Tour Archive

The Bosco Milligan Foundation and the Architectural Heritage Center present tours of architecturally significant neighborhoods and sites around Portland, Oregon. The Architectural Heritage Center hosts over 20 tours each year of neighborhoods displaying the fascinating architectural history of Portland.  If you are interested in seeing the buildings that reflect Portland’s diverse architectural history, you’ll find a lot of interest.  Tours range from:

  • Guided walking tours through historical districts and neighborhoods.
  • Vintage home tours.
  • Auto tours of historical buildings in NW Oregon.

Below is a representative list of some of our offerings:

Portland Neighborhood Walking Tours

The AHC Education Committee, along with a cadre of dedicated volunteer guides, has developed a series of neighborhood walking tours. Whether you are new to town, just visiting, or have lived here all your life, the AHC’s Portland Neighborhood Walking Tours promise to be interesting and informative – with some exercise mixed in.

Hawthorne Boulevard Neighborhood Walking Tour

Explore one of Portland’s “streetcar suburbs” on this tour that mixes residential and commercial.

Sullivan’s Gulch Neighborhood Walking Tour

Check out this amazing northeast Portland neighborhood bordered by the Banfield Freeway, Lloyd Center, and Irvington.

Lair Hill Neighborhood Walking Tour

This tour explores one of the city’s oldest neighborhoods, touching on the themes of immigration and urban renewal, while viewing fantastic late 19th and early 20th century architecture.

Reedwood Neighborhood Walking Tour

Located in southeast Portland just north of the Reed College campus, Reedwood was platted in 1955. Over the next decade and a half, the neighborhood developed into an eclectic mix of well-designed and built mid-century homes. Constructed during an era when most residential developments were truly in the ‘burbs, there are about 150 homes on the windy streets of Reedwood, providing a suburban feel to a neighborhood that is within 10 minutes of downtown Portland. The neighborhood also faces an uncertain future as local zoning regulations have created the potential to dramatically change the landscape of Reedwood predominately through infill.

Willamette Heights Neighborhood Walking Tour

Some of Portland’s most notable architects designed homes in Willamette Heights, an area that borders the site of the 1905 Lewis and Clark Exposition. You will learn all about the fantastic homes in the area. So dress for the weather, wear comfortable shoes, and join guides for a strenuous walk through the hilly-but-amazing Willamette Heights neighborhood.

Cast-Iron Portland: Skidmore - Old Town Walking Tour

There may be no better way to see the oldest part of downtown than by attending this always popular summer evening walking tour. Come learn the history of the area in which Portland began. Get an up-close understanding of how architectural cast-iron was used throughout most of the last half of the 19th century.

Walking Tour of Portland’s Yamhill Historic District

This tour explores the interesting history and architecture of the Yamhill Historic District and the nearby historic buildings of SW Second and Third avenues of Portland, Oregon. Portland’s Yamhill National Register Historic District contains some of the earliest remaining buildings in downtown. Among them are fantastic 19th century buildings like the Poppleton, known for the whimsical faces on its upper façade.

Terra Cotta Portland: Downtown Walking Tour

Explore Portland’s downtown terra cotta district. You’ll find a new appreciation for this versatile material as we take a closer look at the architectural details and ornamentation it made possible.

Ladds Addition: A Walking Tour of One of Americas Great Places

Prominent business and civic leader William S. Ladd designed the neighborhood that bears his name in 1891, but did not live to see any of the homes there constructed. This walking tour explores Ladd’s Addition, its importance in Portland history, and its connections to the City Beautiful movement.

Beyond Klickitat: A Walking Tour of Beverly Clearys Neighborhood

Beverly Cleary’s old neighborhood has changed little since the famous children’s book author lived there in the 1920s and ’30s. Adults who loved Cleary when they were children will enjoy this walking tour that takes participants to places where she and her characters lived, played, and went to school.

Northwest Portland Sacred Spaces: Walking Tour

In the late 19th century Northwest Portland was the most prestigious neighborhood in the city. Today, numerous well-preserved historic residences and apartment buildings contribute to the distinctive character of the community. Situated in close proximity in this high-density area are several worship spaces built during the Portland boom years of 1890 to 1930. We’ll visit four of these sacred spaces and learn about the history and architecture of each: Trinity Episcopal Cathedral, St Mary’s Roman Catholic Cathedral, the former First Christian Science Church and Temple Beth-Israel.

King’s Hill Historic District

Many of Portland’s most notable late 19th and early 20th century architects designed homes in this hilly National Register Historic District. The neighborhood is also known for its wonderful landscape architecture, serving as a gateway to Washington Park.

Colonial Heights

Come discover this under-appreciated but charming southeast Portland neighborhood, which boasts an array of architectural styles - from English Cottage and Colonial Revival to mid-century modern and Northwest Regionalism. The tour will meander throughout Colonial Heights, highlighting both residential and religious structures as tour-goers learn about the people who developed and lived in this fantastic neighborhood.