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News Release
Laurelhurst Historic District
Laurelhurst Historic District
National Park Service Lists Laurelhurst Historic District in Portland, Multnomah County, in the National Register of Historic Places (Photo) - 04/11/19

PORTLAND, Ore. –Oregon’s State Advisory Committee on Historic Preservation (SACHP) recommended the historic district’s nomination at their October 2018 meeting. The National Park Service – which maintains the National Register of Historic Places – accepted the nomination on March 18, 2019.


The Laurelhurst Historic District encompasses approximately 392 acres and is generally bounded on the north by NE Multnomah and NE Senate streets; the east by NE 44th Avenue and SE 44th Avenue; on the south by SE Stark Street; and on the west by SE 32nd Avenue and NE 33rd Avenue.


The Laurelhurst Historic District is significant as Portland's only residential subdivision that captures the planning principles of the “City Beautiful” era and is notable for its examples of early 20th century American domestic architecture. The architecture in Laurelhurst includes styles such as Minimal Traditional cottages, WWII-era cottages, and early Ranch designs of the 1930s and 1940s.


The “City Beautiful” era was an American planning movement during the 1890s and 1920s that emerged from the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago. The movement attempted to design places that visually encouraged civic pride and engagement in the urban landscape through architecture. Advocates hoped that the design of beautiful places could increase the quality of life.


Laurelhurst also represents an example of a cohesive development by Paul C. Murphy, a notable “community builder” who designed, installed infrastructure and amenities, and determined the main stylistic character of a development.

Properties listed in the National Register are:

  • Recognized as significant to the nation, state, or community;
  • Considered in the planning of federal or federally assisted projects;
  • Eligible for federal and state tax benefits;
  • Qualify for historic preservation grants when funds are available;
  • Eligible for leniency in meeting certain building code requirements;
  • Subject to local laws pertaining to the conservation and protection of historic resources.
    National Register listing does not place any restrictions on a property at the state or federal level, unless property owners choose to participate in tax benefit or grant programs.
    Oregon State law requires local governments to review the demolition and relocation of properties listed in the National Register. Local governments may also add additional protections for listed properties or create local historic districts and landmarks. Contact Brandon Spencer-Hartle at (503) 823-4641 or randon.spencer@portlandoregon.gov">brandon.spencer@portlandoregon.gov, for information on Portland’s local historic preservation programs.

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