The Art Park Gets "The Loo!"

The Missoula Art Park is one step closer to completion with the arrival and installation of “The Portland Loo,” a single occupancy, flush toilet restroom to be located in the Art Park.

The facility was chosen by the years-long advocacy of the Mayor’s Downtown Advisory Council, whose members became passionate about the Loo’s elegant design and safety features, and its environmentally-friendly, sturdy, stainless steel construction. The Portland Loo is fabricated in Portland, Oregon by Madden Fabrication. It arrived via crane fully tested and assembled.


Missoula Art Park Celebrated its Groundbreaking!
The Missoula Art Museum, the City of Missoula, and Adventure Cycling celebrated completion of the long design and fundraising phases of the Missoula Art Park on August 5. Mayor John Engen, project designer Anne Hannenburg of SPVV Landscape Architects, Salish artist Corwin Clairmont and other key players shared in the groundbreaking celebration with shovels, hard hats and opening remarks. Donations from businesses and individuals made this exciting expansion possible. Thank you for believing in the vision!


Missoula and Montana have an extraordinary opportunity with this project to promote creativity in a public space, provide artists a venue for large-scale outdoor art, educate the public, and furnish outdoor classroom space. The Art Park is scheduled for completion in November and will surround the Missoula Art Museum and extend across Pine Street to Adventure Cycling Association.MAM’s installation of large-scale sculptural artworks placed throughout the Park, combined with opportunities to create public art, will attract visitors and local residents to this one-of-a-kind destination. As noted in the 2012 Americans for the Arts’ Creative Industries: Business and Employment in the Arts study, “Arts organizations…are the cornerstone to tourism and downtown revitalization.”

Key stakeholders representing the City of Missoula,
Adventure Cycling,and Missoula Art Museum celebrated
Art Park groundbreaking on August 5th.
Construction will be completed in early November with
outdoor art exhibits starting in spring 2017.

The Missoula Art Park epitomizes “Creative Placemaking,” which is becoming state-of-the-art nationally, where partners from public, private, nonprofit, and community sectors strategically shape and establish the physical and social character of a neighborhood, town, city, or region around arts and cultural activities. Creative Placemaking energizes public and private spaces, rejuvenates structures and streetscapes, improves local business viability and public safety, and brings diverse people together. The scope of the Missoula Art Park project evinces a strong sense of place that will unite the diverse offerings of our vibrant community and ensure and sustain its physical and economic health. Read a recent article about the importance of public art and creative placemaking in America.



The Missoula Art Park will have an extraordinary economic impact on Missoula due to the strength of the partnership triad responsible for developing the Park: the Missoula Art Museum, Adventure Cycling, and the City of Missoula. The economic benefits of the Park promote smart growth by providing an outstanding quality of life downtown. It also catalyzes economic growth by helping businesses thrive, increases property values throughout downtown, extends visitors’ time downtown and entices them to spend more on goods and services.


The Missoula Art Park will provide additional environmental benefits with thoughtful and ecological landscaping in our urban core. Trees will improve air quality because they filter airborne pollutants. The park will improve water and soil quality for healthy trees and foliage, feature best practices in growing trees in the urban environment, improve worker productivity by providing nature and art in the downtown environment, calm traffic and reduce noise for a more peaceful setting, and encourage and even celebrate biking and walking in the Park and beyond.

Outdoor spaces with trees and public art discourage crime and violence, promote community-building and reduce stress, help businesses thrive, and increase property values. In addition, providing bike facilities and route networks are vital to local quality of life and prosperity. Trees will be planted using new Silva Cell systems, which create space for roots below streets thus fostering strong and healthy trees. Downtown Art Park stakeholders expressed the need for a public bathroom for nearby Saturday market customers and people outdoors, so the Art Park will include a Portland Loo, a well-designed public restroom that answers cleanliness and security concerns.

Read about the Silva Cell installation on October 14, 2016.


Maintenance and Cleanliness

Missoula Parks and Recreation, working with the Business Improvement District and the Missoula Art Museum, are committed to maintaining the Art Park to the highest standards of maintenance, including daily care April through mid-October and multiple times per week the rest of the year. MAM staff is on-site six days a week, and Parks and Recreation has a 24-7 callout should any concerns need immediate attention.

Safety & Security

The SPVV Landscape Architect’s design of the Missoula Art Park has been thoroughly vetted through public and neighborhood forums and through the lens of Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED), led by Robert Scheben, City Crime Prevention Officer, and the staff of Missoula Parks & Recreation, led by Donna Gaukler. The goal of the CPTED review is to achieve a park design that enhances public safety and improves the quality of life downtown.

Missoula Art Park and its Portland Loo will operate hours similar to other Missoula Parks and Recreation restrooms: 7:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. Security will be addressed via automatic lighting, infrared detection and electronic security cameras. Missoula Police Department’s Downtown Policing Plan calls for one full-time officer dedicated to the downtown area year-round and five to six officers are assigned to downtown for the summer months, as well as two full-time Community Service Specialists (CSS).


The Missoula Parking Commission has created a plan to add more short-term parking spaces in the immediate neighborhood of the Art Park than are being removed by the project. These involve inventory from privately owned parking lots in the area, converting 10-hour parking meters to two-hour short-term meters, and/or converting poorly utilized bus stops in the area to metered spaces. In addition, the parking structure Park Place, located on the corner of East Front and Pattee street, is just three blocks away from the Art Park and offers 40 low-cost, short-term parking spaces, as well as monthly parking.

To become a Missoula Art Park Supporter click on this Pledge Form and return it to one of the addresses listed. Thank You!

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