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The Downtown Park Model: Pioneer Courthouse Square

StreetFilms did a nice little look at Portland’s 1.6-acre gem, Pioneer Courthouse Square, during its Festival of Flowers. The post for this video refers to the fact that the square is successful because of its wide range and frequency of programming. Here’s some more backstory: set right in the middle of downtown, this space used to be an above-ground parking garage, which was torn down. In 1984, the city built the park for about $4 million using city funds, fundraising (the sale of bricks raised $500,000) and approximately $1.6 million in federal grants for transportation and conservation. The square is run by the non-profit Pioneer Courthouse Square Inc., under a contract with the city, and receives only about $250,000 in city support, with the rest of its $2 million in revenue coming from fundraising, event fees and concessions. (Data from the Center for City Park Excellence.)

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