Peacock Lane is a 4-block street (SE 40th, between Stark Belmont St) in Sunnyside. It is a remarkably homogeneous residential development representative of the 1920s and early 1930s. The homes were built by a single developer/architect, Richard F. Wassell in English Cottage and Tudor Revival styles. There are also distictive street lamps lining the street.
It is known as Portland "Christmas Street" because every year residents decorate their homes during the holidays. Thousands of people come to visit this street, making this an annual Portlandpast-time. This festive tradition dates back to the 1920s. The owner of Portland's first bridge, James H. Richmond lived on Peacock Lane. The annual drive down Peacock Lane began in 1929 as a way of boosting civic pride. Residents have carried on this tradition every year, except for a few years during WWII when energy was being conserved.
Neighbors, local businesses, and the City of Portland come together to make this happen. The Peacock Lane website describes:
- The Portland Police Department and Youth Cadets help control and direct traffic and maintain security
- The City of Portland helps with permits and lots of other administrative stuff
- Sunnyside Neighborhood Association and Southeast Uplift offer logistical support
- Boyd’s Coffee and Tea donate cocoa, cider, and cups
- Walgreens puts up portable toilets
- Volunteers of America manage the Cocoa Booth daily
- Waste Management donates products and services to help keep litter under control
In 2017, preservation concerns arose due to the demoliton of one of the homes by a developer who built a large new home out of character of the street. The community banded together and protected the street by listing it on the National Register of Historic Places.