"Portland is overachieving in the parks department," writes Anne Saker in the Oregonian this afternoon.
Director Park and Jamison Square are among five finalists for the Amanda Burden Urban Open Space Award, given by the Urban Land Institute in Washington, D.C.
The annual recognizes an outstanding open space that has "enriched and revitalized its surrounding community."
Locally, we've been notified that Travel Portland has selected Director Park to receive the 2011 President Award, which recognizes outstanding contributions to the travel industry. The award will be presented at Travel Portland's Annual Tourism and Hospitality Awards Celebration on May 10.
Simon and Helen Director Park, in the style of public piazza, is an incredibly versatile space, featuring Violetta restaurant, Teachers Fountain, movable tables and chairs, covered benches, chess tables, a public restroom, and plenty of space to simply enjoy a quiet moment.
Jamison Square, in the Pearl District, was the first of a series of open spaces in the Pearl District. The focal point of the park is a fountain that simulates a shallow tidal pool.
It also features several art installations, including a red granite sculpture modeled after a brown bear (named "Rico Pasado") and a metal sculpture from Alexander Liberman. ULI called the park a "kid-friendly magnet for neighborhood families," Saker reports.
"The finalist designations," writes Saker, "are also a lovely parting gift for Santner," who announced her retirement last week.
Right: Thanks for flickr user staceyboo2 for this great shot of Jamison Square