Pioneer Courthouse Square

Things To Do In Portland – Pioneer Courthouse Square

Pioneer Courthouse Square

Pioneer Courthouse Square is a public space in Portland, Oregon. It was built on one of the oldest public squares in America and has been a gathering place for locals since its inception in 1984. Southwest Morrison Street borders the square to the north, Southwest 6th Avenue to the south, Southwest Broadway Street to the east, and Southwest Yamhill Street to the west.

History of Pioneer Courthouse Square

The square was built in 1984 and is named after the Pioneer Courthouse, located on the block adjacent to the square. The courthouse served as Oregon’s first capitol building from 1849 to 1853. The courthouse was named a National Historic Landmark in 1977 and is the only Portland building to be so recognized.

Initially, Pioneer Courthouse Square suffered from financial problems and crime and drug-related issues, which resulted in its temporary closure in 1991. In 1993 it reopened after an extensive renovation effort funded by $95 million worth of donations collected from private sources.

Today, Pioneer Courthouse Square is widely considered one of Portland’s most popular attractions. It has become a gathering place for locals looking for entertainment or simply somewhere pleasant to relax after work.

Facts About Pioneer Courthouse Square

– It was designed by Will Martin

– It is a Portland landmark and has been since 1984

– The Square contains over 100 trees and several fountains, sculptures, and public art installations.

– It is closed to traffic and is a popular spot for locals and tourists alike.

– The Square was renovated in 1993 with the help of $95 million worth of donations from private sources.

– Pioneer Courthouse Square is managed by Portland Mall Management, Inc., responsible for its day-to-day operations, marketing, and events.

– The square is open 365 days a year from dawn until midnight.

Things to Do at Pioneer Courthouse Square

There are plenty of things to do at Pioneer Courthouse Square, including shopping, dining, and entertainment.

There are often musicians playing at the square on any day or night of the week. The Portland Saturday Market is also held here every weekend, where you can buy art pieces from local vendors and food carts that serve everything from Mexican to Indian cuisine. Every Thursday, there’s a Food Truck Frenzy with even more food options to choose from.

The square is also home to several stores and restaurants, including the popular Nike Town store and McCormick & Schmick’s Seafood Restaurant. Pioneer Courthouse Square is a must-see for anyone visiting Portland!

If you’re looking for a place to relax in the heart of downtown Portland, look no further than Pioneer Courthouse Square. This public square is home to plenty of entertainment options and several stores and restaurants. You can find everything from music to food here, so be sure to check it out on your next visit to Portland!

Activities and Events at Pioneer Courthouse Square

The square is an integral part of the city and hosts a wide range of public activities, including concerts, rallies, art shows, festivals, and more. It even played host to some high-profile events like Michael Jackson’s first-ever concert in Portland on September 19th, 1984, and President Barack Obama’s rally before his re-election in 2012.

Some of the regular events that take place at the square include:

  • Outdoor movie screenings in the summer months
  • Live music performances on various stages
  • A weekly farmers market every Saturday morning from May to October
  • Art shows and exhibitions throughout the year

In addition to the regular events at the square, several special events occur throughout the year.

Some of the more popular events include:

  • The Christmas tree lighting ceremony takes place in early December and features a performance by the Portland Youth Philharmonic
  • The Rose Festival Grand Floral Parade marches through downtown Portland each June and is one of the largest floral parades in North America
  • A giant chess game is played on the plaza for two weeks every July by some of the best players in North America.

Some of the more popular activities include:

  • Listening to live music
  • Watching street performers
  • Having a picnic lunch
  • Shopping at the nearby boutiques and stores
  • Relaxing in the sun or shade
  • People watching

There’s always something going on at Pioneer Courthouse Square, whether it be a special event or the regular events every week. The square is home to several stores and restaurants and entertainment options like live music and street performances. There are some things you shouldn’t do here, such as smoking and drinking alcohol, but other than that you’re free to enjoy all that the square has to offer. Be sure to check out the calendar of events on their website before your visit!

What Not to Do at Pioneer Courthouse Square 

Just like any other public space, there are some things that you should avoid doing at Pioneer Courthouse Square. These include:

  • Smoking – it’s prohibited in the square
  • Drinking alcohol – also prohibited in the square
  • Littering or vandalizing the property – this will get you arrested!

Be respectful of your surroundings, and you’ll have a great time at one of Portland’s most popular attractions.

As with any public space, there are certain items that you shouldn’t bring to Pioneer Courthouse Square. These include:

  • Weapons – these aren’t allowed in the square for obvious reasons
  • Drugs and drug paraphernalia – don’t risk it! You’ll be arrested if you’re caught with them on site
  • Pets – unless you have a service animal, leave the pets at home

Other than these items, you should be fine to bring anything else that you’d typically take with you when visiting a public space, such as water and snacks. 

How to Get to Pioneer Courthouse Square

The square is located in downtown Portland and is easily accessible by foot, bike, or public transportation. If you’re driving, there are some parking garages within proximity. The closest MAX light rail stop is at Yamhill and 11th, and the Portland Streetcar’s A Loop stops right in front of Pioneer Courthouse Square.

Address: 701 SW Sixth Avenue, Portland

Hours: Vary depending on the event or activity taking place at the square. Check their website for more information before your visit.


Phone Number: 503-223-1613 

Email Address:


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