"...Let us secure for ourselves and for our children a beauty spot in the midst of our growing city – a breathing place for all the thousands who are to come after us." — Portland Transcript, 1856



“From Paris to Portland – 1871”

Lincoln Park’s centerpiece – the iconic fountain – was installed in the newly-built park in 1871.  The fountain itself came from a Parisian foundry, and is one of only three examples of this type of fountain known to have ever come to the United States.

The fountain was an instant hit:

“It has a central fountain, which sends up its jets on summer days … evening strollers find it a pleasant resort, and children delight to sail their boats in the great basin.”

—Edward H. Elwell, 1876

The park soon became a major hub for Portland.  Both citizens and visitors enjoyed the refreshing fountain under the shade of trees.  Postcards of Lincoln Park – especially postcards of the fountain, such as the one shown here – were common souvenirs of visits to Portland.  But, the years passed and they took their toll – now, both the fountain and the park are in dire need of restoration.

The Friends of Lincoln Park aim to do just that!  We’re starting with the fountain, since it’s the piece of the park that is at the most risk.  We already have plans – and even some vintage parts! – to fix the fountain: now we just need the funding to make it happen.  Would you consider making a tax-deductible donation to help us bring our fountain – and our park – back to life?  Thank you!

A Brief History of Lincoln Park

Lincoln Park was the first publicly-owned improved park in Portland. The city bought the burnt-out parcel bordered by Congress, Franklin, Federal, and Pearl Streets for $83,000 in 1866. That's about $1.3 million in today's dollars.

The park itself was first conceived as a firebreak, after the Great Fire of 1866, and it came to represent the resurgence of Portland after the fire. "No time should be lost in making the park as pleasant and attractive as possible," Portland's then-mayor A. E. Stevens remarked in 1867.

The park's iconic fountain was cast by the Val d'Osne foundry in Paris, France. It is one of only three known instances of that model of fountain to have come to the United States.

The park was a hub of the city for decades. In addition to being a popular spot for Portland citizens to meet and relax, a farmer's market was held on Federal Street every Saturday morning from early spring to late fall.

Lincoln Park's size and appearance has changed several times over the years. In 1909, the park expanded to include an empty lot to the west - the city built the Congress Street Fire Station on that spot in 1923. Dutch elm disease killed the Park's many elm trees during the 1960s, and in 1970 the eastern quarter of the park was demolished to make way for the widening of Franklin Street.

Today, Lincoln Park is still here - but it needs our help!

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