basketball court – indoor, community center, fitness room, gymnasium, meeting room – reservable, party room – reservable, preschool program, stage – indoor, statue or public art, swim pool – indoor, weight room, and wireless Internet access.
The center is located on the site of the former Eliot Grade School. After the school was relocated, PP&R took it over in 1950 and remodeled the building, naming it the Knott Street Community Center. In the late 1960s, the local community lobbied to name the center after Matt Dishman, the first African-American Multnomah County sheriff and police officer in the city of Portland. The pool was added in 1992. In 2009, the fitness center was completely renovated.
Installed on the lawn in front of the center is a pavilion sculpted by Jon Gierlich in 1996, aptly titled Angle of Repose. The artist combined traditional porch designs based on historic Victorian architecture in the area with an urban plaza where people are encouraged to meet and interact.
In 2016, Matt Dishman’s pool and spa were fully renovated with funding from the 2014 Parks Replacement Bond. Improvements included resurfacing the pool shell to address hollow locations behind the plaster and cracks in the sub-surface of the pool floor, replacement of the spa with a larger capacity spa (expansion funded by System Development Charges) and new major mechanical systems, and the replacement of three fiberglass sand filters for the pool with one high-efficiency filter.