Creston-Kenilworth Neighborhood in Portland, Oregon
Parks: The Center of Creston-Kenilworth
I didn’t enjoy the smell of chlorine until going to Creston Park. Tons of children were coming and going from swimming lessons in the park’s pool. Mothers were picking up children whose heads were once dry, but were now wet, tangled messes. This reminded me of childhood and of what summer should be. This image sums up what the SE Portland neighborhood of Creston Kenilworth is all about. Another family-friendly neighborhood, and another park with many trees to take refuge beneath on a hot summer day.
Creston Park is one of two Portland parks in Creston-Kenilworth. It is located on SE 44th Avenue and Powell Boulevard. The park is one of the residential neighborhood’s best features, as it attracts many locals and residents of surrounding neighborhoods. With walking paths surrounding the park, a play area, off-leash area and many other features, Creston is a great park to take a walk, let the dogs and children run, and take a break from daily responsibilities. I met a man named Chris throwing a ball for his dog Lucy in the off-leash area at Creston Park. Chris has lived in Portland for three years, and in SE Portland for 3 months. He goes to the park with Lucy about five days a week to throw the ball for her, and he loves that there is an area in the city to let her run and play. I asked Chris was he likes about Creston-Kenilworth, and he said the access to which it is located to downtown is great, the park (clearly), and the neighborhood feel. Chris sees most of the same people at the park, with the same dogs. “People know each other,” he said. And how rare is that in a city? I think it’s great that within most SE Portland neighborhoods, there is a small town feel in the midst of a big city.
The other park in the neighborhood is Kenilworth Park, located on SE 34th Avenue and Holgate Boulevard. During the daytime Kenilworth Park, like Creston Park, feels very safe. Children were playing without parents in a group, because of how harmless the area is. The park has a nice view looking over downtown Portland, which is more difficult to see during the spring and summer seasons because of the trees that are dense with leaves.
Creston-Kenilworth Neighborhood is located in SE Portland near the Reed, Richmond, Brooklyn and Woodstock neighborhoods. The boundaries of Creston-Kenilworth are Powell to the north, Holgate to the south, Powell to the east and SE 26th Avenue to the west. The locals love that it is conveniently located next to downtown and other fun SE Portland neighborhoods where there is a lot more going on.
A Methodist minister named Clinton Kelly owned the area now known as Creston-Kenilworth, settling down in the area in 1848. In 1909 the Portland Park Board purchased 9 acres from him, which are now Kenilworth Park. The park and the neighborhood are named after Sir Walter Scott’s romantic 1821 novel, Kenilworth. Many of the streets in the neighborhood took their names from characters in the novel, as well as other novels of Scott’s.
Tucker Maxon Oral School
Businesses in the Neighborhood
There aren’t many businesses in the area, as the neighborhood is primarily residential. But the few businesses that are in the neighborhood include a few coffee shops, some unwanted adult entertainment shops along the northern Powell Boulevard border, and other ma and pa shops and dealers along Foster. Some great businesses in particular are Open Door Cafe, a nearby Trader Joe’s and Guapo Comics and Coffee near the intersection of Foster and Holgate.
Homes & Real Estate
Most of the homes in the neighborhood are modest craftsman bungalows, old English, and a variety of other older styles. The neighborhood isn’t as established as some other SE Portland neighborhoods, so it is more affordable living. If you are looking to rent there are affordable opportunities in this neighborhood.
The locals are friendly, helpful and easy-going. I saw a lot of young commuters on bicycles, twenty-something aged parents with young children on bicycles, and older people in coffee shops. There is definitely a wide range of ages within this neighborhood. From elderly couples to young families, to young professionals. The locals love the old age of the neighborhood, and how quiet it is. There usually aren’t many problems in the neighborhood, if you discount some shady activity that has happened around 39th and Powell, says one local named Steve. But during daylight hours, he says, it is safe and a great place for families.
A typical day in Creston-Kenilworth
As I was taking a walk through the neighborhood, observing the homes and the people and the life of the area, I saw a father teaching his young daughter how to ride a bicycle, a woman watering her parched garden on the hot day, a mother playing with her children in the front yard of their home and a group of kids writing on the sidewalk with chalk. Creston-Kenilworth is a friendly, homey neighborhood that has a good vibe, good people and enough green space to make you, your children and your dog happy.