Portland's Peacock Lane makes National Register of Historic Places

The annual light displays on Portland's Peacock Lane opened under a blanket of snow on Thursday. The Rose City tradition runs through December 31 but the street is strictly for pedestrians until Saturday, Dec. 17. Bundle up and remember; the street is slick! (KATU photo - December 15, 2016 by Tristan Fortsch)

A long fight for the families living along Portland’s Peacock Lane has paid off.

Locally, the street is synonymous with Christmas lights. For decades, homeowners have been putting up detailed light displays and many families visit as a holiday tradition.

In an attempt to preserve the heritage that the street holds in the Portland community, those living on the street pushed to get Peacock Lane on the National Register of Historic Places.

On Nov. 3 they got their wish.

The National Parks Service listed the Peacock Lane Historic District on the register.

Some neighbors had concerns last year when one of the residents sold their property, which was parceled into two lots. They were “cautiously optimistic” after meeting with the developer that the new home would fit with the neighborhood’s aesthetic.

Despite that optimism, and the fact some concessions were made, many neighbors are still unhappy with the final product.

"What he's got now is OK but it definitely doesn't quite fit in," said Krista Brockwood, who has lived on Peacock Lane for 15 years. "I'm not crazy about it but there's nothing we can do, and so what we want to do is look to the future and protect the rest of the street and what we've got here."

Any future home demolitions on Peacock Lane would need to be approved by the Portland City Council. In addition, the council could also vote to require any new construction conform to the street's existing architecture.

The street will be lit up for the 2017 season on December 15-31, with “pedestrian only” nights on December 15, 16, and 17.

Here’s the submission to the National Register of Historic Places:

The Peacock Lane Historic District is a unique example of an early automobile suburb that retains the characteristics of Property Subtype III, as defined in “Historic Residential Suburbs in the United States,1830-1960.” It was built in the 1920s in a homogeneous architectural style with a four-block-long street, with unique designs for each house. The character-defining features relating to the urban design of the subdivision are the incorporation of the automobile in the site and subdivision design, the setback of the houses in relation with the streetscape, garages with concrete driveways, and the pedestrian connections with the sidewalk. The circulation network is a characteristic, as well as an early example, of Property Subtype III, Early Automobile Suburb for its hierarchal street system, which includes the road width, curbs and gutters, planting beds, and sidewalks. The vegetation in the historic district is also important, with the remaining historic trees clustered in the center of the district, augmented by small objects like street lamps and sidewalk stamps, to make this district an excellent example of an early automobile suburb.

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