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Ira Keller Fountain Park, Portland

Categories: Fountains, Nature & Parks, Tourist Spots
Inspirock Rating:
3.7/5 based on 75 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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  • my wife has been talking about this for years -- her dad's cousin, (I'm fairly sure) an architect and designer, designed "some fountain in downtown Portland" she told me. We more-or-less stumbled onto...  read more »
  • This is a really big fountain, with various levels that allow people to get close, as well as stairways that take you above it. My understanding is that it's okay to wade in the water here, but on a c...  read more »
  • The Fountain across 3rd Avenue bordered by Market and Clay streets is a monument to modern sculpture in concrete whether the water is flowing or not. The water is turned off as the temperatures drop i...  read more »
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