Washington Park in Portland, before and after in pictures

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Washington Park, one of Portland’s top attractions, turned 150 in February 2021. Little of the original features remain, but if you look closely enough you might see the ruins. Some are in the open and have survived but in a diminished state of their former glory.

The city purchased the original 40 acres of Washington Park in 1871 from Amos N. King who came to Portland with his wife Melinda in 1849. It was originally called City Park. The name was changed to Washington Park in 1912 because the southern entrance was on Washington (now West Burnside) Street. Little was done in the park until the mid-1880s when the West Burnside Entrance Road was built.

Charles M. Myers was appointed park warden / superintendent around the same time. A makeshift zoo was established in 1888 when pharmacist Richard B. Knight donated bears to the park. The menagerie, including other animals, was first in a ravine until the early 1890s when Reservoir # 3 moved them. The animals were moved to the western edge of the park.

Washington Park now spans over 400 acres, which includes the International Rose Test Garden, Portland Japanese Garden, Oregon Zoo, Vietnam Veterans of Oregon Memorial, Oregon Holocaust Memorial, Sacajawea Memorial , the Western Forestry Center, Hoyt Arboretum and miles of trails and other attractions.

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