April 26th was the 200th anniversary of famed landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted’s birthday.
Various lectures, symposiums, and discussions have been going on in 2022 to celebrate and call attention to the Olmsted family’s prolific and groundbreaking work.His sons, John Charles and Frederick Law Jr., carried on his work and worked in Portland on various projects starting in 1903. Most notable was their parks master plan for the city that recommended a “South Hillside Parkway” that became Terwilliger Parkway. A proclamation issued by Mayor Wheeler and the Portland City Council perhaps sums up best the impact of the Olmsteds:
On behalf of Friends of Terwilliger, Earthwise Law Centerhas recently submitted two sets of formal comments to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) regarding the proposed upgrades and improvements to Portland Veterans Affairs Medical Center (VAMC):
FOT is concerned that the inadequate Draft Environmental Assessment and the VA’s conclusion of “no significant impacts” to Terwilliger Parkway by their Washington, DC office, will prevent effective mitigation in the final designs and construction and cause real harm to the Parkway and environment.
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!
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).
On November 26, 2019, Commissioner Nick Fish and PP&R Director Adena Long presented “A Sustainable Future” to the Portland City Council for discussion and guidance. This is the first step to determine funding options for PP&R.
Friends of Terwilliger (FOT) Board Members met with the new Portland Parks and Recreation (PP&R) Director Adena Long and PP&R City Nature Manager, Rachel Felice recently. The goals for the meeting were to provide Director Long with information about FOT and its mission of protecting and advocating for Terwilliger Parkway, to describe the challenges FOT sees for the Parkway today, and to review the partnerships FOT has established with PP&R over the past 30 years.
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.
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 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.