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Ira Keller Fountain Park, Portland

(85+ reviews on the web)
Fountain
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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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • My husband and I were at the end of our trip and wanted to explore a more "relaxing" area of Portland. We happened to see the Ira Keller Fountain Park and stopped. It was a great area to just sit and ...  more »
  • We loved it!!! Just sat down and relaxed listening to the water fall... Would recommend a stop by,even if it's a quick look  more »
  • The sound of the fountain drowns out the city noise and it is really relaxing to sit and rest here. Very interesting looking fountain too.  more »
Google
  • The pictures don't do it justice, you kinda have to just see it for yourself. Absolutely gorgeous design. It's funny to spot the locals just chillin there alongside the awestruck tourists..
  • Wasn't running water that day. Still cool looking tho. Right across from opera.
  • Oh man this place is cool! One of Portland's greatest gems! Fun place to cool off on hot summer days. You can actually climb on the different fountain platforms. Can get a bit crowded but it's a great community spot with smiling faces to pass an afternoon with.
  • Beautiful auditorium. Saw American in Paris.
  • Fantastic park with lots of space, even in the summer when there are piles of people there to cool off in the fountain to have easy conversation. Is a great stop for a date