I took these two photos Saturday afternoon, across the street from Keller Auditorium where I'd just seen "Avenue Q." Frequent visitors will remember my ABC Wednesday, V is for Voluptuous post that featured Lucy, a saucy puppet from the musical. It's amazing that I lucked out when a friend at work offered me her friend's ticket because the friend of my friend couldn't come into the city for the show. So, I got to go see the 2 p.m. matinee. I laughed a lot, enjoyed the singing very much, marveled continuously at the talent and creativity. The entire auditorium full of people joined right in with me, too. I have to say that I've never seen puppets so raucous, so filled with angst, so reflective of many of society's 20- and 30-somethings in search of their purpose. The biggest laugh came in the last song, "For Now," when they sing "And we'll accept the things we cannot avoid, for now..."(I've left out some of the lyrics here, but they're listing things that are only for now, and go to this next line) ... "Is only for now! (George Bush!)" ... That's when the crowd roared the loudest!
Later when I walked in the apartment door after my bus ride home, I heard the weather person on TV saying, "... and in Portland today, a new record of 100 degrees." No wonder all of those folks were at the fountain making memories--soaking wet, jumping, laughing, taking photos!
From the City of Portland's Web site:
Ira Keller's Civic Theatre Forecourt Fountain between SW 3rd and 4th, and Market and Clay
13,000 gallons of water per minute cascade through this fountain. The fountain holds 75,000 gallons of water. Its terraces and platforms suggest the Northwest's abundant waterfalls. Angela Danadjieva designed this fountain for Lawrence Halprin Associates. People have gathered here since its completion in 1971.
Please use caution while enjoying this fountain. Like all streams and waterfalls, slippery surfaces, rapidly moving water, pools of water, and high drop-offs require careful attention. Please stay back from edges due to falling hazard.
The Portland Water Bureau works to make sure that the fountain today is true to the spirit of Lawrence Halprin’s vision.
In the mid - 1990s a major restoration costing nearly ¾ of a million dollars addressed problems related to old age. The Portland Water Bureau:
o Restored loose rock on the surfaces of the block.
o The blocks had shifted and there were some very major leaks. The bureau project restored the blocks to their original configuration and grouted between them.
o Brought the electrical components up to code.
o Updated lighting fixtures.
o Upgraded the chlorination system so it was automated and could keep chlorine levels consistent with what is in swimming pools to protect public health.
In 2005, the Portland Water Bureau’s operating engineers worked on the pumps and motors while the fountain was off for the winter season. Their work reduced electricity needed to keep water moving by 17% last season. That’s good for the environment and city ratepayers.