It’s been a long time coming, but Terwilliger Parkway has finally been listed on the National Register of Historic Places. In 1985 the Portland Park Bureau hired a consultant to prepare nominations to the National Historic Register for several older city parks. But then they never submitted them to the National Park Service for listing. Now FOT has completed the task!
The Portland Bureau of Transportation has largely completed the installation of new LED light fixtures on the light poles along Terwilliger Parkway between Duniway Park and Capitol Hwy. The change is notable!
November’s restoration work party brought us back to the Norris “foundation” to remove tree and ground ivy as well as blackberries. This 2-acre site was once considered by the Portland chapter of the Rhododendron Society for its test garden before locating to its current site at Crystal Springs.
Thanks to everyone who attended Friends of Terwilliger’s 2019 Harvest Moon Social September 14th. The moon made a spectacular appearance but so did this Barred Owl. Eagle Point offered a wonderful vantage point to view this event.
A Metro steering committee has decided that a new Southwest Portland light rail line will travel out Barbur Blvd. from downtown Portland to Tigard and Tualatin. A planned station at SW Gibbs St. (below the tram) is intended to serve OHSU and other Marquam Hill institutions that are located several hundred feet up a steep hillside with Terwilliger Parkway lying in between. TriMet and Metro have proposed a “Marquam Hill Connection” to get people up the hillside from the SW Barbur MAX station to OHSU. Three of the proposals involve a combination of above-ground elevator towers and bridges and ramps, most of which would be located in Terwilliger Parkway and will necessitate the removal of many trees and significant alterations to the park. A fourth proposal is to build a pedestrian tunnel under the hillside with an underground elevator to bring people up to OHSU.
Friends of Terwilliger has contacted the Regional Arts and Culture Council (RACC) to express our concern for the Totem Pole in the Terwilliger Parkway. The Totem Pole has numerous holes inflicted by wood-boring woodpeckers and is in need of protective restoration, repainting, and care.
The RACC public art “Totem Pole” is located at the Elk Point Viewpoint in the Terwilliger Parkway and was carved by Chief Lelooska in 1959. It became a partof RACC’s Public Art Program in the late 1980’s.
What does the Totem Pole at Elk Point, within the Terwilliger Parkway, have in common with the 1959 Oregon’s Centennial Celebration, Operation Deep Freeze, New Zealand, Antarctica, The Oregon Zoo and John F. Kennedy?
What would you say is the most identifiable and “iconic” thing about Terwilliger Parkway? The views and lush natural vegetation may be what people most like about Terwilliger, but they don’t really signify the parkway itself. The roadway and adjoining path are the spine of the linear park and are the most significant piece of park infrastructure, but they aren’t very iconic. We think that the historic streetlights that line the roadway are its most identifiable feature.
Marquam Hill has a strange and convoluted history that plays into the creation of both Terwilliger Parkway and Oregon Health and Sciences University. Many people wonder how it is that two large medical facilities – OHSU and the VA Medical Center - would be in such a hard-to-access location. To answer that we have to go back to 1880 and efforts to bring the first transcontinental railroad link to the Northwest.
Terwilliger Parkway is a linear park, owned by the City of Portland, that winds south from downtown along the west hills. It consists of the road itself (“Terwilliger Boulevard”) and about 100 ft. of land on either side of the road. The Parkway represents Portland’s early recognition of the value of green spaces within the city, and now provides recreation and relaxation to its many visitors.
Besides being a spectacular site, Eagle Point has a fascinating history. The property adjoins Terwilliger Parkway to the east and straddles the original Donation Land Claims of Elizabeth Thomas Caruthers (north) and James and Philinda Terwilliger (south); Lowell St. was the dividing line between the old claims.