Forecourt Fountain, 1970

Forecourt Fountain (Keller Fountain), looking towards Civic Auditorium (Keller Auditorium), 1970.

City of Portland (OR) Archives, A2010-003.12520.

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11 thoughts on “Forecourt Fountain, 1970

  1. The soothing, cooling sounds of falling water in the center of the city on a hot summer’s day. Portland’s urban mini-version of Iguazu Falls . . . or at least that was my imagination tripping when I relaxed there many summers ago. Wonderful.

  2. Used to spend a lot of time down there in high school. I graduated in the Civic Auditorium.

  3. My graduating class (Grant High, 1979) had a group photo taken in front of the fountain after commencement rehearsal at the Civic Auditorium, and it was printed on a two-page spread in the yearbook. Did other schools do this?

  4. Many people forget, or don’t know about, the series of parks that Lawrence Halprin designed which go along with the Keller (Forecourt) Fountain in the blocks south. To resemble nature, the stream starts as a spring (Lovejoy Park), meanders downhill through Pettygrove Park and culminates in the deep pools and splashing cascades of the Forecourt.
    https://www.asla.org/Portland/site.aspx?id=44134

  5. Skate boarded at Love Joy Park on the concrete, then down the asphalt of Petty Grove park; this was all in the mid ’60s, in 1970 while I was in Vietnam the Forecourt Fountain was dedicated; my best friend sent me picture’s of the dedication from the Sunday Oregonian spread, went down to see it when I got home in late Jan ’71.

  6. Comparing the 1970 photo to a 2019 Google street view one can see that the designers intended for there to be a few more trees scattered amongst the walkways & steps but over time it was learned that most trees would have a hard time establishing themselves in some of these areas; partially due to people abusing them by shaking or pulling off branches etc.

    Glancing over the clusters of people in the photo on is struck by some stark differences of what a similar crowd might look like today in terms of hairstyles, clothing, and body habitus. No brightly painted hair, no visible tattoos, more women in dresses for work, no Reeboks or Nikes, more collared shirts than tees, and folks were generally leaner and less obese.

    Automobiles have been greatly improved since this time, and so has air quality. It was easier to differentiate between makes/models of cars in those days, though; nowadays cars are less distinctive and more similar in their shapes.

    Nowadays if you see a camper parked in the city, it’s someone’s active place of residence.

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