(love the shadows of the pine trees reflected in the fountain’s waterfall)
(love this image’s depth – from the leaves in the bottom left corner over the top of the fountain’s sculptural forms to the distant pine trees)
I’m working on a National Historic Landmark nomination for the Portland Sequence, landscape architect Lawrence Halprin’s ground-breaking design for public spaces in Portland. The sequence includes four public parks linked by walkways that were designed to span one of Portland’s late 1960s urban renewal projects. While similar urban renewal projects failed in other parts of the country, Portland’s has been deemed successful, in many ways because of Halprin’s parks.
Forecourt Fountain, the most visible of the four public parks, is turning 40 next year (just like me). While many parks of this era are dated, Forecourt Fountain (also known as Ira Keller Fountain for the man whose vision and political power was at the root of this urban renewal area) remains both modern and relevant. Though many of the forms and concepts are purely born of the late 60s and early 70s, they are also classic enough to transcend time and design fads. Added to that the park is both functional – serving as a place of respite on cooler days and a much needed wading pool on blistering hot days, and beautiful – a sculptural centerpiece both for both day and night.