Elk Statue restored — but where does it go now?

Civic Affairs

Elk Statue may return to original spot or move to Park Blocks

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — The 120-year-old bronze elk statue, displaced from its perch since the 2020 protests, is full restored. But the City of Portland is now trying to decide what to do with it.

The city’s Historic Landmarks Commission considered future plans for the bronze elk, either to return it to its original spot with improvements or move it to the South Park blocks.

“One of the things we talked about with PBOT was to accommodate safety improvements considering the amount of bus and bicycle traffic,” said City Arts Manager Jeff Hawthorne.

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The $8000 restoration was covered by the city’s insurance. Much of the historic granite fountain that served as the base of the statue was also saved.

The Thompson Elk statue — so named because former Portland Mayor David Thompson gifted it in 1900 — was a landmark and water source located between Chapman and Lownsdale squares, across from government buildings. That location made the Elk Statue a protest gathering point for decades.

It’s the second-oldest piece of public art in the city, after Skidmore Fountain in Old Town.

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