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Portland Then/Now: Mill Ends Park

Thursday, October 23, 2014

 

Mill Ends Park official ground breaking. Dec. 31, 1976. City of Portland Archives, A2000-006.47

Mill Ends Park. Oct. 22, 2014. Photo by Byron Beck.

The world's smallest park is located at the intersection of Southwest Naito Parkway and Southwest Taylor Street.

Blink and you definitely miss it. 

THEN: The photo seen here is from the official groundbreaking ceremony on St. Patrick's Day in 1976 for the "world's smallest park": Mill Ends Park. Commissioner Frank Ivancie (who would go onto be mayor of Portland in the early 1980's) is seen in the foreground doing his best at the ceremonial 
digging with a shovel. 

Portland Parks and Rec has Mill Ends Park dating back to 1948, but it wasn't dedicated as an "official" park until the year of our country's  bicentennial. The park had to be moved temporarily in 2006 due to construction on Naito Parkway.

It was replaced on March 16, 2007 in true St. Patrick's Day style with the Royal Rosarians, bagpipers, and the family of Dick Fagan, the Oregon Journal journalist who originally created and dubbed this space as the "world's smallest park."

NOW: Mill Ends Park has seen its share of ups and downs. In March of 2013 the park's tree was stolen. Officials planted a replacement tree, and one day later a passerby found what appeared to be the stolen tree lying next to the new one.

Often decked out for different holidays, Mill Ends Park is currently sporting a Halloween motif. And it still attracts its fair share of visitors.

When GoLocalPDX made a visit to the park on October 22, a couple from South Korea inquired if Mill Ends Park was indeed the "smallest park in the world" before clicking selfies of themselves and the park for friends and the rest of the world to see. 

 

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