Central Park Blocks – Portland
In 2000, TVA Architects was hired by the Park Block Foundation as a part of their long-range planning team to develop design concepts focusing on the re-establishment of the Portland downtown South Park Blocks. The seven block tract aimed to reconnect Portland’s existing North and South Park Blocks back together and to identify the character and culture of that section of the park as it relates to the city’s desire to reposition the retail hub or core along the adjacent streets.
The plan was driven by the desire to create larger retail blocks that abutted SW park and SW 9th in addition to narrowing down the distance between the buildings that face each other across the park. The street was placed at center block allowing for surface parking and one lane vehicular circulation in each direction. This would keep the car and parking as a major feature in the retail district and split the notion of the park in two so that the trees, landscape and pedestrian zone joined the retail facades creating 50 feet of depth from edge of building to adjacent curb. This would allow for wide sidewalks and retail/dining opportunities to activate the pedestrian experience.