The memorial will be located on the east bank of the Willamette River adjacent to Portland Fire and Rescue Station 21 and across from downtown Portland.
The David Campbell Memorial Association is actively fundraising for construction of a new memorial that will stand for generations as a lasting tribute to Portland firefighters' bravery and sacrifice in the line of duty….past, present and future. Since 1881, 36 Portland firefighters have given their lives while protecting the city and its citizens, and dozens more have died of job related illness and disease.
“The David Campbell Memorial will be located on the east bank of the Willamette River adjacent to Portland Fire and Rescue Station 21 and across from downtown Portland. Whelton Architecture’s design establishes two discernible experiential zones: at the ground level, low horizontal stone benches and walls are rooted into the earth; and in the sky, tall vertical lanterns gently sway overhead. These elements are organized across the memorial field in a series of parallel lines whose overall figure is greater than any one individual mark.”
“The figural reading of the memorial changes depending on the distance from which it is experienced. Seen from greater distances the lanterns merge into a unified line of light in the sky. This constellation-like pattern will expand the presence of the memorial into a symbol which is visible and recognizable across Portland.”
Learn more about the design and process from WHELTONarchitecture.
The Campbell Memorial is currently located at the corner of NW 18th and Burnside and is maintained by the David Campbell Memorial Association. Constructed in 1928, the memorial is named after Fire Chief David Campbell who lost his life on June 26, 1911 fighting the Union Oil Fire in SE Portland. On each anniversary, Portland Firefighters, city officials and members of the public gather in the small park to remember the firefighters who have lost their lives in service to the citizens of Portland.
The Campbell Association worked for several years with a broad coalition of design professionals, businesses and the City of Portland to develop a plan to expand the existing memorial and accommodate more members of Portland Fire & Rescue. When no viable option emerged from that work, a new memorial site was soon identified on PF&R property along the Eastbank Esplanade.
In the fall of 2009, The Campbell Memorial Association partnered with Portland State University to conduct a design competition for a new memorial. A winning design was selected from the design submittals and was unveiled to the public in 2010. In 2015 Portland saw the completion and reopening of Fire Station 21, setting the stage for the final phases of the memorial development, funding, and construction.
Note: In 2010 the existing Portland Firefighters memorial joined over 500 Portland properties on the National Register of Historic Places. The Campbell Memorial Association is committed to working with historic preservationists, neighborhood groups and citizens to ensure the site continues to serve the community for years to come. Portland Fire and Rescue and the Campbell Association will continue their role as stewards for the existing site when the new memorial is realized.