Ira Keller Fountain

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Ira Keller Fountain

The Ira Keller Fountain, occupying the block between 3rd and 4th Avenue, SW Clay and SW Market and adjacent to Civic Auditorium, is an urban fountain designed by nationally known landscape architect Lawrence Halprin and opened in 1971. At the time of its completion, the fountain was initially known as Forecourt Fountain. The construction was funded by the Portland Development Commission.

The fountain is significant in American architectural history, "one of the most important urban spaces since the Renaissance" according to the New York Times architecture critic Ada Louise Huxtable, for its design as a participatory experience.[1]

Halprin drew on staff designer Angela Danadjieva, the spatial characteristics of natural waterfalls from the Columbia River Gorge, and his wife's experience as a dancer to choreograph user experience in a stylized, cast-concrete canyon. The result is a significant Portland civic landmark. Halprin also designed the multi-block pedestrian sequence to the south, leading to the Lovejoy Fountain; designed the urban spaces of the downtown transit mall; and contributed to the design of Pioneer Courthouse Square.

References

  1. Ira Keller Fountain - The Cultural Landscape Foundation