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Laurelhurst Park

Portland Project

Amanda Preusse
Elise Holden
Robbie Goldie
Umar Bawany
Jacob Lind

The City Beautiful


Originated in France

Designed to implement more parks

into cities in France

The movement spread to America,

bringing thousands of parks all
across the country

What Purpose the Park Served

Laurelhurst Park was built in 1909

Its purpose:

It was used for aesthetic appeal of those

who lived in the white upper class
neighborhoods that surrounded the area

Portland at the Time

In the early 1900s when the park

was being built

Many new citizens immigrating

to the area

Changes in the economy and

consequently the workforce

Problems Surrounding Portland

Class differences and privileges

Lower-class citizens worked to

maintain the park for the upper
class residents to enjoy

Restrictions in the Neighborhoods

Explicit racism

Laws preventing minorities from living around

Laurelhurst Park

This lasted until 1948, when it was declared

legally unenforceable in 1948

Underlying Issues

Implicit racism

Systematic racism at this time

How this applies to Portland today

Laurelhurst Park Neighborhood as a Symbol

The issues in Laurelhurst Park and the

surrounding neighborhood connect to this
larger intersection of race and class

Inequality and racism was happening in

multiple ways during this era

Who made up the social classes- early 1900s

Lower class- Rural farm workers
Simple lifestyles, but did not face terrible working conditions like factory
The working class- factory workers, immigrant and native workers who labored
at clothing factories, industrial plants and meat packaging facilities.
Resided in slums, bad living and working conditions, often struggled to
survive and provide for basic needs

Social classes, cont.

Growing middle class in urban areas
New jobs available for skilled workers and small business owners who
specialized in particular trades
Upper class
Political bosses & business elite
Factory owners- often hired immigrants because they would work for
lower wages, and settled for worse working conditions

Luxuries available to the middle/upper class

Amusement Parks
Stadium Sports

Department stores, restaurants, and improved

transportation systems made city life exciting
and enjoyable for those who had disposable

Barriers between social classes/gender/race

Working/ living conditions based on social class
Social distinction between unattached men and family households ( 3 males to
every 2 females)
division between newly arrived immigrants and established Portlanders
Women joined the workforce in the early 1900s, dropping the average size of a
Women fought for social justice and political power
In Laurelhurst Park, when the play areas were developed
Boys played on south side, girls on the north side
General games held on the east side

Barriers, cont.
Racial segregation and discrimination
Only selling homes and property to whites or European immigrants, not
African Americans
Black members not allowed in unions
Hospitals refused to accept their applications as nurses
According to the textbook, Most Portlanders in the roaring twenties
were more interested in enjoying their new automobiles and the
products of postwar production than thinking about racial
discrimination (pg. 106).

Demographics of the Laurelhurst neighborhood

The coming about of Portland neighborhoods

Class as well as politics were major factors in the forming of the Laurelhurst
neighborhood and park.
The upper class and elite of Portland in the 1910s brought about
neighborhoods like Laurelhurst
The neighborhood came to be by one man- James Charles Olmsted

Olmsted was a very well known architect/designer of that time

Fun fact- he also designed Central Park in New York

Laurelhurst was specifically designed for upscale/ elite families

The Laurelhurst Company targeted upper class families in businesses and
other respected professions

1900s- Portland is thriving with money and prosperities


Early 1900s was a prosperous time for Portland but at the same time it
brought along with it a darkness

The letterhead for The Laurelhurst Company assured buyers about their high
scale neighbors

corrupt politics

type of propaganda

What was not said in the letterheads was about the companys deeds.

restrictive covenants in the deeds prohibited sales to Asian and African Americans

Struggles to attain Laurelhurst Park

Political and Economical Struggles

The Oregon state wanted to make Portland an ideal city to live specifically

Feared that it would just cost to much

Voters turned down park spending in the 1910s

Majority of Portlanders felt that money should not be spent on parks and
parkways but rather on roads and highways..

Lacking on the formation of parks created the Civic improvement League

League was designed to make Portland an ideal city

raised $20,000 (probably more) from private donors
Contributors and the people in charge of the league were the whos who of Portland
example of how the upper class and politics brought about Laurelhurst

FACTS about the dirty politics of Portland in

relation to Laurelhurst Park!

1910s- Joseph Simon ( mayor of Portland )

In public he supported respectable causes like park acquisitions and
the Bennett Plan ( called for 3 civic centers ), but behind the scenes he
guided well-oiled political machines and made sure big businesses
were :)
Portland put on a :) face for tourists and businesses but at the same time
masked backroom politics which were CORRUPT as ever!
The Laurelhurst Company and the Laurelhurst neighborhood both were
named after a neighborhood in Seattle

SEATTLE had so much influence on Portland ( interesting fact )

looked like in
1912 :)

Laurelhurst Company

Propaganda specifically
targeting the rich.. upper
class families!

