For the first time in 100 years, Oregon’s Willamette Falls will open to the public, with a Riverwalk proposed by Mayer/Reed, Snøhetta and DIALOG. The second largest waterfall in the US, Willamette Falls has a diverse history, and the proposed design seeks to celebrate and amplify the power of the falls, weaving the pedestrian through its rich cultural and geological history.
The final destination of many west-bound pioneers on the Oregon Trail during the 1800s, the falls also served as a gathering spot and source of fish for Native Americans. During the 19th and 20th century, it was an industrial powerhouse, accommodating woolen, lumber, flour and paper mills, and a brick making operation. Yet after the bankruptcy of the Blue Heron Paper Mill, the site has been inhospitable to the public, haunted by empty industrial buildings.