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Four of Portland's Fountain Plazas Preserved in the National Register of Historic Places

By Lindsay Wochnick 0 Comments

Chimney Fountain  Dreamer Fountain 

Ira Keller's Forecourt Fountain  The Lovejoy Fountain
Clockwise: The Dreamer Fountain, Lovejoy Fountain, Ira Keller's Forecourt Fountain, Chimney Fountain

The innovative series of downtown Portland fountain plazas by world-renowned landscape architect Lawrence Halprin have been listed in the National Register of Historic Places, according to a press release distributed by the the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department on Wednesday, March 6, 2013.

Known individually as the Ira Keller's Forecourt Fountain, the Dreamer Fountain (located in Pettygrove Park), Lovejoy Fountain, and the Chimney Fountain, the public plazas are located between SW Clay and Lincoln streets and First and Fourth Avenues and are connected by a system of pedestrian walkways. They are collectively called the “Portland Open Space Sequence.”

A winner of the Presidential Medal of the Arts and other honors, Halprin and members of his firm, Lawrence Halprin and Associates, designed the plazas from 1963 to 1970 as the heart of the city's first urban renewal district, known as the South Auditorium District. Their unprecedented sculptural wedding of public space, water, and references to the natural landscape turned the plazas into instant people magnets, luring investment and laying the groundwork for Portland's unique urban renewal policies for decades to come.

The National Register is maintained by the National Park Service under the authority of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966. Additional information can be located on the Oregon National Register and Survey Program's website

Maintaining Portland's Municipal Decorative Fountains
The Portland Water Bureau has proudly maintained Portland’s municipal decorative fountains since 1988. Maintaining these fountains is no small feat. The Portland Water Bureau is dedicated to ensuring that Portland’s fountains are in working order, safe for public enjoyment and running efficiently. The bureau turns the fountains off for the cold weather months to prevent water from blowing or freezing on surfaces. This “down time” also provides an opportunity for maintenance and repair projects.

Learn more about Portland's many fountains and get a downtown fountain walking tour map on Portland Water Bureau's website.

Lindsay Wochnick
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