The grand, Queen Anne-style Portland Hotel opened in 1890 on the block where Portland’s Central School once stood, and where Pioneer Courthouse Square now stands. After six decades as Portland’s crown jewel the hotel ceased operating on Wednesday, August 15, 1951 (The Oregonian, 15-August-1951).
It’s too bad there’s no social security for hotels.
But there is none, so it’s over the hill and to the junkpile for the one-time pride of Oregon, the old and revered Portland hotel, where a dwindling staff supervised the moving Tuesday of the corps of permanent guests and the final closure of the 61-year-old building.
Wednesday is August 15, the date set several weeks ago for The End.
The Portland Hotel sported 326 elegant guest rooms distributed over 8 floors, parlors and sitting rooms, a restaurant, a bar, a ballroom, dining rooms, etc. It also, way back in 1890, boasted steam heat and gas and electric lights.
Railroad man Henry Villard, who also spearheaded efforts to build Union Station, began constructing the hotel in the 1880s, but ran out of money. A group of Portland business men raised money to finish construction by selling subscriptions, and the hotel was completed.
It was torn down to make way for a parking lot – it was the 1950s after all.