South Portland is a long narrow neighborhood just south of Downtown Portland, Oregon, hemmed in between the Willamette River and the West Hills. It stretches from I-405 and theMarquam Bridge on the north, to SW Canby St. and the Sellwood Bridge in the south. The Willamette forms the eastern boundary, and SW Barbur Blvd. most of the western boundary. In addition to Downtown to the north, other bordering neighborhoods are Southwest Hills, Homestead, Hillsdale, and South Burlingame to the west, and Hosford-Abernethy, Brooklyn, andSellwood-Moreland across the river on the east.
The neighborhood, formerly known as Corbett-Terwilliger-Lair Hill or CTLH, changed its name at a meeting of its neighborhood association on September 6, 2006 to be more concise and inclusive. South Portland was the name of a 19th century community that overlapped the present day neighborhood.
The neighborhood is a collection of very different areas.
- South Waterfront. The northeastern part of the neighborhood is the site of a large-scale, high-density district currently under construction. The Portland Aerial Tram links the district to the Oregon Health & Science University campus in the Homestead neighborhood to the west, across Interstate 5. The Gibbs Street Pedestrian Bridge connects South Waterfront to Lair Hill.
- Lair Hill is in the northwestern part of the neighborhood, bordered by I-405 on the north, SW Barbur Blvd. on the south and west, and SW Naito Parkway on the east. It is named after a person, not a hill: the lawyer, author, and editor William Lair Hill. This area was part of historical South Portland, a district of Italian, Irish, and Jewish immigrants much of which was demolished by an “urban renewal” project in 1958. Vestiges remain in the form of synagogues and ethnic shops.
- Corbett. The Corbett area (and SW Corbett St. running north-south through the entire neighborhood) takes its name from Senator Henry Winslow Corbett. It lies south of Lair Hill, bounded by I-405 on the north, SW Naito Parkway on the west, SW Macadam Ave. on the east. Its southern boundary is marked by the SW Corbett St. bridge over I-5. (This area of Portland should not be confused with the unincorporated community of Corbett, Oregon in eastern Multnomah County.)
- Terwilliger lies south of Corbett, between SW Barbur Blvd. and SW Macadam Ave, straddling Terwilliger Boulevard. The area takes its name from the old Terwilliger Park subdivision, served by the Terwil station on the Oregon Electric Railway.
- John’s Landing. According to Oregon Geographic Names, the name refers to the B. P. John Furniture company, the largest of many manufacturers in the area in its industrial past, as well as architect John W. Storrs and John D. Gray, who privately transformed the area into a riverside residential and commercial development. The area used to be known as Fulton. More information is available on the John’s Landing webpage.
- South Portland Historic District. Part of the Lair Hill and Corbett areas regulated to protect its historic significance.