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Ira Keller Fountain Park, Portland

4.1
#17 of 37 in Sightseeing in Portland
Fountain Nature / Park
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 Traveler Rating
90 reviews
Google
4.5
TripAdvisor
  • You can't miss stopping here when in Portland. The fountain offers a relaxing hideaway for anyone who love the outdoors, or even if you're a city person, but love the water. There are little spots to ...  more »
  • So peaceful, so serene- even with the melodious soft sound of water/stream. A beautiful scene indeed!  more »
  • We checked this out while in Portland because it looked unique. We arrived later in the evening and were literally the only ones there which allowed us to enjoy the quietness and take some fun picture...  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..
  • Not perfect, but as close as I've seen. Lovely place to hang and recharge in the city.
  • Wasn't running water that day. Still cool looking tho. Right across from opera.
  • Beautiful and fun for small kids (just be sure to keep both eyes on them)
  • I love this fountin but the lack of bathroom and people smoking is suboptimal.

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Where to stay in Portland

For easy foot access to Portland's best shopping, dining, and entertainment, stay in or around the downtown area, connected to the rest of the city by light rail. This compact and busy part of Portland contains the highest concentration of hotel rooms in the city, allowing you to explore options ranging from boutique properties to big chains. Thanks to Portland's convenient transportation system, you can also choose a less expensive motel or bed and breakfast in one of the outlying neighborhoods, and still be within minutes of most major tourist attractions.
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