Pioneer Courthouse Square
Tribes: Who likes this place?
What the scores mean:
These scores tell you how well-liked a place is in each Tribe. Gogobot Tribes are groups who share a certain travel style, like Family Travelers or History Buffs.
Which Gogobot Tribe do you belong to? Join now
- 98%Local Culture
- 88%Budget Travelers
- 77%History Buffs
- 72%Family Travelers
- 58%Nightlife Lovers
Member Reviews (34)Write a review
- Pioneer Courthouse SquareMember ofSpiritual SeekersLocal CultureOutdoor Enthusiasts+ 7Sep 29, 2013
Dubbed by marketers ad Portland's Living Room, and called "the Square" by everyone else. This red-brick square is popular with people who work downtown and with street kids, and it's a great place to people watch. There are often events and free concerts here on weekends in the summer, especially around Rose Festival time (early June). There is also a Max (light rail) stop (eastbound on Washington St, westbound on Morrison street). There's a Starbucks, too.Recommended for:
- Pioneer Courthouse SquareMember ofSpiritual SeekersLocal CultureBudget Travelers+ 6Feb 01, 2014
From the square you are at the center of the city, the heart of the downtown. Big beautiful open space at the center of where the two sets of Max light rail trains meet. This open space is popular for performances and often at the center of city festivities!Recommended for:
- Pioneer Courthouse SquareMember ofSpiritual SeekersLocal CultureOutdoor Enthusiasts+ 6Aug 30, 2012
Pioneer Courthouse Square is affectionately known as Portland's living room. The square is named after the Pioneer Courthouse, an 1875 federal building occupying the block directly east of the square. The square itself dates back to 1856, when the city purchased land which included the site as the location for Central School.
On Morrison and Yamhill streets MAX Light Rail stops provide shelter. On the north side is an artistic feature, consisting of towering classical columns which progressively topple over like those of an ancient ruin. There are outdoor chess tables on some of the toppled columns; chess players frequently congregate there during the day. A cascading waterfall on the west side of the square frames the entrance to a public information center. The center of the square is arranged like an amphitheater, with a semicircle of approximately two dozen steps serving as seats when the square is used for musical performances or other events. And consist with the culture of Portlandia, the area is completely non smoking.
Dozens of events are held here each year, including free shows during spring and summer, sponsored by local businesses. In 2006 the square played host to an all-city pillow fight, and later an all-city slumber party. Pioneer Courthouse Square is also a venue for speeches, political demonstrations, rallies and vigils. By Thanksgiving, a tall Christmas tree occupies the center of the square, with a tree-lighting ceremony held each year on the Friday evening after Thanksgiving. Another Christmas event in the square is Tuba Christmas. This is a celebration featuring nearly 200 tuba and euphonium players who perform a medley of holiday songs. An annual New Year's Eve celebration is also held there.
The last time Gayle and I were in Portland, we stayed right across the street at The Nines. We witnessed a local band and dance performance, a charity run-walk the next Sunday Morning, and the energy of various folks passing through and hanging out. It's great spectator sport and I can't wait to discover what I'm going to see next.Recommended for:
- Pioneer Courthouse SquareMember ofLocal CultureBudget TravelersWellnessOct 18, 2013
With its big flat sunken pavilion surrounded by tiered seating, lots of little walls, and a couple of cafes on the corner, Pioneer Square is just begging for interesting street life, whether it's skate rates showing each other tricks, downtown suits eating lunch outdoors, or full festivals with amplified sound. Pioneer Square is definitely worth seeing, and it's also a great place to meet up (for travelers who want to explore different parts of downtown).Recommended for:
- Pioneer Courthouse SquareMember ofLocal CultureOutdoor EnthusiastsBudget Travelers+ 2Oct 16, 2013
Pioneer Courthouse Square is usually filled with an assortment of activities, whether it's a food market, film showings, and public concerts. Many people purchase food at the nearby food carts and sit along the steps (when the weather is sunny of course).Recommended for:
- Pioneer Courthouse SquareMember ofLocal CultureOutdoor EnthusiastsBudget Travelers+ 9May 05, 2013
I've only been here once or twice, but when I do visit it's usually populated with people and events. It's a lively center for get-togethers and a sunny spot for activities. There's shops all around and food places everywhere (it's Portland, after all). I came here on a field trip once and really enjoyed the atmosphere!
- Pioneer Courthouse SquareMember ofLocal CultureOutdoor EnthusiastsBudget Travelers+ 6Sep 09, 2012
The square is very popular during lunch for the locals. Street vendors provide food, the steps fill up fairly quickly on nice days and there was music or juggling or some type of entertainment each of the 5 days we spent in Portland visiting. Good example of Portland's emphasis on urban development for their citizen's use.
- Pioneer Courthouse SquareJul 05, 2012
This has been called Portland's living room. It is a great spot in downtown to just sit and chill and people watch. There are a lot of events throughout the year that they have in this square and the Portland Visitor Center and Tri-met office is here as well.