Council Crest Park SummitAt the summit of Council Crest, WPA workers cleared brush and the remains of a deteriorated amusement park in 1938 to improve the city’s new park. More recent improvements mark the site today.
At over 1,000 feet, Council Crest Park occupies the highest point in the City of Portland. From 1907 to 1929, an amusement park occupied that vantage point. Despite its superior position and streetcar access, it took eight years before the City of Portland could acquire it and another year before it could begin to be improved with WPA labor.
The Oregonian, one of the city’s newspapers, announced in March 1938 that a crew of twenty-six WPA workers had started “clearing brush, grubbing undergrowth and opening trails through Council Crest Park” so that it might be available for use by summer. The newspaper also noted that the City requested a WPA project for the “removal of the tower on the park and for a drainage project on the grounds.” By 1941, clearance of the amusement park tower and other structures was complete and the park was deemed worthy of its site.
According to Oregon Geographic Names, Council Crest was given its name by when a group from the National Council of Congregational Churches met at the summit in 1898. Local lore suggests that the site once served as a meeting spot of the area’s Native Americans.
City of Portland Parks & Recreation- http://www.portlandoregon.gov/parks/finder/index.cfm?&propertyid=24&action=viewpark McArthur, L. 1982. Oregon Geographic Names. The Press of the Oregon Historical Society. Oregon SHPO– Application for National Historic Registration - http://heritagedata.prd.state.or.us/historic/index.cfm?do=v.dsp_siteSummary&resultDisplay=51740 The Oregonian. “Park Clearing Started,” Sunday, March 20, 1938.
Project originally submitted by Judith Kenny on June 14, 2012.
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