Portland's Big Transformation Viewed Through the Lens of Google Street View

Check out Director Park, Salt & Straw and Hair of the Dog Brewing way back in the Bush years.

We all know Portland is changing. Who hasn't walked down Division and marveled at the changes over the past two years alone?

Google Street View now allows you to look at images from back in 2007, you can directly compare the streets of today to the way they looked back in the day. LA Weekly
 have done it with their towns, and now, here’s what it looks like for several major—and majorly different—Portland neighborhoods.

Apparently, Portland was much cloudier back in 2007.


In 2010, NE Alberta became the Alberta Main Street, and the change in the neighborhood has accelerated still further.  A vacant lot turned into a grilled cheese food cart haven. Metal fences were broken down, empty buildings became yoga sanctuaries and an old glass shop turned into an fancy ice cream parlor.

At 2072 NE Alberta, Street, Acme Glass became Salt and Straw. But even this picture is a little old: There's a condo next door now, and Bollywood Theater snagged the building's vacant space.

At NE 13th and Alberta, a whole building appeared, complete with a Green Microgym, and the boarded-up spot across the street became a yoga studio.

At NE 10th and Alberta, the Grilled Cheese Grill and Radio Room occupy previously abandoned spaces.

East Burnside

In the mid-2000s, Doug Fir, Rontoms and Le Pigeon helped sparked a renaissance on lower East Burnside as something other than a drive-through. In the past seven years new coffee shops, Mexican restaurants and a fancy pet food store have shown up on this strip—slowly filling in the gap between 28th Avenue and the Burnside bridgehead.

At 22nd Avenue, Meat and Heart have replaced an empty building, and bike stands replaced the bus stop.

At NE 12th Street and Sandy Boulevard, the clear blue sky was replaced by a beige behemoth.

Up at 28th and Burnside, yet another condo arrived.


Perhaps the most changed areas in Portland over the past decade, North Mississippi and Williams Avenues have been gentrified at a rapid pace. Corner markets and boarded-up buildings have given way to a long stretch of restaurants, bars, clothing stores and condos.

At 4205 North Mississippi Avenue, the whole block has a new look.

Just North of this, at Mississippi and Skidmore, a boarded up building became Prost, and the grassy lot next door became one of the city's most popular food cart pods.

At 3800 N. Williams, boarded-up buildings are now colorful storefronts.

Inner Southeast/Eastside Industrial District

A lot of the buildings down on Water Avenue have been sitting there a long time; it's what's in them that's changed. Many of those nondescript warehouses are now home to bars, recording studios and breweries—and the recent addition of the streetcar and imminent arrival of the MAX line and Tilikum Crossing might mean there are more changes still to come.

A streetcar and sculpture now frame the traffic at Belmont and Grand.

At Water and Yamhill, this old warehouse now houses the iconic Hair of the Dog brewery (which now almost seems old school).

The Pearl District

Though self-proclaimed on its website as the “world-renowned icon of urban renaissance” that straddles “gentrification and revitalization with delicate balance,” the Pearl is known for its yuppies and less-than-diverse population. In 2007, there were fewer condos; and apparently, fewer colors. A run-down building became a haven for vintage fashion for the “modern woman," an empty building became a hip lounge. Today, there are more bars, overpriced restaurants and over-your-budget condos here than ever before.

At 11th and Hoyt, the Low Brow Lounge remains miraculously intact even as high-rises sprout up around it.

At 13th and Flanders, there's a new coat of paint on the previously run-down warehouses, which now house restaurants—although in this picture, Riffle still occupies the space now held by Gorham's new Mediterranean Exploration Company.

Downtown/West End

Back in 2007, Director Park was still under construction. Today, it's done and the block across the street is now under construction. While the Downtown area might not have gone through a wholesale renovation, it's full of fancy new facades, chic new hangout spots and a whole lot of food carts.

At 3rd and Jefferson, the Edith Green-Wendell Wyatt Federal Building has a whole new look, though it's kept its mouthful of a name.


At Yamhill and Park, Director Park now offers wi-fi and giant chess to all.

At 10th and Washington, parked cars were replaced by a cart pod now central to the entire experience of downtown Portland.

SE 12th and Powell

Well, some things never change. Just a few blocks south of trendy Division—which is so mucked up with restaurant construction these days that the Google cars haven't hit it since 2011—Southeast Powell sits perfectly preserved.