Why have I not been to Sellwood Park before?

What a great place to go swimming – particularly if you’re attending a party & have the entire place to yourselves. Our hostess tells me rental rates are incredibly reasonable – it’s definitely a better alternative to those pre-packaged hella-expensive birthday party outings.

And after two hours of swimming plus time on the playground afterwards? You bring home tired, docile kids, hooray!

The park itself looked familiar – I should have guessed that it’s another Olmstead family design. Frederick Law Olmstead is probably most famous for designing Central Park in NYC, and the family firm Olmstead Brothers developed a park plan for Portland in 1903 – we’re lucky enough to have Olmstead parks sprinkled throughout PDX as well (Laurelhurst Park in particular invokes memories of spring walks through CP.)

A few side notes: Interestingly enough, a quick Google search on ‘Olmstead park Portland’ revealed this recent thread over on Portland Architecture, bemoaning the fact that we never managed to fully implement Olmstead’s vision for Portland parks.

I also uncovered this summation of Olmstead’s 40 Mile Loop, designed to create a connected series of parks encircling the metropolitan area. Here’s a link to the original 1904 Plan Map, from the city’s transportation department.

Finally, if you’re really interested, here’s the 63 page PDF of the original 1903 Olmstead Brothers report

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