Peacock Lane

Peacock Lane is a four-block street in southeast Portland, Oregon, in the United States. It is known for its elaborately decorated homes during the Christmas and holiday season.[2] During this time of year, thousands of people come to view the displays, buy cocoa, take horsedrawn carriage rides, and sing. The street earned a listing on the National Register of Historic Places in 2017.[3]

Peacock Lane Historic District
Photograph of a house at night, with a high, peaked roof outlined with decorative lights
House on the street, decorated for the holiday season
Locator map
Locator map
Locator map
Locator map
Locator map
Locator map
LocationPortland, Oregon, roughly along SE Peacock Lane between SE Stark and Belmont Streets
Coordinates45°31′05″N 122°37′18″W / 45.518°N 122.6218°W / 45.518; -122.6218Coordinates: 45°31′05″N 122°37′18″W / 45.518°N 122.6218°W / 45.518; -122.6218
Area5 acres (2.0 ha)[1]
Built byRichard F. Wassell
ArchitectRichard F. Wassell
Architectural stylePrimarily English Cottage and Tudor Revival; some Colonial Revival and Spanish Revival
MPSHistoric Residential Suburbs in the United States, 1830-1960 MPS[1]
NRHP reference No.100001774
Added to NRHPOctober 30, 2017


The "Peacock Lane Grinch"

The tradition of decorating the houses dates back to the 1920s.[4] Since beginning, the event has occurred annually, except for a short interruption during World War II while the United States was rationing valuable resources, including electricity.

Many homeowners voluntarily pass along their decorations to new residents when they sell their properties. [5] No homeowner is obligated to put up any lights or displays.

Popular annual displays include several Peanuts characters ice skating on a small pond, a plywood Oregon State Beaver, and a large wooden Grinch from How the Grinch Stole Christmas! that has been a staple since the 1980s. The Grinch has been vandalized several times over the years. It was stolen for a brief period in 1994 and was decapitated in 1997. The Grinch now has a red bow tied around his neck to help conceal the damages.[6] More recent displays feature characters from Doctor Who, The Muppets, The Nightmare Before Christmas, Star Wars, and several Nickelodeon cartoon shows. A life-sized mural of Will Ferrell's "Buddy" from the 2003 film Elf adorns a small stand that sells hot chocolate and coffee.[7][8]

Lights on a Tudor revival-style house on as snowy night on Peacock Lane

As the annual tradition became increasingly popular, residents on the lane have cited their concerns over vandalism, pollution, litter, heavy traffic, and public urination. As a result, the street is now closed to automobiles on certain evenings. The Portland Police department has also stepped up patrols and employs officers to direct traffic during busier hours.[9]

In June 2017, after a developer purchased one of the homes and began building on the lot, the area was nominated for listing on the National Register of Historic Places and earned the designation later that November.[10][11][3] Residents were worried that the developer would not build in the traditional English Cottage and Tudor Revival styles of the street.[10] The street contains 27 historic buildings and six buildings that are not considered historic.[10]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b Fuenmayor, Ernestina (March 1, 2017), National Register of Historic Places Registration Form: Peacock Lane Historic District (PDF) (Draft for review by State Advisory Committee on Historic Preservation), retrieved April 28, 2017.
  2. ^ Potter, Connie (December 2005). "Streetscape: Peacock Lane -- New owners move in, but show goes on". The Oregonian. Retrieved January 1, 2007.
  3. ^ a b National Park Service (November 3, 2017), Weekly List of Actions Taken on Properties: 10/27/2017 through 11/2/2017, archived from the original on November 4, 2017, retrieved November 4, 2017.
  4. ^ Binder, Melissa (December 24, 2013). "Peacock Lane 2013: New and longtime residents share perspective on Christmas tradition". The Oregonian.
  5. ^ "Peacock Lane FAQ". Peacock Lane Website. 2017.
  6. ^ Murphy, Todd (October 30, 2009). "Bright Lights, Big Traffic". Portland Tribune. Retrieved December 7, 2012.
  7. ^ M., Michelle (January 8, 2014). "Peacock Lane in Portland, Oregon". Lil Bit. Retrieved January 2, 2015.
  8. ^ Harlan, Kohr (December 15, 2014). "Peacock Lane: Portland's Christmas Street". KOIN. Retrieved June 24, 2017.
  9. ^ Boyle, Pat (December 19, 2011). "Peacock Lane Neighbors Upset With Crowds". KXL-FM. Retrieved December 7, 2012.
  10. ^ a b c Njus, Elliot (November 6, 2017). "Portland's Peacock Lane earns national historic district status". The Oregonian. Retrieved 3 September 2020.
  11. ^ Harden, Kevin (June 22, 2017) [published online June 16]. "Peacock Lane in line for historic status: Enclave nominated as example of 'early automobile suburb'". Portland Tribune. p. A1. Retrieved June 24, 2017.

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