Downtown Portland’s Director Park is a European-style, granite-paved plaza that replaced a parking lot in 2009. Located just two blocks from Pioneer Courthouse Square, the park features ample outdoor seating and a fountain, and plays host to occasional events in the summer.
Director Park bridges the gap between the South Park Blocks and North Park Blocks, which were historically planned to run continuously through downtown Portland. Upon its opening, The Oregonian called the park “a cozier den to the living room that is Pioneer Courthouse Square.”
A 25-foot-high glass canopy shelters a terrace with café tables and chairs — a perfect spot to munch on lunch from a nearby food cart. Come sundown, the canopy’s dynamic light installation enlivens the square.
Encircled by hand-crafted wood benches, Teachers Fountain is a busy summer park attraction, attracting families with its shallow, splashable waters.
Why is it called Director Park?
Local developer Jordan Schnitzer donated $1.97 million for the plaza and asked that it be named for his maternal grandparents, Simon and Helen Director. Simon immigrated from Russia and arrived in Portland in 1910, while Helen came from Poland in 1915. The pair met in Portland in 1915 and had three daughters, June, Ruth and Arlene. (Arlene is the namesake for the nearby Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall.)
Located in the heart of downtown Portland, the city’s “living room” is close to shopping, restaurants, and hotels, and hosts hundreds of events each year.
In a city as green as Portland, it’s only fitting that some of the top attractions are outdoor spots that appeal to home gardeners and hikers alike. With more than 200 parks and gardens within city limits the urban greens offer a breath of fresh air.
Cool off with free fun at these kid-friendly fountains in Portland.
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