Peacock Lane, Portland’s Christmas Street, granted national historic status

Featured image: A snowman greets visitors strolling Peacock Lane’s holiday displays in Portland (photo by Cheryl Landes)

On Monday, residents of Peacock Lane announced that the National Park Service approved its neighborhood to be listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The four-block lane, from SE Stark to SE Belmont Streets, is best known for its annual Christmas light displays from mid-December through New Year’s Eve—a voluntary tradition for more than 70 years.

Architect Richard F. Wassell designed and built the original homes on Peacock Lane. Most of the 33 houses are in the English Cottage and Tudor Revival styles. Twenty-seven are historical homes, and six are not.

The historic register listing means that the Portland City Council must approve any requests to raze a historical building. There aren’t any restrictions for demolishing non-historical homes or building new ones, but Peacock Lane residents and the city council are discussing design guidelines for new construction to conform to the character of the historical homes.

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