Paul hasn't had any love in years…

and it shows!

Peeling Paint

Crumbling Plaster


Carbon and Dirt

Northwest Moss

Make History


The Paul Bunyan statue is commissioned by the Kenton Businessmen’s Club for the Oregon Centennial Exposition and International Trade Fair, held at the Pacific-International Livestock Exposition and former site of the Union Stock Yards (the area now known as Expo Center) between June 10th and September 17th.

City of Portland Archives, Oregon, Auditor’s Historical Records – Oregon Centennial, A2004-002.606, 1959.

Spring 1959

The statue was the vision of Victor R. Nelson and his son Victor A. Nelson, owners of Kenton Machine Works, and was constructed by neighborhood welders, ironworkers, and union plasterers.

Oregonian 5/10/59

The 31-foot tall statue is erected at the corner of N. Interstate (Hwy. 99 W) and N. Denver Avenue to welcome visitors to Oregon’s Centennial. Banners reading: “Kenton Invites You to Oregon’s 100th Birthday” are hung across Denver Avenue. The statue is set to stay for only 6 months.

Oregonian 5/20/59


The statue begins to show signs of wear.

City of Portland Archives, Oregon, Planning Neighborhood Photographs – Paul Bunyan Statue, A2011-028, 1975.

June 1985

Due to deterioration of the statue, Columbia Lions Club president C.R. “Bob” Hillyer states the statue must be maintained or torn down.


Restoration is completed by the Columbia Lions Club and Boy Scout Troop 71.


Various volunteers and contributors complete another restoration project.

City of Portland Archives, Oregon, Planning Neighborhood Photographs – Paul Bunyan Statue, A2010-007.039, 1997.


After 43 years standing in the same location, Paul Bunyan is moved 59.2 feet to its current location to make way for Tri-Met’s MAX Yellow Line. The move took 26 minutes.

Tri-Met Archives

January 2009

Oregon’s State Advisory Committee on Historic Preservation votes unanimously in favor of placing the Paul Bunyan statue on the National Register of Historic Places. The statue is one of the last remaining remnants of the 1959 Centennial Exposition.

Summer 2009

Paul Bunyan receives a Portland Development Commission Community Livability grant for repainting.

Michael Russell, Oregonian


Kenton Neighborhood Association and Kenton Business Association unanimously votes to make restoring Paul a 2016 priority and seeds the fundraising with $500.

KOIN 6 Coverage Coverage

Be a part of history, donate now.

What's happening to the paint?

"The statue has four distinct surface failure issues:

  1. Parting (or separation) of the paint that was applied in 2009 from the previous paint treatment due to a chemical incompatibility.
  2. Parting of all paint layers (new and old) from the stucco surface likely due to moisture trapped in the stucco.
  3. Crazing and cracking of paint applied over previous stucco repairs.
  4. Degradation of paint surface due to moisture and UV exposure."

— David Fredrickson of Figure Plant

About your Donation

Non-profit: All donations are tax deductable. Kenton Action Plan is a 501(c)3 organization.

Your contribution goes to: A complete restoration of the statute including all necessary repair, anti-graffiti coating and repainting of the statue. Any additional funds will go toward beautification of the plaza where Paul stands.

Questions: Inquiries about this fundrasing effort or alternative funding (including in-kind donations, grants, and matching gifts) can be directed to

Timeline: We are hoping to start restoration in late spring to early summer 2016.

Restoration organized by
Kenton Business Association
In partnership with
Kenton Neighborhood Association

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