Portland’s Urban Parks: Mapping the DNA of a Dynamic Downtown

Landscape architect Doug Macy offers a historical perspective on the cities development.

An evening with landscape architect Douglas Macy

Presented by the UO John Yeon Center and Pioneer Courthouse Square

No landscape architect has touched more of Portland’s downtown park system than Douglas Macy. A key member of the legendary team that shaped the city’s “living room,” Pioneer Courthouse Square, Macy and his firm Walker Macy went on to design many of the central city’s most popular and cherished places, from from the cherry-tree postcard shot of Waterfront Park to the bustling Portland State University Urban Center.

For decades, Macy has inspired other cities with his history of how Portland’s network of urban parks came to be. Now for the first time, he will offer his historic view to Portlanders. And, in conversation with journalist and John Yeon Center director Randy Gragg, Macy will reflect on 40 years of practice and offer a candid view of where our downtown parks might go next.

Tuesday, October 11

Whitsell Auditorium

Portland Art Museum

Admission: $10-30 sliding scale to benefit UO John Yeon Center’s graduate studio fund (students welcomed for free)

Reception with food and drink to follow at Oregon Historical Society. 

Douglas Macy, FASLA, is a founding partner of Walker Macy. For the past 40 years, he has collaborated with architects, engineers, artists, historians, and interpretive consultants to provide practical and elegant planning and design solutions for interpretive centers, universities, memorials, and urban parks. Macy has served on the boards and provided pro bono servicesto the Portland Japanese Garden, Pacific Northwest College of Art, and Northern Arizona University, among many others. His local influence can be found in the design of some of the city’s most beloved spaces, including Pioneer Courthouse Square, North Waterfront Park, the Vietnam Veterans of Oregon Memorial, and the PSU Urban Center Plaza. Beyond Portland, Macy has led the design of landmarks such as Horton Plaza, in San Diego; the Oregon State Capitol Mall in Salem; Centennial Park in Redmond, Oregon; Oregon Coast Aquarium, Newport; and Harborside Fountain Park in Bremerton, Washington.