Information You Should Know Before Visiting Pioneer Courthouse Square

Also known as the living room of the city of Portland, Pioneer Courthouse Square is a complete 40,000 square foot block that is located in the downtown area of Portland, Oregon. Pioneer Courthouse Square was open in 1984, and the city block is surrounded by Southwest Morrison Street (north), Southwest 6th Avenue (east), Southwest Yamhill Street (south) and Southwest Broadway(west).

This location serves as a venue for numerous festivals, art exhibitions, and other events. With the plethora of attractions and features in this unique full city block, there are some things that you should know before you go there.

The History

The name of the square has significance. It is named after the 1875 federal building that used to occupy the space. However, the actual location of Pioneer Courthouse Square dates back to 1856. The city of Portland purchased the land that was also supposed to be the location for the Central School. The school was eventually relocated once plans were put in place to build a major hotel in response to the Northern Pacific Railway was built in the area.

After several delays with the final construction because of a recession, the Portland Hotel was finally built in 1890.

The square was opened in 1984, and over 10,000 people went to the inaugural ceremony. This area is owned by the city and is considered a public park.


If you are visiting for the first time, you may be wondering about the transportation options that are available to help you get around. For those who are driving into Portland, you can use major interstates and highways to get to the square:

Visitors driving from the north can use I-405
Visitors driving from the south can use I-405 or Naito Parkway
Visitors driving from the west can use Highway 26
Visitors driving from the east can use Morrison Bridge

Smart Park is available for commuters. With over 4000 parking spaces, there are several locations conveniently located near the square.


So, once you arrive at the square, you will need to familiarize yourself with the area. The Visitor Information Center is open every day, and it offers a range of services and amenities for everyone who visits the square.

Want a personal tour of Portland? Hop on the Big Pink Sightseeing Trolley! You can hop on and hop off at different stops to get a close-up view of the city. You can purchase a ticket to ride the trolley every day between May to October.

Looking for some delicious street food? There are several food trucks in the square including:

Burger Stevens
Fried Egg I’m In Love
The Whole Bowl

For coffee lovers, get your favorite cup of joe at the flagship Starbucks.

Catch up on the local news while you are at the square. KGW8 has an HD Studio located in the park, and it is adjacent to the Visitors Information Center.

Pioneer Courthouse Square is an urban park that is known as the living room of Portland. With over 300 programmed event days, residents and visitors will enjoy all of the unique services and features provided by the square.

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