September Program

September 14th 2017
Time: 11:45 am
Location: Multnomah Athletic Club

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Where the Revolution Began
The South Auditorium District, Then and Now

Join Randy Gragg, President of the Halprin Landscape Conservancy, and John Russell, developer and owner of the 200 Market Building, for some lunch-hour storytelling: learn how Prosper Portland (formerly PDC) created one of the most successful urban renewal districts in the country and how the neighborhood’s property owners and stakeholders are coming together to give a second life to newly rebranded “Fountain District.”

Sixty years ago, Prosper Portland christened the city’s first urban renewal area—the South Auditorium District. For the heart of the soaring residential towers and busy office buildings, Prosper Portland commissioned a series of fountain plazas by renowned landscape architect, Lawrence Halprin. These three plazas would forever revolutionize public space in Portland and the entire nation: Lovejoy Fountain, Pettygrove Park and Keller Forecourt Fountain

The urban renewal bonds were paid off in 10 years. The plazas inspired future Portland landmarks like Pioneer Courthouse Square and Jamison Square, and elsewhere, paved the trail to a new fusion of public space, water and sculpture like the Roosevelt Memorial and 9/11 Memorial and Museum.

Now, a half-century later, the district is seeing a new infusion of energy. The Halprin fountains are to be restored through an unprecedented partnership between public and private entities. The district will soon see major renovations; new apartment towers, a hotel, courthouse and office buildings, PSU expansion buildings and a renewed interest in the Willamette River as a recreational destination.


John Russell Randy Gragg


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