Skip to Main Content View Text-Only

Parks & Recreation

Healthy Parks, Healthy Portland

Phone: 503-823-PLAY (7529)

Fax: 503-823-6007

1120 SW Fifth Ave., Suite 1302, Portland, OR 97204

Gazebo dome
Basketball court
Spray feature
Dawson Park
N Stanton St & Williams Ave Locate this site in PortlandMaps

General Info
Acreage: 2.05
Acquired in 1921

Includes accessible play area, accessible restroom, basketball court, paths – paved, picnic shelter, picnic site – reservable, picnic tables, playground, stage – outdoor, statue or public art, and volleyball court.
Accessible Play Area Accessible Restroom Basketball Court Paths – Paved Picnic Site – Reservable Picnic Tables Playground Stage – Outdoor Statue Or Public Art Volleyball Court

Special Information
The playground at Dawson Park will be closed completely on Thursday and Friday, June 11-12, for repairs. We apologize for the inconvenience.

Park hours: 5:00am-midnight

Dawson Park Improvement Project

To reserve a picnic area, call 503-823-2525. Picnic Site Maps & Info

Accessibility Information

- Street parking
- Paved pathway to play area
- 50 feet to play area

Play Area
- Engineered mulch surface
- Ramp into play area

Play Equipment
- Transfer station
- Sensory play elements

Other Amenities
- Accessible restroom

Historical Information
Dawson Park is named in honor of an Episcopal minister, the Rev. John Dawson, who was an advocate of child welfare and civic improvement in the 1920s. This space was once a cow pasture and then a ballfield used by the Immaculate Heart Church and School. It was also a frequent stopping place for small circuses and medicine shows.

The gazebo in the park was built in 1978 to showcase the 120 year-old cupola salvaged from the Hill Block Building, once a cornerstone of the old Albina commercial district and an informal gathering place for the African-American community. The onion-like dome was landmark architecture on the Hill Block Building located on the northwest corner of the intersection of N. Russell & Williams. The building and many others were torn down in the early 1970s to make room for a proposed expansion of the Emanuel Hospital campus. The expansion did not take place due to a cut in federal funds. The gazebo was renovated in 2008.

The summer of 2000 saw an increase of criminal activity in the park. A partnership was formed between the Portland Police Bureau, Portland Parks & Recreation, the Eliot Neighborhood Association, Legacy Emanuel Hospital, Immaculate Heart Church, neighbors, and local businesses to address the problem. This community effort resulted in a revitalization of the park, adding amenities like permanent checkers tables and promoting positive activities for all ages.