In the early s a new settlement emerged ten miles from the mouth of the Willamette River ,  roughly halfway between Oregon City and Fort Vancouver. This community was initially referred to as "Stumptown" and "The Clearing" because of the many trees cut down to allow for its growth. For 25 cents Overton agreed to share half of the acre 2. Pettygrove of Portland, Maine. This controversy was settled with a coin toss which Pettygrove won in a series of two out of three tosses, thereby providing Portland with its namesake.
At the time of its incorporation on February 8, , Portland had over inhabitants,  a steam sawmill, a log cabin hotel, and a newspaper, the Weekly Oregonian. Route 26 , provided the pioneer city with an advantage over other nearby ports, and it grew very quickly. The lumber industry also became a prominent economical presence, due to the area's large population of Douglas Firs , Western Hemlocks , Red Cedars , and Big Leaf Maple trees. The Pacific International Livestock Exposition operated from May through September 10, processing people from the city, northern Oregon, and central Washington.
In spite of the city's seedier undercurrent of criminal activity, Portland enjoyed an economic and industrial surge during World War II. Ship builder Henry J. Kaiser had been awarded contracts to build Liberty ships and aircraft carrier escorts, and chose sites in Portland and Vancouver, Washington , for work yards.
Rainier left and Mt. Downtown Portland straddles the banks of the Willamette River , which flows north through the city center and separates the city's east and west neighborhoods. Though much of downtown Portland is relatively flat, the foothills of the Tualatin Mountains , more commonly referred to locally as the "West Hills", pierce through the northwest and southwest reaches of the city. On clear days, Mt. Helens dominate the horizon, while Mt. Rainier can also be seen in the distance. According to the United States Census Bureau , the city has an area of Architecture of Portland, Oregon ; List of tallest buildings in Portland, Oregon ; and Downtown Portland Portland's cityscape derives much of its character from the many bridges that span the Willamette River downtown, several of which are historic landmarks, and Portland has been nicknamed "Bridgetown" for many decades as a result.
Portland's newest bridge in the downtown area, Tilikum Crossing , opened in and is the first new bridge to span the Willamette in Portland since the opening of the double-decker Fremont Bridge. Other bridges that span the Willamette river in the downtown area include the Burnside Bridge , the Ross Island Bridge both built , and the double-decker Marquam Bridge built Other bridges outside the downtown area include the Sellwood Bridge built to the south; and the St. Johns Bridge , a Gothic revival suspension bridge built in , to the north.
Panorama of downtown Portland in the day. Panorama of downtown Portland at night. The Willamette River runs through the center of the city, while Mount Tabor center rises on the city's east side. Helens left and Mount Hood right center are visible from many places in the city. Neighborhoods of Portland, Oregon The five "quadrants" of Portland The Willamette River, which flows north through downtown, serves as the natural boundary between east and west Portland.
The denser and earlier-developed west side extends into the lap of the West Hills , while the flatter east side fans out for roughly blocks until it meets the suburb of Gresham. In the cities of Portland, Albina , and East Portland were consolidated, creating inconsistent patterns of street names and addresses. The "great renumbering" on September 2, standardized street naming patterns, divided Portland into five official quadrants, and changed house numbers from 20 per block to per block.
The Willamette River divides the east and west quadrants while Burnside Street , which traverses the entire city lengthwise, divides the north and south quadrants. All addresses within the city are denoted as belonging to one of these specific quadrants with the prefixes: This "sixth quadrant" is roughly bounded by Naito Parkway and Barbur Boulevard to the west, Montgomery Street to the north and Nevada Street to the south.
East-West addresses in this area are denoted with a leading zero instead of a minus sign. This means SW California St. Many mapping programs cannot distinguish between them. In , the city's Bureau of Transportation finalized a plan to transition this part of Portland into a new "sixth sextant" South Portland, beginning in May and by May , to reduce confusions by dispatchers and delivery services.
The Pearl District in Northwest Portland , which was largely occupied by warehouses, light industry and railroad classification yards in the early to midth century, now houses upscale art galleries , restaurants, and retail stores, and is one of the wealthiest neighborhoods in the city. The northernmost point of the city, known simply as North Portland, is also largely residential; it contains the St. Johns neighborhood, which is historically one of the most ethnically diverse and poorest neighborhoods in the city.
Portland's South Waterfront area has developed into a dense neighborhood of shops, condominiums, and apartments.