Marquam Bridge Park

All of the land use options retain a 600'-long piece of the Marquam Bridge immediately adjacent to OMSI. The curving sculptural fragment becomes the form generator for a crescent of residential and hotel buildings and a dynamic backdrop for a 2.5 acre park along the waterfront (see aerial view). With the addition of stairs and elevators, the upper level of the bridge can be converted into a public park (see perspective view looking to downtown) and the lower level enclosed to become OMSI gallery space and a restaurant. The Marquam fragment will be a unique structure in America and become a popular attraction in Portland.

The Marquam Bridge fragment and park keeps forever a piece of Portland's waterfront history and offers a lesson of the mistakes of the 1960's when planners willfully placed freeway megastructures along waterfronts in cities throughout America. Recycling the upper level into a park offer a reminder of nature's ability to heal itself and symbolizes the reclaiming of public space away from the automobile and back to the pedestrian. The symbolism inherent in the massive edifice could be the man-made icon that represents Portland in the same way that the Space Needle represents Seattle and the Empire State Building represents New York. While the current Marquam Bridge is a metaphor for urban thinking that should be buried with the past, the fragment and park can instead become an icon for a sustainable future.

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