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Portland Firefighter Memorial Plaza

An ambitious project is underway to take revisit the triangular property that currently serves as home for the David Campbell Memorial and Portland Firefighter Plaza.  

The project intends to fully renovate the David Campbell Memorial (built in 1928) and move it within the greater triangle of property so the remainder can be developed into the Portland Fallen Firefighter Memorial (PFFM).  

The David Campbell Memorial (DCM) was built as a tribute to Fire Chief David Campbell.  While it has been used as a place to include names of other Portland Firefighters who had died in service to the city of Portland, it was never done in a comprehensive way.  A memorial to ALL of Portland's Fallen Firefighters is necessary.

By utilizing the entire triangle of property, which rests between SW Alder Street, SW 18th Avenue, and SW 19th Avenue, the renovated DCM would overlook and be opened onto the PFFM, which would become an open and public plaza at the north end (Alder Street end) of the property.  The combined tributes residing on the site will be known as Portland Firefighter Memorial Plaza and become one of the Hallowed Grounds of Portland Fire & Rescue. 

 

The first image shows the triangle as it currently stands.  The second image shows a superimposed outline of the DCM as it would be moved to the point of the triangle, in the south end (top) of the site. 

The Messenger Bell
An Important Symbol Of The Fire Service

The Messenger Bell, which will grace the Portland Firefighter Memorial Plaza, was purchased by the city of Portland in October of 1873.  After the conflagration of August 2, 1873, a more significant form of sounding the alarm was deemed necessary.  The Messenger Bell was the answer.  Weighing in at 4,200 pounds, it hung in the bell tower of Station 1 and, when rung, could be heard from Vancouver to Oregon City. 

 

The bell contains 800 pounds of pure silver to enhance its resonance.  After only a few years, the Messenger Bell would succumb to the technology of the day as the fire alarm telegraph system would begin to be built.  Today, it stands as a monument to the vigilance and ready response of Portland Firefighters.  

Newsletter - May 2022 Issue 01