Elk statue and base to return downtown
City leaders announced Friday, May 6, they are making plans to ensure the famous fountain base returns with the Thompson Elk statue to downtown Portland.
The entire elk statue was removed from Southwest Main Street in July 2020 after it was damaged during protests. Several fires were lit in the fountain's trough — destroying part of the granite.
When the statue was removed, so was its fountain base. There was concern the fountain would not return — but commissioners Dan Ryan and Carmen Rubio filed a resolution this week for relevant bureaus "to take all necessary steps to fully restore and return the Thompson Elk Fountain to its original condition and location."
"The elk was there to remind you that you are in a special place, and the fountain base represented our vitality as a community," Ryan said. "For countless Portlanders, the elk is part of the soul of our city, and restoration of the fountain is connected to the healing of Portland. I look forward to celebrating the return of the Thompson Elk Fountain with our community as we heal together."
Earlier this year, city officials proposed returning the statue with a smaller base that would better maintain traffic safety in the area. The city received pushback as many Portlanders said they wanted the iconic statue to return in its entirety with the fountain base.
Those objections prompted Portland Parks Foundation to fund a feasibility study to assess how the statue and fountain can be returned while improving traffic and safety conditions.
There isn't an exact timeline for the full reconstruction to be complete, but in February the city of Portland said the Elk Statue could be returned by fall 2022.
KOIN 6 News is a news partner of the Portland Tribune.
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