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Ira Keller Fountain Park, Portland

(4.1/5 based on 80+ reviews on the web)
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
  • No really it's a cool place especially when it gets warm. Lots of locals relax there with a coffee or lunch when the weather permits. The design is beautiful allowing lots is places to relax and the s...  more »
  • I didn't realize they shut the water off in the winter. We got there in the afternoon and it was completely dry. That being said, it is still a sight to see. There isn't much to do except look at it a...  more »
  • I was waiting in line at the Keller Auditorium on night and looked over at the Keller Fountain and thought "I really must see that during the day" sometime. So Last week took a walk over to the park a...  more »
Google
  • 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.
  • 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
  • Absolutely love this place. Perfect mix of natural and urban.
  • I loved this fountain. We found it by chance and I am so happy we did . If you're visiting Portland this is definitely worth 20-30 minutes of your day . The size is impressive , and even more so as you can get really close enough to feel part of it rather than just a spectator
  • Really nice spot. If you're going to City Hall and Portlandia then you might as well hit this up. A really nice installment.