This 26 plus acre park is situated in the Laurelhurst section of the city and was created in 1911 when the City of Portland bought the land from William Ladd (once mayor and developer of our beautiful Ladd’s Addition area of the city).
Luckily, the design was handled by Park Superintendent Emanuel Mische who was famous in his own right (he had long collaborated with the Olmsted brothers who became known for their extensive landscape design all over the world) and did an unbelievably beautiful job. I read somewhere that it was the first city park to be mentioned in the National Register of Historic Places. No wonder — just look at it.
On one side there is a giant soccer field, playground and tennis courts; on the other side are rolling hills, a duck filled pond, meadows, and a dedicated off-leash playground (my dog below is just steps away from that here and happy to join friends at play).
This park is seemingly a huge hit with all the canines and I am not sure if this is attributable to the ducks that beckon beyond, the ample rolling hills, or preponderance of squirrels who are always just beyond reach. I love the park for the gorgeous foliage, lovely curved pathways, ample places to picnic in both full/partial sun/shade, and vintage (or vintage inspired) lamplights. It looks and feels like a mini- Central park (if only we could get a couple pretzel vendors on the outskirts. Sigh.)
And because it rains so often here, even winter is lovely here with an almost surreal verdancy. It’s amazing to think that on the day I took this picture in January the entire Eastern seaboard was getting pummeled with snow reaching depths of three feet. Sorry, Boston — just a little smudge of mud was all I had to contend with today.
Non- Portlander’s, try not to collapse with bone-crushing envy.
(If you have yet to come here, try to save it for the middle of fall when the trees are ablaze with color-turning leaves or in the heat of summer when picnickers come to enjoy the occasional concert or movies shown in the park.)