Portland's Captivating Fountains

There are so many attractions in Portland that make a visit to PDX a memorable experience, but the enormous amounts of public art make even walking through the city an adventure. For instance, Portland’s core downtown area has 15 decorative and interactive fountains. Many of them have fascinating histories, and you can even play in some of them!

Here are some favorites to get you started:

Jamison Square (NW 11th Avenue at Johnson/Kearney):

Hop on the Portland Streetcar to dip your feet into the Pearl District’s lovely fountain at Jamison Square, in close proximity to boutique shopping, excellent dining and Cool Moon Ice Cream. The beautiful trees lining the square and the water cascading over the rocks are sure to set your spirits at ease. The fountain was named for William Jamison, an early advocate for the development of Portland’s exquisite Pearl District.

Salmon Springs Fountain (SW Naito Parkway at Salmon):

What could be more fun than splashing in a level fountain right in Portland’s Tom McCall Waterfront Park? Salmon Springs Fountain is located next to the on-board for the Portland Spirit Cruise, as well as Kerr Bicycle Rental. The fountain recycles as many as 4,924 gallons of water per minute through up to 137 jets at any given time. A computer changes the display of the water every 20 minutes.

Ira Keller/Forecourt Fountain (SW 3rd at Clay/Market):

This fountain is situated next to the Keller Auditorium (where many of the touring Broadway shows perform, as well as the local ballet and opera companies) and is a delightful place to cool your feet, or even play with your family. It is occasionally slippery and has some steep edges, so please observe caution. Keller Fountain was designed to mimic the Cascade Mountains’ waterfalls. The fountain was named after the first Chairman of the Board of Portland Development Commission.

Some Interactive Fountain Safety Tips:

- All children must be attended by an adult

- Use caution – there are slippery surfaces, rapidly moving water, and the fountains can be very busy in the summer months

- Look, but don't drink, of course!

Now that you’ve given that a moment of thought, you can focus on the important part – having fun!

For a complete list of Portland’s Municipal Fountains, and information about each one, please go to http://www.portlandoregon.gov/parks/?c=42348. You can download a brochure that will take you step by step through a self-guided walking tour. All fountains will be in full operation by Memorial Day weekend.

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8 years ago

I love all the fountains and the rest of Portland's wonderful public art. Thanks so much for posting about some of your--and my--favorites, Merlin!

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