Skidmore Fountain

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Skidmore Fountain
Portland Historic Landmark
Skidmore Fountain - New Market Block PDX 2007.08.jpg
Location Portland, Oregon, United States
Coordinates 45°31′21″N 122°40′16″W / 45.52240°N 122.67108°W / 45.52240; -122.67108Coordinates: 45°31′21″N 122°40′16″W / 45.52240°N 122.67108°W / 45.52240; -122.67108
Built 1888
Sculptor Olin Levi Warner
Governing body Local
Part of Portland Skidmore/Old Town Historic District (#75001597)

The Skidmore Fountain is a historic fountain in Portland, Oregon, United States.

The fountain is a contributing property of and the namesake for the Skidmore/Old Town Historic District, which is also a National Historic Landmark.[1]

The fountain has also been designated a Portland Historic Landmark and underwent restoration in 2005.[2][3]


The fountain in 2015

It was dedicated September 22, 1888, in memory of Stephen G. Skidmore, a wealthy Portland druggist who died in 1883,[3] and partly financed by his will. It was designed by sculptor Olin Levi Warner for $18,000, all of which was donated.[4] It is styled after fountains Skidmore viewed at Versailles on his visit to the 1878 Paris Exposition[3] and intended for "horses, men and dogs" to drink from.[5] Henry Weinhard offered to pump beer into the fountain at the dedication.[3] It is Portland's "oldest piece of public art".[6][7]

The fountain is located near the west end of the Burnside Bridge at SW First and Ankeny streets within downtown Portland. The MAX Light Rail line runs past it and has a nearby stop named after the fountain. When Portland Saturday Market is operating, the open area around the fountain attracts street performers and entertained spectators. The fountain also serves as a gathering point for several Portland events, such as SantaCon, Plunderathon, Zombiewalk and several protest/activist gatherings.

Horse trough on northwest side of the fountain, with the inscription "Good citizens are the riches of a city" above

The fountain's base has various inscriptions on its different faces. That on the northwest side is a quotation from C.E.S. Wood: "Good citizens are the riches of a city".[7][8]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "National Historic Landmark Nomination: Skidmore/Old Town Historic District" (PDF). National Park Service. October 6, 2008. pp. 24, 63. Retrieved February 8, 2015. 
  2. ^ Portland Historic Landmarks Commission (July 2010), Historic Landmarks – Portland, Oregon (XLS), retrieved August 31, 2013 
  3. ^ a b c d Katauskas, Ted (2009). Portland: Yesterday & Today. West Side Publishing. pp. 20–21. ISBN 978-1-4127-7793-3. 
  4. ^ James Cloutier. "1888 Portland's Skidmore Fountain Dedicated". On This Day In Oregon. Retrieved 2007-01-25. [dead link]
  5. ^ "Skidmore Fountain, Portland, OR: Reviews of Skidmore Fountain". Yahoo! Travel. Retrieved 2007-01-25. 
  6. ^ "Portland Then & Now". The Oregonian. August 26, 2013. p. B1. Retrieved August 31, 2013. 
  7. ^ a b "SW Portland [Fountains in]". Portland Parks & Recreation. Retrieved 2015-10-21. 
  8. ^ Barnes, Tim. "C.E.S. Wood (1852-1944)". The Oregon Encyclopedia. 

External links[edit]