Pioneer Courthouse Square

Pioneer Courthouse Square information

Lonely Planet review

The heart of downtown Portland, this brick plaza is nicknamed 'Portland's living room' and is the most visited public space in the city. When it isn't full of Hacky Sack players, sunbathers or office workers lunching, the square hosts concerts, festivals, rallies, farmers markets – and even summer Friday-night movies (aka 'Flicks on the Bricks'; details at www.thesquarepdx.org).

One of Portland's grandest Victorian hotels once stood here, but it fell into disrepair and was torn down in 1951. Later the city decided to build Pioneer Courthouse Sq, and grassroots support resulted in a program that encouraged citizens to buy and personalize the bricks that eventually built the square. Names include Sherlock Holmes, William Shakespeare and Elvis Presley.

Across 6th Ave is the Pioneer Courthouse . Built in 1875, this was the legal center of 19th-century Portland.