Featured Neighborhood: Lakewood

Lake Oswego has 24 recognized neighborhood associations. Having a neighborhood association is not the same as having a Home Owner’s Association. While some neighborhood associations do have HOA’s many do not. This means that the neighborhood association is not so much about organizing or restricting home owners, and it is more about organizing as a group to communicate with city planning and simply as neighbors to coordinate ideas and activities. Today we are going to take a look at the Lakewood neighborhood.

I don’t think it is the smallest neighborhood in Lake Oswego, but it is certainly one of the smallest. My estimation is that it has about 200 single family homes and another 200 condominiums. The boundaries are State Street on the East, McVey Avenue on the South, West Point Rd on the West, and the junction of Northshore Blvd and Cabana Lane on the North.

Geographically it is pretty much a peninsula. The water boundaries are Lakewood Bay and the main lake.

It very much has a European village feel. The peninsula is taller in the middle with the streets tightly meandering around the curvature of the elevation as well as the water. It is an old neighborhood and has many grand homes that date back nearly a hundred years. Mixed into these houses are new homes that have been built, and that will continue to be built, as the smaller homes age out and become out-of-character to the changing surroundings.

The center piece of the neighborhood is the Lakewood Center for the Arts. Built in 1928, this was originally Lakewood School. It was the original school of Lake Oswego serving, I believe, kindergarden to 8th grade. My information is based upon what I found on line but also on my Mom’s best friend, now in her 80’s, who attended Lakewood School as a child. In the early years kids from LO had to take a bus into Portland to go to High School before Lake Oswego High was built in 1951. Today the Lakewood Center is the home of the Lakewood Theater, theater classes for all ages, the Festival of the Arts, and a second hand store that serves as a funding source for the art center.

While most of the homes in the Lakewood neighborhood are right on the lake, those that are not on the water enjoy the proximity to the Lake Oswego swim park, which is located in this neighborhood.

The walking score for homes in this neighborhood are some of the best to be found. On the Eastern edge you can literally walk across the street to restaurants and shopping. Living on the Western edge adds about half a mile to that distance. It is also a short walk to the Farmer’s Market, Millenium Plaza and the Lake Theater and Cafe for first-run movies.

Pricing is at the extreme ends for Lake Oswego. Looking at what is currently offered for sale, the least expensive is a 2 bedroom and 1 bath condo that was built in 1948. It has been nicely updated and is very clean and bright. It has 914 square feet with views of the lake and an assigned carport. The asking price is $284,000. The most expensive homes are typically right out on the point of the peninsula. They have expansive views that look down the lake but also look out on each side to be truly panoramic. The most expensive house currently listed is a 1936 mansion that has 6337 square feet. It has been fully updated and remodeled to today’s highest standards, yet the remodeling has been done with respect and preservation of the historic glamour of the home. It has 4 bedrooms and 4 1/2 baths. The asking price is $4,300,000.

The Lakewood neighborhood is really special. It’s quaint, yet exquisite, a rare combination. Please let Linda or I know if you would like more information.

Lakewood Center for the Arts

Lake Oswego is a pretty art-oriented community. About town you will find the Gallery Without Walls, and art appreciation is taught by volunteers in the elementary schools. And then there is the annual Festival of the Arts which draws about 20,000 visitors each year for a full weekend of art and entertainment each June. I think a cornerstone of art in the city is the Lakewood Center for the Arts.

Located in the old Lakewood Elementary School building on State Street, the center houses the Lakewood Theater Company as well as a dance studio, art gallery, music and art classes, the Community Arts Preschool, community meeting rooms, and Re-Runs, a second hand shop that supports upkeep and renovation of the building.

The Lakewood Theater Company puts on 5 shows each season of extremely high quality. The stage was renovated in 2003 to hold 220 people with no seat more than 35 feet from the stage. Currently showing is the classic, Gypsy. Costs run about $30 for a single show or $130-$140 for a 5-show season. The performers are high-quality-local talent, with excellent sets and costumes. The theater has a history of 85-90% sell-out for performances. I have seen numerous performances and can attest to the value of the great entertainment.

Tickets are now on sale for the 2010-2011 season:
9/10-10/17: Sweet Charity
11/5-12/12: The Foreigner
1/14-2/20: The Hollow
3/11-4/17: Lend Me a Tenor
5/6-6/12: The Secret Garden

I have a soft spot for this theatre and a personal story. Back in the late 1970’s, when I was in High School at Lakeridge, I had a good friend who worked in the costume department. One Halloween she got us permission to use theatre costumes to attend a Halloween Party. She and I, along with another friend, were able to go to the party as a Chinese dragon. Talk about making an entrance!

I highly encourage you to support the Lakewood Center. And whether you are able to attend a play or not, if you are in Lake Oswego you are going to benefit from the presence of the Lakewood Center in our community.

This is just another great reason to live in Lake Oswego!


Lake Oswego Festival of the Arts!!! ~ June 26, 27 & 28

artshow2The 2009, 46th annual Lake Oswego Festival of the Arts is just a couple of days away! It is always such a thrill to be in Lake Oswego during the festival. There is an air of celebration with pedestrians everywhere in the summer sun walking from the Lakewood Center for the Arts to George Rogers Park and local eateries and gathering places. Of course residents wade through some additional traffic, but we don’t seem to mind… taking in the sights and sounds of art, music, and visitors from all over.

This year the event includes the exhibit, “Cutting Edges: Contemporary Mosaic Art”, and it promises to be one for the record books. Aside from being an awesome display of mosaic work by an international group of participating artists, it is also the largest mosaic fine art exhibit ever offered in the United States (wow). World-renowned artists will display gorgeous pieces using stone, metal, precious jewels, glass, recycled and found items. You may wish to stroll and take it all in at the Lakewood Center, and/or take the opportunity provided to learn about the history of the ancient art, its materials and methods.

Downstairs in the first floor hallway you may enjoy the juried exhibit, “The Artist’s Vision” by Northwest artists. Also here you will find the “Visual Arts Invitational Chronicle” exploring the artist’s vision of Lake Oswego, and at the end of the hall is art from our Lake Oswego Grade Schools and Jr. High Schools. Outside in the pavilion tent will be more than 1,000 pieces of art by both professional and emerging artists, along with the High School exhibit, and hands-on activities for children.

All the artwork at the Lakewood Center will be offered for sale, with the exception of some of the school pieces.

Across the street at George Rogers Park you will be able to stroll through the juried “Fine Arts Crafts Faire” and take in a visual feast from more than 110 artisans. Enjoy music while you do from such artists as Linda Hornbuckle & Janice Scroggins, Marv & Rindy Ross, the Crazy 8’s, Ellen Whyte, 3 Leg Torso and others! Kids will enjoy the “Missoula Children’s Theatre” and “Kids Day in the Park”, and Mom & Dad might enjoy a cold beer or glass of wine at the pavilion staffed by the Lake Oswego Chamber of Commerce.

Music at the Lakewood Center will include a wide array of delectable fare including piano, saxophone, samba guitar, and jazz from artists including Hailey Niswanger, Ronnie Robbins, John NIlsen, and many more.

For more information on exhibit locations, music schedules, activity schedules, parking & shuttle locations, please visit: http://www.lakewood-center.org/pages/lakewood-festival-events

See you at the Festival!