Coffee shops! Food Carts- as shown below: www.foodcartsportland.com to see where all of them are around the city!
Mississippi-Boise area was settled in the mid 1800's by shipworkers – it was a thriving community- with a downtown business area, public transportation and families! It became home to blacks that were wiped out in the huge flood in 1948- This is a sad story: In the 1940's, the city built VanPort, which was built on a flood plane to house shipworkers – now called Delta Park. 100,000 people had moved into the area- with nowhere to live. Portland had a policy that kept blacks confined to the small Albina neighborhood- but with the great influx of all these people, 6000 of them black- they had to figure out what to do with them. VanPort was the first area in Portland for integrated living. With 40,000 people pressed together in thin-walled buildings, some working days and others at night, noise was constant. Because both mothers and fathers worked, children were often left unattended. And thanks to the Northwest weather and the project's location, mud was everywhere. For many, though, the biggest adjustment was living beside people different from themselves.
It seemed to be working ok, until 1948, when there was a horrible flood. The little city was wiped out, the blacks had nowhere to go, so moved into the Albina-Mississippi area. Later, when Interstate 5 was built right through the neighborhood, it went downhill even farther- so that in the late 80's it was full of drugs, gangs, street crime, prostitution, abandoned houses — all the elements of urban decay To learn more about the flood and what happened, you can go to www.ohs.org
There is another good site that shows more about the flood – with maps and photos freepages.history.rootsweb.ancestry.com/
In the 1990's, the city started the revitalization project with the Mississippi Historic District Target Area implemented so they could improve public safety, upgrade housing and attract businesses. They offered home improvement loans, the PDC offers the 20% Down payment Assistance Program, they built the MAX Train line and gave loans to businesses. It is amazing how much and how quickly this area has changed! And it is still getting better and growing!
There are now more than 40 businesses in the Mississippi Neighborhood- most of them new. Plus an area for Food Carts- on N Mississippi and N Skidmore! Learn more about the Food Carts.
Below is a map that will take you to walkscore.com which also shows you where the foodcarts are!
You can find out information on how good the schools are by going to the School Report Card website at www.ode.state.or.us
Neighborhood Association Web Site to learn more about the neighborhood Boise Neighborhood Association
There aren't alot of parks in this neighborhood, Denorval Unthank Park is a 4.5 park in the heart of the Boise neighborhood. Facilities include a softball field, soccer field, basketball court, and playground- and there is a 2 mile walking trail that starts at the Overlook, and goes across a footbridge along Failing, connecting all the Mississippi shops to the Overlook neighborhood, the MAX and Interstate!
There is also a Community Garden- The Boise Elliot Community Garden- on 318 N Fremont
Crime and more!
You can find all kinds of statistics about Crime- even exactly what happened where, if you go to www.portlandmaps.com There are lots of other things you can learn there- like census information, maps, school info, parks, environmental issues, permits on houses, nuisance complaints and taxes.