In this blog you will find short descriptions for many of the fountains in Portland. Links will take you to more detailed entries for most of the fountains and those missing will be written later.
Animals in Pools – SW Yamhill Street and Morrison between 5th and 6th Avenues.
There are 25 life-like statues in 10 pools. They were built as part of an improvement project for the MAX Light Rail in 1986.
Benson Bubblers – original at SW5th and Washington
To provide fresh drinking water downtown and to discourage his workers from drinking alcohol in the middle of the day, Simon Benson, a turn of the century lumber baron, commissioned 20 elegant freshwater drinking fountains, now known as the Benson Bubblers. The fountains are still in operation to this day.
Bill Naito Legacy– Waterfront Park and Burnside Bridge
Honoring Portland’s immigrants with a poem etched into its steps, it celebrates the diversity of cultural influences that have shaped the city of Portland. The fountain runs 24/7, 365 days a year unless an event like Saturday Market is occupying the space.
Birds on a Wire – OMSI
Large metal pipes move in rhythmic motions that remind one of birds drinking from a fountain. Similar to the Deer Chaser fountain at the Japanese gardens but on a larger scale.
Car Wash – SW 5th and Ankeny Street
This interesting tubular designed fountain was installed in 1977 by a group of designers. A wind gauge shuts the water supply off on gusty days to prevent hazards for passers-by.
Chimney or Source
This diminutive fountain represents an artesian spring that is the first of a group of fountains feeding into Pettygrove Park, Lovejoy Fountain, and Ira Keller.
Holladay Park – NE 11th street and Multnomah
Programmable spouting fountain has nozzles and valves to create a playful atmosphere of surprise trajectories and timing sequences. In 2000 this fountain replaced the 1965 fountain at the park.
Horse Trough – NW 31st and Thompson. Out of operation do to vandalism.
In 2003, National Geographic did some research on the fountain and found that children had raised money to purchase it, because they felt sorry for the poor workhorses pulling loads up the hill in Thurman.
Ira Keller – SW 3rd and 4th Avenues, Clay and Market Street.
Designed by Angela Danadjieva after she was given a book about waterfalls of the Columbia Gorge to use as inspiration.
Jamison Springs – 810 NW 11th Avenue
This water feature in Portland’s Pearl District is named for the late William Jamison. The fountain is a focal point of the Square on hot summer days, simulating a shallow tidal pool. Water cascades from stone joints into low pools.
Kelly – SW 6th and Pine
Designed by one of Portland’s most prolific artists, Lee Kelly, water flows over twenty foot steel shapes. Installed in 1977 it was restored to its original beauty in the spring of 2004.
Lovejoy – Between 3rd and 4th Ave. on SW Mall
Designed to celebrate the great Northwest waterfalls this fountain is widely used in the summer months for cooling off and people watching.
McCoy– N. Trenton Street and Newman
Installed in 2006, the first decorative municipal fountain in North Portland, is a “guessing” fountain. People “guess” which spouts will erupt next. The playful water feature spouts water at heights up to 6 feet from 35 jets.
Pioneer Courthouse Square Waterfall – SW Broadway between Yamhill and Morrison
In the late 1970’s the City acquired this land for use as a public square. The waterfall fountain was designed in 1983. At the top of the stairs above the visitor center is where you’ll find Starbucks and the wonderful little fountain Brian and Glenda have named “The Moat.” The Moat flows along the wall around the building.
Rose Garden – (Frank Edwin Beach Memorial Fountain) 400 SW Kingston Avenue
Set in a sunken section on the upper level of the Rose Test garden, the Frank Edwin Beach Memorial Fountain was dedicated in June 1975. The stainless steel sculpture, titled Water Sculpture, was designed and built by Oregon artist Lee Kelly. The fountain was a gift from the Beach family to honor their father, Frank Edwin Beach (1853-1934), the man who is said to have christened Portland the ‘City of Roses.’
Rose Petal – SE 106th and Stark
Three spouts shoot water merrily in the air above an installation of rocks in Park 51 or the Stark Street Island as it is sometimes called. A Multnomah County Parks planner designed the fountain for its installation in 1978.
Salmon Street Springs – SW Salmon in Waterfront Park
Celebrating city life, a computer regulates the changing patterns of the water display. At full capacity it recycles 4,924 gallons of water per minute through as many as 137 jets at once having 185 jets in all.
Shemanski (Rebecca at the Well) – SW Salmon and SW Main at Park
The Italianesque trefoil design of this fountain was a gift to the city from Joseph Shemanski in 1926 to thank the city for its kindness to him. Rebecca offered to draw water for Abraham’s servant and many camels — possibly as much as a half ton of water. By providence, Rebecca’s act of kindness and service revealed her as the bride.
Skidmore – Between SW Burnside and Ankeny, 1st and Front
In 1888 this bronze fountain was placed in what was then, the center of town. Stephen Skidmore, a druggist, left $5,000 in his will for a fountain for men, horses and dogs.
Tanner Springs – NW 10th Avenue and Marshall Street
What is now known as the Pearl District was once a wetland and lake fed by streams that flowed down from the nearby hills in southwest Portland. The lake and the surrounding wetland were eventually filled to make way for warehouses and rail yards which in turn were replaced by residences, shops, and public spaces. Today, the park sits about 20 feet above the former lake surface.
Teachers – SW Yamhill and Park
Portland’s newest municipal fountain, donated by Jordan Schnitzer. Dedicated to all who educate and inspire. Built on top of a below ground parking structure.
The Dreamer – In Pettygrove Park between the walkways that used to be 2nd and 3rd Avenues and Market and Harrison Street.
Sometimes incorrectly referred to as a fountain is actually a reflecting pool.
Thompsons Elk – middle of Main Street between 3rd and 4th
A former mayor of Portland, David P. Thompson, (1879 until 1882) didn’t want to be outdone by one of his predecessors so he donated a fountain of his own to the city in 1900.
Washington Park (Chiming Fountain) Located in Washington Park
In the main circle of the park is where you’ll find the Chiming Fountain. Chime-like drips of water flow from one bronze pan to another. There are gargoyles at the base spout water. Originally painted white and topped by a cast iron figure of a boy holding a staff from which water spouted, at some point during the years the figure disappeared. 1912 being the last known record of it.
Brought to you by Brian and Glenda
Please make us happy by clicking on one of the ads towards the top of the page. Thank you.
Products you may be interested in:
[amazon_enhanced asin=”0881928852″ /] [amazon_enhanced asin=”1560446048″ /] [amazon_enhanced asin=”B001N9FT12″ /] [amazon_enhanced asin=”0881926922″ /]