March 15, 2021: Friends of Terwilliger has successfully listed 115 acres of publicly owned parkland to the National Register of Historic Places. This includes the original parkway as designed in 1912 by the Olmsted Brothers, from Duniway Park to SW Capitol Hwy including, roadways, pathways, light poles, various parkway views and vegetation.
A few months ago, a realtor’s “For Sale” sign in Terwilliger Parkway prompted concern from neighbors and Parkway supporters, fearful that a development might threaten the integrity of this linear park. This led to calls to both Friends of Terwilliger and the Portland Parks & Rec (PPR).
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.
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.