Portland Public Toilets

March 8, 2009

Like most US cities of its size, Portland has seen an evolution in its public (ie.tax-supported) restrooms.   At the beginning of the Twentieth Century, the city provided attractively designed comfort stations in parks and open spaces.   In addition, public buildings of the time had comfortable bathrooms.  Over the years building and plumbing codes developed and facilities were modernized.  With the mid-century exodus of residents and retail commerce from the downtown core, restrooms were closed or fell victim to budget cuts and vandalism.   To address changing societal needs of the 21st Century, the city the supplemented existing facilities in public buildings and parks with an innovative sidewalk toilet.

Today the central city is served by a variety of comfort stations, restrooms in public buildings, Portland Loos and a privately owned and operated  ”public restroom”.

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    Public Hygiene Lets Us Stay Human, or PHLUSH, is an all-volunteer advocacy group based in Portland's Old Town Chinatown. We collaborate with grassroots organizations, environmental activists, planners, architects, code officials and city managers. We receive support from the Old Town Chinatown Community Association and Neighbors West-Northwest. PHLUSH is a member of the World Toilet Organization and a partner in the Sustainable Sanitation Alliance.

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