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Metro reveals new design for Lone Fir Cemetery’s Block 14 memorial garden

The memorial will honor the untold stories of 2,800+ Chinese and Chinese American people buried at the Southeast Portland cemetery in the 19th and 20th centuries.

An artistic rendering shows a low, slate-colored stone wall with an open gateway and a paved path surrounded by gardens.

This draft design of the Lone Fir Cemetery memorial could undergo additional revisions based on public feedback and logistical considerations.

Rendering by Knot Studio/Allied Works

Metro recently unveiled a new design concept for the future “cultural heritage and healing garden” at Lone Fir Cemetery.

Shaped by feedback from the public on early designs last year, the latest draft plan includes space for conducting rituals and making offerings, a pathway through a grove of trees, interpretive signs, and seating for visitors.

The memorial garden — located in the southwest corner of the cemetery known as “Block 14” — is intended to “honor the thousands of Chinese and Chinese American people who were buried at at the cemetery” between the 1860s and the 1920s. Though many individuals have since been exhumed and returned to China, some remain in the cemetery in unmarked graves, including patients from a psychiatric hospital that operated in Portland during the mid-1800s.

Metro intends to open the memorial to the public by the end of 2026.

Members of the community are invited to learn more about the new design at a free information session on Saturday, April 27, 11 a.m.-1 p.m., at the cemetery near the corner of Southeast Morrison Street and 20th Avenue.

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