Portland Parks Foundation announces next steps for elk fountain downtown

Published: Apr. 4, 2022 at 9:06 PM PDT|Updated: Apr. 6, 2022 at 10:39 PM PDT
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PORTLAND, Ore. (KPTV) - The Portland Parks Foundation will commission a design and feasibility study for returning the Thompson Elk Fountain to its location downtown.

PPF said it will hire a team with experience in architectural restoration, stone carving and masonry and traffic engineering. It said the study is made possible by an anonymous donor.

The base of the elk statue was badly damaged during protests in downtown Portland in the summer of 2020. The city of Portland removed the elk statue, put it in storage and disassembled the fountain.

Portland City Commissioner Carmen Rubio believes it’s time to return the elk to its home.

“What we’re seeing is the energy of the city coming back to life and I think in a lot of ways that’s what the Elk represents is the city coming back into that role of playing the connector and playing the convener, people going to shops, shows and visiting businesses, shopping and going to plays and performances and sports,” Rubio said.

The Portland Bureau of Transportation released a plan in March to return the elk to its home. The plan included a new, smaller base to help support modern traffic in the area. PPF said many community members expressed strong objections to the plan because it did not include a fountain.

The study will include a detailed assessment of the remaining fountain parts and if new parts can be used when restoring the fountain. It will also include how the right of way can be designed for the fountain while addressing safety concerns for pedestrians, bikes, transit and automobiles.

PPF said the results will be presented to the Portland Design Commission, along with PBOT’s design for a smaller base, this summer. There will be time for Portlanders to weigh in once the designs are presented but for now anyone with suggestions is encouraged to e-mail their city commissioners and Portland Parks & Recreation.