Gathering the waters

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Whenever we have visited Portland, Oregon — as we did this October –I have made a point of spending some time in the Ira Keller Fountain Park.

The fountain was designed by Angela Danadjieva and Lawrence Halprin in 1968, as part of the Portland Open Space Sequence.

“This new type of people’s park, where nature is abstracted with a geometric naturalism, was based on Halprin’s studies of the High Sierra’s spring cascades,” according to The Cultural Landscape Foundation.

At the time of the park’s opening in 1970, New York Times architecture critic Ada Louise Huxtable said it “may be one of the most important urban spaces since the Renaissance,” and she compared it to the Piazza Navona and the Trevi Fountain.

.   .   .  At the forest’s
edge, where the child sleeps, the waters gather—
as if a hand were reaching for the curtain
to drop across the glowing, lit tableau.

Eleanor Wilner, from “Reading the Bible Backward

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