Midway is an old neighborhood of East Portland. Situated roughly “midway” between the Willamette River in downtown Portland, and the city of Gresham, Midway still conjures up visions of the area’s rural past. Midway is located roughly between the 205 freeway and 174th street, and runs along Division and Powell Boulevard. The Midway “center” has always been 122nd Ave. At it’s heart is in the David Douglas School District.
During the middle class prosperity period of the 1950’s, residents of Portland moved east to find new homes on large lots in residential suburbia. Businesses sprung up on 122nd and along Division at Powell streets to service the needs of the new homeowners. Lawyers, Insurance agents, gas stations, grocery stores, appliance repair, florists, restaurants, doughnut shops, butcher shops, shoe stores, optometrists and dentists were just a few of the businesses serving the middle class.
Many of the residents of Midway have moved or passed away. The houses are now older. The lots were so large that many now have second homes or apartment buildings on flag lots. The excitement and the camaraderie of the ’50s & 60’s has gone, but not gone forever? We can bring it back. It is coming back.
We are attracting new businesses that are more able to meet the needs of the community. These businesses are hiring locally, which will improve the financial base of Midway. With greater employment comes greater need for services and planning and input from the community. The trend is now moving upward, but it still needs our community participation to steer it in the direction that will benefit us all.
Be a part of the solution. If you own a business or a property, hire locally. Look for business owners on web sites like the Midway Business Association www.midwayba.com. If you are a citizen of Midway, do the same thing and shop locally. We can make a difference if we work together.