Laurelhurst Park

Most visitors to Laurelhurst Park arrive on foot or by bike. There is no designated parking. Once inside the park, the neighboring streets become nearly invisible, which is why it is such a popular location for performances. The design of the park makes it an oasis in the increasingly dense city that surrounds it.

Laurelhurst Park was acquired in 1909 from the estate of twice-elected Portland Mayor William S. Ladd. In 1911, acting on recommendations in the Olmsted Plan, the city bought 30 acres of Ladd's 486-acre Hazel Fern Farm, including the pond. In 1912, Emanuel Mische, Portland's park superintendent from 1908 to 1914, designed the park based on his experience as the longtime horticultural expert for the Olmsted Brothers landscape architecture firm. Inspired by the Olmstedian "natural" landscape approach, his plan included several distinct sections: Concert Grove, Firwood Lake, Children's Lawn, Plateau and Broad Meadows, Picnic Grove, and Rhododendron Hill.

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