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The parks between the Justice Center and the old county courthouse have finally had their fences removed after renovation

PMG PHOTO: JOSEPH GALLIVAN - Chapman Square on Tuesday November 23, 2021, seen from Madison Street, with its perimeter fences newly removed after renovation.

The temporary fencing around Lownsdale Square Park and Chapman Square in downtown Portland have been removed now that the city has competed their $150,000 renovation.

According to Portland Parks and Recreation, the squares or Plaza Blocks, used to be popular with orators.

"Chapman Square, originally designed for the exclusive use of women and children, features all-female gingko trees. Lownsdale Square was to be the 'gentlemen's gathering place.'"

In recent years the squares have been home to Occupy Portland, which was cleared away, and the parks were fenced off for repair in 2011.

In 2020, they were the site of protests and running battles with local, state and federal law enforcement and home to Riot Ribs which was a free, pop-up barbecue. A long-term tent camp dug in beside the former site of the Thompson Elk statue. Parks staff have been removing graffiti, fixing benches and bathrooms, and replanting grass and trees.

The fences were erected in mid-April 2021 and were supposed to come down within two months.


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