Tuesday, October 28, 2008

East Park Blocks: Omaha Parkway

Omaha Parkway


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This stop on our tour of the East Park Blocks takes us to North Portland's Omaha Parkway, on N. Omaha Avenue between Killingsworth and Rosa Parks Way. If you look at a map of the city, it appears that Omaha Parkway is actually slightly to the west of the park blocks downtown. It's still on the east bank of the river, though, so I'm going to assert that "East Park Blocks" is still a reasonable name. Otherwise I'd have to try to think of a different name, and I don't want to.

It's possible that Omaha Parkway doesn't share an origin with the others, which would explain why it's not on that list. A page at Rootsweb describes it like this:

Omaha Ave. Albina addition, (1891) From Killingsworth Ave. north to Portland Blvd. [until 1891, known as 1st & 2nd Aves.]. before 1915 became N. Omaha Ave.

N. Omaha Ave. Albina addition, (1915) From 157 Killingsworth Ave. (1932) 5 east of Greeley north from Killingsworth to Winchell. [until before 1915, known as Omaha Ave.].


This indicates that the street (or some parts of it) existed prior to 1891, when Portland absorbed the old city of Albina. Doesn't mention anything specifically about park blocks though.

When I'm feeling pedantic (which is regrettably often), I sometimes wonder about a place, "Who waters the grass?" This 1989 Oregonian article says the Parks Bureau waters the grass at Omaha Parkway, or at least they did 19 years ago. And they almost didn't then, due to the Parks Bureau's perennial lack of funds. The place used $2500 worth of water over the course of the summer, in 1989 dollars. Article describes the parkway as a "median strip".

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