A Fountain of Peace in Portland, Forever a Piece of Portland

Portland is a city of many great things: roses, bridges, and fountains. My favorite among them is the Fourcourt Fountain, (or at least that’s what I’ve always called it because of my mom, a Portland native). Today it is known as the Keller Fountain Park and one of the memorable landmarks of the city for the waterfall inspired design. From the Keller Fountain, a rich history of Portland flows with its thousands of gallons of water pumping the waterfalls falls each minute.


The Keller Fountain still brings many friends, families, and individuals out to enjoy the scenery and atmosphere of the peaceful park each day. May 2012. Photo by Victoria Davila.

At the fountain opening in 1970 it was originally named the Fourcourt Fountain. It was hoped that the park would give people a place to come together peacefully. It wasn’t until 1978 that it was renamed in honor of Ira Keller, head of the Portland Development Commission. For over 40 years now, the fountain remains at the heart of Portland and even earned an award for it.


This plaque explains some of the history of the fountain in recognition of the Heart of Portland Award received in 1995. It was the first recipient of the award. Photo by Victoria Davila.

When budget cuts have threatened the water from rushing fourth, countless officials have stood up for it. It is more than a fountain. It’s a piece of childhood for many Portlanders like myself, a piece of sanctuary in the middle of a busy downtown, and a piece of Portland park history.


For the rest of you twenty somethings out there, yes it’s also the fountain they shot an episode of Jackass in. Photo by Victoria Davila.

I’ve already made one good trip to the fountain this season and I plan on making many more as the summer threatens to make an appearance in Portland this year. My favorites spots at the fountain are the waterfall stairs and lower level area where you can stand behind the falls. Countless childhood and adolescent memories take place there. Sometimes it’s great to remember that some of the best things in life are free, and as long as the city remembers the true importance of playing in the park I will have many more Keller Fountain memories to make.


My first official trip to the fountain this season! May 2012.

For a bit more on the history and thoughts on the Keller Fountain, visit this great page I stumbled upon.

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About victoriadavila

Oregon duck, journalist, artist, social media junkie, UO SOJC alumna & eternal life student. Communications & culture enthusiast.

Posted on May 11, 2012, in Odds and Ends, Personal Essays, Portland, The Sights of Oregon and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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