Pioneer Courthouse Square

Known as Portland’s “living room,” this brick-lined park is bustling with activity and events.

Pioneer Courthouse SquareThe iconic sign and namesake courthouse at Pioneer Courthouse Square.

Located in the heart of downtown Portland, Pioneer Courthouse Square is affectionately known as the city’s “living room.” Once a grim parking structure, the square is now a thriving urban park and the single most-visited site in Oregon, attracting more than 9.5 million visitors annually.

The square’s on-site resources include the TriMet public transit ticket office. Nearby, you’ll often find the green-clad Sidewalk Ambassadors eager to help with directions, advice and information about downtown.

Named after the Pioneer Courthouse (the Pacific Northwest’s oldest federal building) located on the public space’s eastern side, the square began as the Portland Hotel in 1890. In 1950 the hotel became a two-story parking garage, and in 1984 it was reborn as a bustling city park where light rail and buses converge. These days, the square is where workers, visitors and families gather to enjoy the city, catch a ride elsewhere and even enjoy a meal at the food carts parked on the bricks.

The square is also one of Portland’s leading outdoor venues, hosting 300 events each year, from large-scale concerts to cultural festivals. In the summertime, the Noon Tunes concert series fills the lunch-hour air with free live music on Tuesdays, and on Fridays, Flicks on the Bricks transforms the “living room” into Portland’s biggest movie theater, with no-cost, family-friendly fare.

But the square hosts more than summertime excitement; every year, the city celebrates the day after Thanksgiving with the lighting of the region’s largest decorated holiday tree, and an array of festive events, like the Tuba Christmas Concert and the Holiday Ale Festival, keep the space merry and bright. Learn more about holiday events at Pioneer Courthouse Square.

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