St Johns

Pier Park

click images for high resolution copies

Pier Park Saktepark

unidentified riding Portland's full pipe

St Johns street skate area
The street section includes round and square rails, a deep five step, two granite-topped ledges and some neat corner transistions.

a telling intersection of concrete

Camiren E. alleyoop 5-0
Camiren E. alley oop 5-0

Walkwave by Adam Kuby
The entrance features a fantastic fuctional art installation.

Walkwave by Adam Kuby
"Walkwave" by Adam Kuby was funded by RACC.

small bowl
The small bowl.

Walkwave by Adam Kuby
Portland's own 20' full pipe with 11½' square bowl and a 9½' balls bowl.


Redevelopment (10.14.2006): Dreamland Skateparks
Original (8.25.2001): Army Corp of Engineers

Size: 11,000 square feet


Rules: Bikes with pegs must use plastic sleeves. Open dawn to dusk (sign) or 5 am to midnight (website).

Facilities: Benches and garbage can. Lights and a full cover are future goals. See Skaters for Portland Skateparks for more information.


Pier Park
N. Bruce Avenue and N. Hudson Street
Portland, Oregon 97203
Long -122.75539 Lat 45.60221
Pier Park is huge. The concrete park is on the northwest end, near the city bus terminal. Note St. Johns is not a city or town, but a neighborhood in Portland.

Directions: Go north on N. Lombard Street through downtown St. Johns. About a 1/2 mile from the St Johns Bridge and after a small S turn you'll see Pier Park quite obviously and on the right. Go right on Bruce Ave and you'll see the full pipe in 100 yards.

Map: Google map


Portland Parks & Recreation
Rod Wojtanik
1120 SW 5th Avenue, Suite 1302
Portland, Oregon 97204-1933
Tel: 503-823-PLAY (7529)
Fax: 503-823-6007
Portland Parks and Recreation's Pier Park page

History: The first version was built by Army Corp of Engineers as a concrete training excercise and civic donation. It was embarrassing to the skating and advocacy community when it opened because it was poorly designed and built and contrasted so sharply with the new natural wonders of Newberg, Aumsville, Donald, and others in southern Oregon. Where did Pier Park come from?! What? Who knew the City of Portland was building its first public concrete park?! It wouldn't be fair to say we were blindsided; there were numerous public meetings and committees that precipitated the first version. But it felt like the first Pier Park had jumped out of the bushes and gave the Portland skating community a blackeye. Could we blame the delirious frenzy of Newberg, Donald and Aumsville which were weekly if not daily excursions at the time? Wasn't the Steel Bridge Skatepark process underway at the same time, too? How did we drop the ball so hard in our own backyard? It was harsh.
A year later the citizens of Portland voted positively for a million dollar parks levy with specific instructions for a Portland skatepark. Tom Miller and Sonny Robertson (and others?) started a non-profit Skaters for Portland Skateparks to advocate for properly designed and built in the City of Roses. SPS was a media and coalition generating machine, amazing really. They got businesses and events and individuals from all over the map to support the redevelopment of Pier Park. SPS was going so fast that Pier Park redevelopment became a quasi private public partnership. Skaters for Portland Skateparks would raise the money if the City would give it a green light (is that fair to write?). Tom Potter was elected Mayor, too. Had Francesconi -the former head of Portland Parks & Recreation- been elected, the City would have likely remained unhelpful to the concrete cause. Another group Skaters for Public Skateparks was also born and looking at the issue of skateboarding and parks on city-wide planning scale.
SkateOregon believes the full pipe and joining bowls are the single best structure Dreamland has built yet. There are more spectacular (Polson helmet) and wilder (Newberg volcano) structures, and better parks as a whole, but as a single piece, it is pure banannas. It has liquid flow and legendary scale.
The short story is we bricked it in 2001. Skaters for Portland Skateparks was a MACHINE of advocacy and raised buckets of awareness, support and funds. Rod Wotanik and the City of Portland green lighted an entire system of 19 parks. Dreamland built a great park. And now it is open, open to everyone. Wohoo!

Adam Kuby, Walkwave, 2006, pigmented concrete Pier Park dedication plaque Pier Park Skatepark rules sign
Walkwave, 2006, by Adam Kuby Pier Park dedication plaque Pier Park rules sign. Note the pedantic line that reads like it was a Karl Rove special: Bikers should understand that not everyone thinks your use of this park is a good idea. Help prove that bikes are not a detriment to skateboarders and skateparks.

Pier Park v. 1 by Army Corp of Engineers
Here is a picture of the first version.

old St Johns page