Look at the size of


The Success of Portland

The implementation of parks was a sign of wealth
Portland at the time was expanding at an alarming
New neighborhoods were being built every day
Thousands of people moved to Portland in the
early twentieth century

The Expansion of Portland

Thousands came to Portland in a residential boom
The city moved east to compensate the new residents
More houses and apartments had to be built

Laurelhursts Relation to Class

Was designed for the upper class
Each house had more property
The neighborhood was designed to differ
from the norm

Laurelhurst defied the regular grid-like block

structure for a more unique neighborhood
It featured: gently curving streets,
boulevards, and well-marked boundaries that
set them apart from middling neighborhoods
(Abbott, 84)

The Upper Class Benefits

Aesthetic appeal

A place for families to walk their dogs and take their kids

A safe way to enjoy nature

It would set Laurelhurst apart

The Concept of Parks

Parks dont sustain life or provide shelter
They benefit those who have all the necessary means to survive the most
Parks are a sign of wealth
Once a city or town has enough residents and revenue, non-essential things like
parks can begin to be introduced
Upper class parks like Laurelhurst are signs of Portland becoming a wealthy and
successful city

Where the Funds Could Have Gone


Law enforcement


Schools for colored students

Rail line safety

The Park Today

A place for kids, dogs, families

Cycling and morning runs

Laurelhurst is less of an upper class development today

Its now one of many of the parks that populate Portland
The park continues to offer family fun and recreation
The neighborhood has its own school, Laurelhurst School

Crime in relation the the park

Within the park, there have been very few notable crimes; These being

A fight during a child's party, leading to gunfire being shot (Gang Fight)

A women whom was found dead, floating on the parks pond (suicide)

Mob assaults conducted by teens on two consecutive nights

Crime statistics relating to the park

1 Sexual Assault
3 Aggravated Assaults
7 Robberies
10 Larceny cases
58 Thefts From Auto
19 Vehicle Thefts

Comparison to other parks

When comparing the crime that takes place in coherence to other parks within
the vicinity, its crimes are actually quite low, until you take into the account of
Thefts From Auto, in which the crime amount in that instance is actually quite

Crime in relation to class

Crime in relation to class (cont)

When looking at where most crime takes place, it is quite evident that within
the lower to middle class areas, crime is at a higher rate. However though,
crime within a more of a upper class area tends to be significantly lower.
This is best shown when comparing laurelhurst park to the waterfront park
area of portland, whereof the crime stats are alarmingly high

Through these stats, it becomes very evident that due to the parks relation
to that of the higher class, its correlation with crime becomes very low

The Park as a whole in coherence to crime

Overall Laurelhurst park is actually a very safe place to be, however though,
crime does exist within the park, much like every park within the united state; and
due to the nature of parks attracting people, crime is always going to be
apparent: no matter what economic class is in relation to the park

Works Cited
Abbott, Carl. Portland In Three Centuries: The Place and the People. Corvallis: Oregon State UP, 2011. Print.
Adrienne, Martha. Yearbook of the Assocation of Paciic Coast Geographers. Vol. 60. U Of Hawaii's, 1998. 22-49. Print.
Orloff, Chet. Yearbook of the Assocation of Paciic Coast Geographers. Vol. 66. U Of Hawaii's, 2004. 114. Print.
"Civic Engagement in Portland Public Parks." Museum of the City. Museum of the City, 18 July 2013. Web. 2 Nov. 2015.

Works Cited Continued...

Klein, Richard. "An Overview of the City Beautiful Movement as Reflected in Daniel Burnham's Vision." Web. 2 Nov. 2015.

McIntosh, Peggy. "White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack." White Privilege. Wellesley College Center for Research
on Women, 1990. Web. 17 Nov. 2015. http://ted.coe.wayne.edu/ele3600/mcintosh.html

Shaw, Pete. "Portland Occupier." Portland Occupier. 28 Nov. 2012. Web. 17 Nov. 2015. http://www.portlandoccupier.

Works Cited cont.

Tucker, Kristine. "The Working Class in the Early 1900s." The Working Class in the Early 1900s | The Classroom | Synonym. N.p., n.
d. Web. 17 Nov. 2015. <http://classroom.synonym.com/working-class-early-1900s-16090.html>.

"The Working Class in the Early 1900s | The Classroom | Synonym." The Working Class in the Early 1900s | The Classroom |
Synonym. N.p., n.d. Web. 30 Nov. 2015. <http://classroom.synonym.com/working-class-early-1900s-16090.html>.
"How Safe Are Area Parks? KATU Digs up the Crime Stats." KATU.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 30 Nov. 2015.

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