For a few years now, I’ve been wondering how to get to that park I can see when I drive east on Columbia Boulevard. I finally google mapped it and found it was called Thomas Cully Park. Matt and I went to check it out.
I’m a big fan of this park. It has a great vantage point and lets you see a lot of sky.
It also has some fun design features like this Native Gathering Garden. You can read about these features here.
It also has a fun fitness path surrounding the athletic fields. We partook.
I checked in with Director Park back in a cold month. Now, of course, I can’t find that post to link to. Suffice to say, I wasn’t thrilled with the scale of the architecture or the sterile nature of the park. The Oregonian had an article about the park on 9/9/10 “A year after Director Park opens in Portland, visitors consider it a hit” which coincided with this picture I snapped the day before.
According to the article, “as many as 500 [people] visit on a nice day during lunch” with July’s total tally being 30,000 people. The article goes on to say that this park is the only park which has a full time event programmer and it also has part-time hosts who staff the plaza twelve hours per day.
Well. I’m sure if the much-neglected O’Bryant Square a few blocks north had someone scheduling festivals, art shows, lectures and classes, it too would be a popular park. The article closes with the following: “Though Director has been popular in balmy weather, what happens in the rainy months ahead is uncertain.
But Rouse is so proud of the way the park has been embraced that she’s convinced Portlanders will enjoy it in winter.
“Come back in January,” she said, “and I bet you there’ll be someone sitting under the awning with a latte.”
I’m sure if the full time event planner is still planning things, there will be people about. I don’t begrudge Portland a successful park. However, I still think the scale of the park is “off” and I’m wondering why focus so much money and attention on just one block when there are other parks in the vicinity without such resources.