Dedicated on Portland’s 133rd birthday (on the site of the former Oregon Hotel and the city’s first school), Pioneer Courthouse Square was recognized by Time Magazine as one of the “ten most notable design achievements in the country.” Whimsical public art is but one attraction. In the northwest corner, among the stoa columns that define the edge of the square is one built “fallen”; at its core an inlaid marble chess board. Over the years the column became a gathering spot for chess players and group tournaments. In 2002, the head of the board for Pioneer Courthouse Square Inc., Doug Goodman, commissioned Soderstrom Architects P.C. to design three bronze chessboards to leave a legacy for positive social activities in the square.
©Tonia Twigger McConnell 2013