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Healthy Parks, Healthy Portland

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1120 SW Fifth Avenue, Portland, OR 97204

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Pioneer Courthouse Square renovations begin January 30

Join us for a public celebration at 12pm on Monday, February 6, to kick off the largest Parks Replacement Bond project.

POSTED JANUARY 26, 2017

(Portland, OR) –

Pioneer Courthouse Square (PCS) will be receiving major repairs and renovations thanks to the Parks Replacement Bond, overwhelmingly approved by voters in 2014. This is the largest Parks Replacement Bond project. Construction at PCS is scheduled to start on Monday, January 30, 2017, and substantial completion is expected to be completed by the end of July 2017.

Photo: Pioneer Courthouse Square during a "Festival of Flowers" event. The Square is a landmark site and attraction in Portland.

Work will include:

  • Replacing the leaking waterproof membrane under the bricks on the upper tier of the Square along SW Broadway and a section of SW Yamhill Streets
  • Replacing deteriorated bricks in the upper tier of the Square
  • Repairing the Square’s iconic Stoa terra cotta columns on SW Yamhill
  • Renovating restrooms to install all-user bathroom facilities
  • Repairing the HVAC system and improving structural reinforcement in the HVAC/Mechanical Room
  • Increasing accessibility to the Square at one of Portland’s most visited sites
  • Replacing five trees along SW Broadway Street

“Together, Portland Parks & Recreation and Pioneer Courthouse Square, Inc. are working to make sure this unique public asset serves the next generation of Portlanders,” says Portland Parks Commissioner Amanda Fritz. “Portland voters have my and the City’s continued gratitude as we work to address the most critical needs across our Parks system.”

Photo: Some of the deteriorated bricks which will be replaced during the Square's renovation.

Howard S. Wright is the contractor for the PCS renovations. For a full Pioneer Courthouse Square project overview, click here or visit parksreplacementbond.org.

All are welcome to a special celebration on Monday, February 6 at 12pm at the Square to mark the start of construction. Speakers will include Portland Parks Commissioner Amanda Fritz, Portland Parks & Recreation (PP&R) Director Mike Abbaté, and Pioneer Courthouse Square Board President, Dan Lavey.

What:
Celebration for the start of the Pioneer Courthouse Square renovation project

When:
Monday, February 6, 2017, 12pm

Where:
Pioneer Courthouse Square, Portland (between SW Morrison and Yamhill and SW and 6th and Broadway)

Photo: The iconic but deteriorated columns at Portland's Pioneer Courthouse Square will be restored during the largest Parks Replacement Bond project, which begins on January 30, 2017.

"When more than 70% of Portland voters approved the Parks Replacement Bond in 2014, they voted to repair and renew Pioneer Courthouse Square,” says PCS Board President Dan Lavey. “We will fix a leaking roof, modernize old restrooms and refresh the signature bricks. After completion, the Square will re-open to the 11 million people who visit and use it each year. In the meantime, we encourage people to become a piece of history and purchase a brick."

As part of the Parks Replacement Bond project, all of the Square’s bricks with names on them that are impacted by construction will be replaced with original inscriptions in a similar location.

“The material under the bricks which keeps water from leaking below ground was originally rated to last only twenty years,” notes Portland Parks & Recreation Director Mike Abbaté. “It is now in a state of failure after thirty years. I am excited that we are preserving the original design and feel of this world-famous public space.”

Pioneer Courthouse Square has been affectionately known as Portland’s “Living Room” since its opening in 1984. The Square, a 40,006 square foot urban park located at the heart of the downtown core, has been a public gathering space for the benefit of Portland’s community members and visitors. Pioneer Courthouse Square is one of the most visited public sites in Oregon. The Square hosts more than 300 programmed events each year that reflect the civic role of the Square within the community.

“Howard S. Wright and Faison Construction are honored to partner with the City of Portland, Shiels Obletz Johnsen, and SRG Partnership to deliver the goals of the Pioneer Courthouse Square renovation project,” says Troy Dickson, Senior Vice President & Oregon Manager with Howard S. Wright. “As one of Oregon’s most visited public sites, our team’s priority is to maintain safe access and deliver construction activities with the least possible disruption to surrounding businesses and guests of the Square. We are excited to be a part of a project that is so important to our community.”   

  • All businesses located within the Square will be open during construction. This includes Big Red Arrow and Portland Walking Tours, Honkin’ Huge Burritos, Philly’s on the Phly, Spellbound Flowers, Starbucks, Travel Portland, and TriMet.
  • The Square will continue to hold events in the area not impacted by the construction.
  • Access routes to Square businesses and services may be altered to provide safe access. Informational signage will be installed throughout the construction project to aid in site navigation.
  • Public restrooms in the Square will be closed, and signage will direct the public to alternate nearby public restrooms.

More information on expected impacts from construction is available at portlandoregon.gov/parks/68100.


About the Parks Replacement Bond

Thanks to overwhelming voter support of the Parks Replacement Bond, PP&R is repairing some of the most critical components of the City’s park system

The Parks Replacement Bond was passed with the support of over 70% of voters in November 2014. Its primary focus is on repair and replacement of the most critical needs in the parks system. Thirty Bond-funded projects are underway; five are complete. Eighteen projects are expected to break ground over the next year.   

More help is needed to close the play gap

Portland Parks & Recreation remains grateful to Portland voters for the $68 million Parks Replacement Bond, which takes aim at a $248M funding gap for major maintenance needs over the next ten years. Further, PP&R anticipates $472M in unfunded growth needs during that period. That adds up to a $720M funding gap over the next decade, which Commissioner Fritz will continue to work with City Council to address. Currently, 20% of people living in Portland do NOT have access to a park or natural area within a 15-minute walk, and the bureau is working hard to close this “play gap”. 

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