Often billed as the living room, public heart, and commercial soul of downtown, Pioneer Square is not entirely square, but rather an amphitheater-like brick piazza. Special seasonal, charitable, and festival-oriented events often take place in this premier people-watching venue, although over the years, as other parts of downtown (the Park Blocks, the Pearl District) have become more trendy, the square has lost a bit of its prominence. Directly across the street is one
of downtown Portland's most familiar landmarks, the classically sedate Pioneer Courthouse; built in 1869, it's the oldest public building in the Pacific Northwest. A couple of blocks east of the square, you'll find Pioneer Place Mall, an upscale retail center that spans four city blocks.
Portland/Oregon Information Center. You can pick up maps and literature about the city and the state here at the Portland/Oregon Information Center. Easy to miss, the center is located between the water features, through the glass doors, at Pioneer Courthouse Square. TriMet (www.trimet.org) also operates a desk inside the information center, selling passes and tickets for buses, light rail, and the streetcar. 701 SW 6th Ave., 97204. 503/275–8355 or 877/678–5263. www.travelportland.com. May–Oct. weekdays 8:30–5:30, Sat. 10–4, Sun. 10–2; Nov.–Apr. weekdays 8:30–5:30, Sat. 10–4.
Mar 14, 2004
This is a beautiful square where you can take a break from the downtown scene to have a picnic or just rest in the sun.