Ira Keller Fountain Park, Portland

4.1
#17 of 28 in Parks in Portland
Keller Fountain Park is a city park in downtown Portland, Oregon. Originally named Forecourt Fountain or Auditorium Forecourt, the 0.92acre park opened in 1970 across Third Avenue from what was then Civic Auditorium. In 1978, the park was renamed after Ira Keller, head of the Portland Development Commission (PDC) from 1958–1972. Civic Auditorium was renamed as Keller Auditorium in 2000, but is named in honor of Richard B. Keller.The central feature of the park is the concrete water fountain. Keller Fountain is often noted as a memorable feature of the public landscape in downtown Portland, and in 1999 was awarded a medallion from the American Society of Landscape Architects. The fountain was designed by Angela Danadjieva using inspiration from waterfalls in the Columbia River Gorge located east of Portland. While the park is named Keller Fountain Park, the fountain itself is named Ira Keller Fountain. The fountain's pools hold of water, while the waterfalls pump per minute over the cascade.HistoryPrior to being a park, the block was the location of a popular tavern run by Bud Clark, who was later to become a mayor of Portland. Clark purchased the tavern formerly known as "Dot Tavern" for $1,600, including acquisition of the lease for the building. Clark renamed it the Spatenhaus and it was reopened in October 1962. As the area was already part of the South Auditorium urban renewal area, Clark lost the lease when the PDC acquired the block in May 1967. The firm of Skidmore, Owings and Merrill was then asked by PDC to draw plans for the park, which foresaw a fountain, a traffic turnaround, and underground parking for 150 cars. Protests were raised however, by Walter Gordon, the architectural adviser to the PDC, and in July 1968 the Lawrence Halprin design firm was commissioned in to design the park, partly due to Gordon's advocacy.
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Ira Keller Fountain Park Reviews
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98 reviews
Google
4.4
TripAdvisor
  • The water wasn't running when I stopped over but I still appreciated the design of the structure and could picture how it would look with the waterfalls. Still cool to take selfies at.  more »
  • In walking distance to most downtown hotels. Lovely spot to sit and look at the waterfalls. Only downside is that there were a few homeless people there when we arrived early in the am. But that is to...  more »
  • This is a nice park, just across the street from our hotel, but the homeless people were bathing there the day we walked over. Didn't want to stick around. Beautiful water fountain but be careful!  more »
Google
  • The architecture of this fountain is really something to behold. This is a very popular spot for local parkour athletes and a great place to stop by to people watch or just relax. Unfortunately there are often homeless people taking shelter or hanging out around the fountain. Nevertheless Keller fountain is a must see.
  • Really terrific fountain with sculptural movement and different levels of water cascading off of the fountain. Again would have been 5 stars but was surprised when the sleeping homeless man on the lawn woke up startling me.
  • This is one of the nicest places I have seen. We waded on the top area for an hour with just our feet in. So relaxing. Very clean and well maintained. Loved this part of my visit to Portland.
  • The amount of parks that were strewn around town is amazing. This fountain is one of those little gems. The only reason for 4 stars is the number of people who show up for a dip to cool off on a hot day, wow. It was 95 when we were there and the fountain looked like a public pool. When not a pool or bath, this is a great place to relax.
  • Was here on a fieldtrip in elementary school 12 years ago, brings back good memories.

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