Governor Tom McCall Waterfront Park
SW Oak Street and Naito Parkway, Portland, Oregon 97204
Governor Tom McCall Waterfront Park is a 36.59 acre (148,100 m2) park located in downtown Portland, Oregon, along the Willamette River. After the 1974 removal of Harbor Drive (a good example of freeway removal), the park was opened to the public in 1978. The park is owned by the City of Portland (Portland Parks and Recreation). The park was renamed in 1984 to honor Tom McCall, the Oregon governor who pledged his support for the beautification of the west bank of the Willamette River—harkening back to the City Beautiful plans at the turn of the century that envisioned parks and greenways along the river. The park is bordered by RiverPlace to the south, the Steel Bridge to the north, Naito Parkway to the west, and Willamette River to the east.
In October 2012, Waterfront Park was voted one of America's ten greatest public spaces by the American Planning Association. The most common uses for the park are jogging, walking, biking, skateboarding, fountain play, lunching, basketball, fireworks viewing, and boat watching. Due to its recreational use, lunch hours (11:00 am to 1:00 pm) are peak-use hours for the waterfront park. In addition to recreational use, the park is also highly used by bike and pedestrian commuters during rush hours (3:00 pm to 5:00 pm) because the park is easily accessible to the downtown Portland workforce and provides a pleasant, off street thoroughfare away from vehicular traffic. It is currently home to the Waterfront Blues Festival, Oregon Brewers Festival, Gay/Lesbian Pride Festival and The Bite of Oregon Festival. The park is also the host of many Rose Festival events.