Cathedral Park (Portland, Oregon)

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Cathedral Park
St Johns Bridge from Cathedral Park all portrait - Portland, Oregon.jpg
St. Johns Bridge and grassy area of Cathedral Park
LocationN Edison Street & Pittsburg Avenue
Portland, Oregon
Coordinates45°35′18″N 122°45′29″W / 45.5883°N 122.75799°W / 45.5883; -122.75799Coordinates: 45°35′18″N 122°45′29″W / 45.5883°N 122.75799°W / 45.5883; -122.75799
Area23.31 acres (9.43 ha)
Operated byPortland Parks & Recreation
StatusOpen 5 a.m. to midnight daily

Cathedral Park is a park and the name for the eponymous neighborhood in the northernmost section of Portland, Oregon on the east shore of the Willamette River. The park is situated under the St. Johns Bridge, and was given its name due to the Gothic arches that support the bridge, which resemble a cathedral arch.[1]


The land the park occupies was originally part of the city of St. Johns. The St. Johns Bridge opened in 1931, but at that time there was no park.[1] In August 1949, a fifteen-year-old girl named Thelma Taylor was kidnapped and murdered under the bridge in the space where the park now exists.[2] According to local folklore, due to this, the park is supposedly haunted.[2][3] In 1968, the city acquired the land under the bridge, which became a dumping ground.[1] Residents then raised $7.5 million in the 1970s to build a park on the site, which opened on May 3, 1980.[1] A sculpture by Donald Fels was added to the park in 2008, entitled "Drawing on the River".[1] In August 2013, the amphitheater hosted the final "Trek in the Park" performance put on by the Atomic Arts group.[4] The boat ramp was used as a staging area for protests in 2015 against the MSV Fennica, an icebreaker used by Shell Oil.[5]


The park contains several walking trails, picnic benches, as well as a floating dock that extends onto the Willamette River. It also is home to a small outdoor stage, where the city has held an annual summer jazz festival since 1980.[6] The Cathedral Park Jazz Fest is the oldest free jazz festival west of the Mississippi River.[7] Cathedral Park also contains a boat ramp on the north end of the park. It is considered a popular location for weddings.[8]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e "Find a Park: Cathedral Park". The City of Portland, Oregon. Retrieved 13 February 2017.
  2. ^ a b Becker, Tim (2013-05-09). "Thelma Taylor: Phantom in Cathedral Park?". Koin. Archived from the original on 2013-08-08. Retrieved 2013-09-20.
  3. ^ Wang, Amy (October 7, 2016). "Cathedral Park is among the stops in 'Ghostland,' a tour of haunted places". The Oregonian/OregonLive. Retrieved 13 February 2017.
  4. ^ Owen, Rob (August 19, 2013). "A final 'Star Trek' performance at 'Trek in the Park'". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved 13 February 2017.
  5. ^ Wentz-Graff, Kristyna (July 28, 2015). "Kayaktivists organizing at Cathedral Park, plan to attempt to stop Shell's ice breaker from departing (Photos)". The Oregonian/OregonLive. Retrieved 13 February 2017.
  6. ^ "Cathedral Park Jazz Festival: Official Website". Archived from the original on 2013-09-07. Retrieved 2013-09-19.
  7. ^ "Cathedral Park Jazz Fest celebrates 36 years of world-class music". FOX12. KPTV-KPDX Broadcasting Corporation. July 14, 2016. Retrieved 13 February 2017.
  8. ^ Staff (31 December 2016). "Parks and Rec to take wedding reservations Jan. 3". KOIN 6. KOIN 6 News. Retrieved 13 February 2017.

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