Mount Tabor, Portland, Oregon

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Mount Tabor
Downtown Portland, Oregon, seen from Mount Tabor Park.
Downtown Portland, Oregon, seen from Mount Tabor Park.
Mount Tabor is located in Portland, Oregon
Mount Tabor
Mount Tabor
Coordinates: 45°30′46″N 122°35′33″W / 45.5128968°N 122.5925937°W / 45.5128968; -122.5925937Coordinates: 45°30′46″N 122°35′33″W / 45.5128968°N 122.5925937°W / 45.5128968; -122.5925937PDF map
CountryUnited States
 • AssociationMount Tabor Neighborhood Association
 • CoalitionSoutheast Uplift Neighborhood Program
 • Total1.60 sq mi (4.14 km2)
 • Total10,037
 • Density6,300/sq mi (2,400/km2)
 • No. of households4316
 • Occupancy rate96% occupied
 • Owner-occupied2808 households (65%)
 • Renting1508 households (35%)
 • Avg. household size2.33 persons
Race Distribution: White 84.6%, Asian 6.4%, Hispanic 3.5%, Black 1.3%

Mount Tabor is the name of a volcanic cinder cone, the city park on the volcano, and the neighborhood of Southeast Portland that surrounds it, all in the U.S. state of Oregon. The name refers to Mount Tabor, Israel. It was named by Plympton Kelly, son of Oregon City pioneer resident Clinton Kelly.[2]


Mount Tabor Reservoir

The Mount Tabor neighborhood lies between SE 49th Ave. (SE 50th Ave. south of SE Hawthorne Blvd.) on the west and SE 76th Ave. on the east, and between E Burnside St. on the north and SE Division St. on the south. It is bordered by Sunnyside and Richmond on the west, North Tabor on the north and west, Montavilla on the north and east, and South Tabor on the south.

Mount Tabor Park[3] is the neighborhood's principal feature. The campus of Warner Pacific University (affiliated with the Church of God (Anderson)) is located just south of the park. The neighborhood also marks the eastern end of the Hawthorne District. The campus of Western Seminary is located on the western slope, overlooking downtown Portland.

Before becoming part of Portland in 1905, Mount Tabor was a rural farming community dating back to the 1850s. It became a city-recognized neighborhood (encompassing a far smaller area than its historical boundaries) in 1974.[4]

Reservoir controversy[edit]

The Mount Tabor reservoirs, along with those in Portland's Washington Park, have been the subject of a decade-long controversy surrounding lucrative engineering contracts to replace the historic open reservoirs with underground storage tanks. Concern has been raised about the possible relationship between City officials and the engineering firms receiving the no-bid reservoir decommissioning contracts;[5][6] and about the role these parties may have played in lobbying for pro-underground-tank modifications (the "LT2" rule) to the Safe Drinking Water Act.[7]

On June 15, 2011, a man was observed urinating in a nearly 8,000,000 gallon reservoir, prompting city officials to drain the water at a cost of around $36,000.[8]

Under LT2 several hundred of the country's historic open reservoirs were decommissioned.[9]

Following pressure from other open-reservoir cities, in 2011 the EPA softened its stance on the LT2 rule and allowed the country's remaining open reservoirs to halt burial plans;[10] but despite public outcry[11][12] Mount Tabor's open reservoirs remained slated for decommissioning. In August 2015, the Portland City Council passed a unanimous vote to decommission the three open reservoirs.[13]

After decommissioning, the three open reservoirs no longer supplied drinking water but generally remained filled with water.[14] However, in 2021, structural concerns emerged related to Reservoir 6 and it has since remained drained.[15]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Demographics (2000)
  2. ^ McArthur, Lewis A.; Lewis L. McArthur (2003) [1928]. Oregon Geographic Names (Seventh ed.). Portland, Oregon: Oregon Historical Society Press. ISBN 0-87595-278-X.
  3. ^ "Mt. Tabor Park |".
  4. ^ "Mt Tabor Neighborhood Association - History: The early years of Mt. Tabor". Archived from the original on 2009-03-10. Retrieved 2008-11-04.
  5. ^ ""Forget it Jake, it's just P-Town," Portland Tribune, December 29, 2003". Retrieved 2014-05-17.
  6. ^ ""A Friend in the Business" Willamette Week, September 10, 2003". Retrieved 2014-05-17.
  7. ^ ""Historical relationship between Montgomery Watson Harza Global, Inc., an Additional Bull Run Treatment Plan, and Portland's Open Reservoirs, and the EPA's 2006 LT2 Rule," Friends of the Reservoirs". Retrieved 2014-05-17.
  8. ^ "Portland reservoir urination raises few health or scientific concerns -- but it is pee". June 16, 2009.
  9. ^ ""Portland, Oregon: A Locus of Undue Influence on Drinking Water Regulations and Public Works Contracts?" PortlandWater.Info" (PDF). PortlandWater.Info. Retrieved 2014-05-17.
  10. ^ "United states Environmental Protection Agency: August 2011" (PDF). Retrieved 2013-08-16.
  11. ^ ""The Cost of Decommissioning," Southeast Examiner, August 2013". Retrieved 2014-05-17.
  12. ^ ""Mt. Tabor Reservoir Protest Could Draw Hundreds, Organizer Predicts: Portland City Hall Roundup," The Oregonian, July 11, 2013". Retrieved 2014-05-17.
  13. ^ "Portland city council shuts down Mt. Tabor reservoirs". Retrieved 2022-03-17.
  14. ^ "Mount Tabor Reservoirs". Retrieved 2022-03-17.
  15. ^ "Mount Tabor Reservoirs Management". Retrieved 2022-03-17.

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]