The Bosco-Milligan Foundation appreciates that the Portland City Council voted May 11 to restore the landmark Thompson Elk Fountain to its original location on SW Main Street. The outpouring of public support for the fountain changed the city’s view about saving this important piece of historic art.

Thompson Elk Fountain postcard from 1916.

Our board of directors in March sent a letter to the council urging them not to erase the fountain’s landmark status and to return it to its original location. In addition, six AHC members participated on an ad hoc committee to negotiate with city commissioners. Our position ultimately was supported by thousands of emails sent by citizens to city commissioners.

This is a rare and welcome victory for historic preservation in Portland. Like the Bosco-Milligan Foundation, our city’s residents agree that historic art helps Portland retain its special character.

Despite the City Council’s vote, return of the historic fountain is not necessarily guaranteed. A study by the Portland Parks Foundation could recommend another option. Our advocacy committee and our board of directors will be paying close attention to the process to return the elk statue and its fountain to its original place. 

You can read the city resolution here