Results 1-2of 2 Reviews
February 1, 2005
Irregularly shaped Pioneer Courthouse Square drops in terraces from street level. A waterfall-like fountain and amphitheater dominates one corner. A series of stylized columns suggesting enclosure gives the space definition. Some 65,000 bricks line the square, incised with contributor names, then a fairly innovative fundraising tactic, now common. Artworks dot the square: Chessboards (functional sculptures, constantly used) and multiple arrows on "Mile Post" that refer you to places about town and around the world, including Portland's sister cities (a concept conceived in Portland). The man with the umbrella, by Seward Johnson, entitled "Allow Me," is looked upon fondly by locals. Go at noon to see the mechanical predictions of "Weather Machine" in action.
My favorite part: Silently lead a visitor to the small circular bay. Stand them on the round stone at its center. Step away. Tell them to speak. Watch amazement spread across their face. The invisible echo chamber, a clever piece of engineering, is an extremely localized phenomena.
There are street-level shops and food venues for your convenience; food carts; an enclosed coffee shop; a flower stand in summer; and warm, spiced almonds in winter. Below ground, Powell’s City of Books has their specialty Travel Store.
Beneath the waterfall, the Portland Oregon Visitor Association (POVA), with public facilities, has (conveniently) friendly people to answer questions. Find here brochures for many area attractions and mass-transit routes and schedules. The 75-seat theater shows the 12-minute city overview video "Perfectly Portland."
POVA: Monday through Friday: 8:30am-5:30pm. Saturday: 10am-4pm. Sunday: 10am-2pm. The theater operates on shortened hours.
Bound by 5th and 6th Avenues and Morrison and Yamhill Streets, the square is easily reached by walking or through mass transit. Max, Portland's light-rail system, flanks the square on two sides, with stops going both east and west. Electric trains run silently -- use care crossing the rails. Bus lines are adjacent as well.
Events held here have included such surprises as a snowboarding competition and a sandcastle contest.
•Free summer concerts.
•The city’s Christmas tree.
•Powell’s annual tented book sale.
•Official Event Calendar.
Map of Grounds & Amenities (pdf)
Free wireless Internet node
Pioneer Courthouse Square: 503-223-1613, (events hotline) 503-525-3738, (fax) 503-222-7425, online from.
Portland Parks Department: 503-823-PLAY or 503-823-2223v/tt, firstname.lastname@example.org
Pioneer Courthouse Square. A circuitous history of the site.
From journal Portland Greenspaces: Something for Everyone
by Go Girl!
Los Angeles, California
October 17, 2000
From journal Portland Highlights!