Ladd’s Addition has just been named one of America’s Great Places by the American Planning Association, the national professional organization of planners.

Ladd’s is the second Portland place to be honored with this prestigious national recognition (after Pioneer Courthouse Square) and the second Oregon neighborhood (after First Addition in Lake Oswego).

Ladd’s and the other Great Places is honored on the APA Website and in the December Issue of Planning Magazine.


American Planning Association Designates Ladd’s Addition
One of Top 10 Great Neighborhoods for 2009
Portland, Oregon’s First Residential Historic District

hand-010 Portland, OR – The American Planning Association (APA) announced today that Ladd’s Addition has been designated one of 10 Great Neighborhoods for 2009 by APA’s Great Places in America program. APA Great Places exemplify exceptional character and highlight the role planners and planning play in creating communities of lasting value.

APA singled out Ladd’s Addition for its radial street pattern, village green, extensive community gardens, and on-going commitment to planning and civic engagement. Developed as a Victorian-era residence park, Ladd’s Addition is Portland’s most heavily forested, inner-city neighborhood. It serves as an exemplary national model for other communities wanting to create compact, pedestrian-friendly places.

“Ladd’s Addition is a beautiful example of a 20-minute neighborhood, where neighbors can walk or bike to commercial corridors and enjoy parks and open spaces,” said Portland Mayor Sam Adams. “As the City focuses its attention on climate change and reducing greenhouse gas emissions by creating walkable communities, it’s affirming to see that the origins of Portland’s visionary planning and smart growth are imbedded in historic neighborhoods such as Ladd’s Addition.”

APA Great Places offer better choices for where and how people work and live. They are enjoyable, safe, and desirable. They are places where people want to be — not only to visit, but to live and work every day. America’s truly great neighborhoods are defined by many unique criteria, including architectural features, accessibility, functionality, and community involvement. Through Great Places in America, APA recognizes unique and authentic characteristics found in three essential components of all communities — streets, neighborhoods, and public spaces.

“We’re very excited to single out Ladd’s Addition as one of this year’s Great Neighborhoods,” said APA Chief Executive Officer Paul Farmer, FAICP. “The neighborhood shows just how timeless communities are when developed from a well-conceived and executed plan. It’s clear Ladd’s Addition is one of the country’s best examples of an early 20th Century City Beautiful neighborhood,” he added.

Platted in 1891 by former Portland mayor and businessman William S. Ladd, the neighborhood was planned in keeping with the City Beautiful movement. Its radial streets converge at five gardens, whose formal symmetry is reminiscent of Renaissance cities and gardens. For instance Ladd Circle, a central park used for gatherings and informal recreation, is complemented by four satellite rose gardens.

Designated in 1977 as one of Portland’s first residential historic district, many of the houses found here are stunning examples of Old Portland architecture, including Craftsman, Mission, Tudor, and bungalows. Ladd’s Addition also is listed in the National Register of Historic Places.

Original street and sidewalk details reinforce the area’s historic character. For example, horse tethering rings line curb fronts and buggy wheel curb protectors still can be found on some street and alley corners.

Known as a “20-minute neighborhood,” the area’s commercial corridors are within a short walk of most homes, which encourage people to walk or ride bicycles instead of using cars for short errands. Bicycle traffic, for instance, continues to increase, reaching nearly 4,000 daily riders during the summer in 2008.

Residents are also strongly committed to taking steps to reduce their neighborhood’s carbon footprint, working with the larger Hosford-Abernethy Neighborhood Development Association to develop “Green Teams.”

The nine other APA 2009 Great Neighborhoods are:

Bungalow Heaven, Pasadena, CA
Faubourg Marigny, New Orleans, LA
The Haymarket, Lincoln, NE
Village of Kenmore, Kenmore, NY
Downtown Fargo, Fargo, ND
Franklin Historic District, Franklin, TN
Montrose, Houston, TX
Historic Hilton Village, Newport News, VA
Browne’s Addition, Spokane, WA

For more information about these neighborhoods, as well as the lists of the 2009 APA 10 Great Public Spaces and 10 Great Streets, visit

This year’s Great Places in America will be celebrated as part of APA’s National Community Planning Month in October 2009; for more about the special month, visit