An article in the Daily Journal of Commerce last week suggests that the build out of Park Block 5 (next to the Fox Tower) may bring with it rebuilding the adjoining streets (Park and 9th) to begin to implement the vision of a different kind of street linking the North and South Park Blocks:
“If Pioneer Courthouse Square is Portland’s living room,” said ZGF’s Paddy Tillett, “this park could be characterized as a library or salon.”
A library or salon with wall-to-wall “carpet.” The herringbone paving pattern that will turn the block into a piazza, said Laurie Olin of Philadelphia’s Olin Partnership, will stretch from the base of Fox Tower to the east to the base of the historic buildings to the west, threading together the spaces for walking, driving, and living.
“Americans know how to use a space like this,” Olin said, “and I know people in Portland know how to use a space like this, if it existed.”
It’s a space that can also be used, members of the Park Avenue vision team say, to create momentum for the larger plan. When designers began looking at the park-adjacent streets, Janet Bebb from Portland Parks and Recreation said, they saw the possibilities for creating a special moment in the streets’ progression.
“We would like to seize the day here,” she told the design commission.