Obituary / Robert P. Perron, FASLA

Noted Portland landscape architect and urban planner Robert Pepper Perron, FASLA passed on August 28, 2019 at age 83, from diseases of his heart and lungs.

Robert loved to travel and especially enjoyed his projects in Shanghai, China designing the master plan for Binhai Golf Course and club house grounds, plus other regional land developments.

He was perhaps best known locally for designing Salmon Street Springs Fountain for Portland Development Commission, and the distinctive surrounding benches, honored by Japan with their Excellence in Design award, which are also placed in many sites around the city. Robert designed the master plan for the 1974 World's Fair in Spokane WA., including the conversion of the area afterward into Waterfront Park, and its centerpiece Rotary Fountain. The master plan for Black Butte Ranch resort was his design, as were later phases of Sun River resort in Central Oregon.

Other local projects included the Brewery Blocks streetscape, River Place master plan, Esplanade/Amphitheater at Tom McCall Waterfront Park, Terry Shrunk Plaza and Amphitheater across from Portland City Hall, Rose Garden Children's Park in Washington Park, and First Presbyterian Church Garden/Park. Robert chaired the original design team for the Master Plan of the Oregon Garden in Silverton, OR., along with designing countless resorts, housing developments, large-scale urban redevelopments, and many small-scale private gardens throughout the west coast.

A talented artist and wood worker, he found deep inspiration in the beauty and mystery in art and music, the natural world's history and geology, and the enduring majesty of mountains and forests. Weekends and holidays at the family beach house at Arch Cape provided an ongoing source of pleasure.

Born in 1936 in Oregon City, he attended Benson H.S., graduated in 1959 from U. of O. and from Harvard University in 1961 with a Master of Landscape Architecture.

In 1962 he was a Fulbright Scholar at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts, U. of Copenhagen, Denmark, followed in 1963 as faculty at U.C. Berkeley. In 1964 he returned to Portland to open his office. In 1968 with a group of like-minded professional creatives he co-founded Design Collaborative, followed years later by Perron Collaborative.

Robert was proud of having spun off 20 new firms by way of his talented former employees over the years.

During the '70's/'80's Robert was a local leader in the non-profit organizations Creative Initiative Foundation and Beyond War, and enjoyed co-building 5 homes in South Africa for Habitat for Humanity International, applying his skills as a master carpenter. In retirement, besides continuing to design local gardens and avidly pursuing his life long love of reading, he found great pleasure in serving as concierge for a VRBO in John's Landing, meeting travelers and sharing his wide knowledge of the west coast. Recently he had been active in Meridian U.C.C. in Wilsonville OR., where a memorial Celebration of Life service will be held October 12 at 2:00 PM. All friends and professional associates are invited to attend, share stories, and to enjoy the reception afterwards.  Robert is survived by his cousins Beth Lewis, Nan Lewis, Margaret Renemo, niece Shannon Vincent, nephew Shaun Vincent, special friend Nancy Rogene, former wife Leonora Vincent Perron, and sister-in-law Sue Vincent.