Amid Portland’s reopening stops and starts, one civic institution has quietly returned—the city’s public fountains.
Keller Fountain was reactivated last week, marking the first time water has poured from the fountain in more than a year and a half.
The city shuts off its public fountains every fall and switches them back on when warmer weather arrives in spring. In 2019, the fountains were turned off as usual, but due to the pandemic, were never activated in 2020.
Now, one of downtown’s most famous fountains is flowing again at a rate of 13,000 gallons per minute.
According to a spokesperson for Portland Parks & Recreation, Keller Fountain remained off last year “out of an abundance of caution.” It was reactivated last week in accordance with Oregon Health Authority’s outdoor recreation guidance.
The city intends to reactive the rest of its fountains—including those intended for wading, like the fountains in McCoy Park and Holladay Park—by mid-May.