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Opponents of Portland plaza sale seek design suggestions

News

Opponents of Portland plaza sale seek design suggestions

PORTLAND — The Friends of Congress Square Park, a neighborhood group that opposes the proposed sale of open space at Congress and High streets to developers of the former Eastland Park Hotel, is inviting architects, designers and others to submit their ideas for improving the space.

The group will host a design charette on Saturday, Aug. 31, at the Meg Perry Center, 644 Congress St.

Earlier this month, the city launched an online "visioning process" to gather public input for redesigning Congress Square, which includes Congress Square Plaza, other public space near the Portland Museum of Art, and Congress and High streets.

The Friends have also been gathering public input through pedestrian surveys. Now the organization, along with another another residents group, Congress Square Summer, is encouraging the public to submit designs to the city that envision the plaza remaining as open space.

"The city responded to citizen input and they've gone back to the drawing board because of the public demand to keep all of our parks in Portland public," Friends co-founder John Eder said in a prepared statement. "It's an exciting opportunity to get public input on the park's redesign."

In related news, an article in last week's issue of The Forecaster incorrectly stated that the Friends might seek legal action to stop the Congress Square Plaza sale. The group has hired a lawyer, but spokesman Frank Turek would not say if legal action was planned.

William Hall can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 106 or whall@theforecaster.net. Follow him on Twitter: @hallwilliam4.