A Chilled Winter’s Stroll through Whiteaker, Eugene

by Silas Valentino

She was a cold one tonight but it helped add a hazy glow that wrapped around Eugene’s vibrant neighborhood of Whiteaker. This unique sprawl shares a bank with The Willamette River and is caught between a land-grab with Downtown and the Eugene Industrial sector. Referred to by some as “The Whit,” Whiteaker acts as a breeding ground for both culture and living.

Whiteaker’s origins lie with Oregon’s first governor, John Whiteaker. He purchased ten blocks in the neighborhood in 1890 and within the next few decades, the area was to be forever named, Whiteaker.


Photos Courtesy of Silas Valentino

The neighborhood has always been home to creative communities and commerce. Homes range from classic Eugene-styled mold holds to contemporary beauties that shine with the glow of Windex. Finding a VW bus resting on the side of the road would be as easy as sensing the smoke cloud that rests on top the 10-block stretch. There’s an unavoidable atmosphere in Whiteaker. A communal vibe that encourages art, social interaction and life’s simple joys.

           

Whiteaker is home to a few of Eugene’s most famous restaurants and taverns. Esteemed establishments such as Sam Bond’s Garage, Papa’s Soul Food and The Nakasi Brewery bring in locals and even travelers looking to tour the rising Nakasi Brewery. Even though it was only a wintery Wednesday night, these businesses were thriving  and helped illuminate The Whit.

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