Saturday, September 24, 2011

Civic Auditorium, 222 Southwest Clay St., Portland, OR

Civic Auditorium, Portland, OR
The Keller (originally called the civic auditorium in 1917) was the first publicly-owned assembly facility in Portland. The Skinner Organ, installed in the Civic Auditorium in 1916, was the eighth largest in the world.
Architects listed:
Stanton, Boles, Maguire, and Church (architecture firm, 1955-1969)
Glenn Stanton (architect, 1896-1969)
Rollin H. Boles (architect, 1913-1992)
Keith Robert Maguire (architect,1909-1990)
Church, Walter Enos (1893-1989)
Designed by Freedlander & Seymour of New York City. The exterior, of modified Italian Renaissance design, is of buff brick and stone, with terra cotta and green metal trim. The main auditorium seats 3,527, while with side wings thrown open it has a maximum capacity of 6,700. In the building is the OREGON HISTORICAL SOCIETY COLLECTION (open 9-5 weekdays; 9-12 Sat.), entrance at SW. 3rd Ave. and SW. Market St. The society was founded in 1898. In its collection, are thousands of rare and valuable volumes, including the Journal of John Ledyard, dealing with Captain Cook's first voyage to the northwest coast in 1788, of which only five copies are known to exist.

The Great War ended on November 11, 1918, and a dazed and uncomprehending world stumbled through the first months of peace. A deadly new killer, Spanish influenza, claimed thousands of lives. The Pacific Northwest escaped none of these troubles. So many influenza victims filled Portland hospitals, for example, that the civic auditorium had to be converted into an emergency infirmary.(Edwards, G. Thomas,experiecesinapromisedland,p.261)

FDR, the Republican nominee, made a speech here on September 24, 1932.

President Harry Truman talking about comprehensive river development in the Columbia Basin, May 1948, at the Portland Civic Auditorium. Courtesy of the Oregon Historical Society Broadcast Media Archives.

President Dwight D. Eisenhower delivered a campaign speech on October 18, 1956 at the auditorium.[3]

Then-Senator John F. Kennedy spoke at the auditorium on September 7, 1960.[4]

May 3, 1968 - In the late 1960s, the city recognized the need for a better performing-arts venue, and the Municipal was closed to undergo a $4.5 million remodeling effort, directed by architect Glenn Stanton. Renamed the Civic Auditorium, it reopened on May 3, 1968.
It is a comfortable venue with lots of seats and a large stage. I wouldn't call it particularly elegant or worldly, but a well designed functional theater.
In June 1970, Ada Louise Huxtable called the redesigned auditorium "a building of unrelieved blandness".[5]
Civic Auditorium, Portland, OR 1971

In 2000, it was renamed the Keller Auditorium after Richard Keller, son of Portland businessman and philanthropist Ira Keller, donated $1.5 million for the renovation of the auditorium.

The stage is 107 x 41 feet, with a 60 x 30 foot proscenium. The orchestra pit can accommodate 70 musicians, and there is dressing room space for 250 performers. All three foyers feature a window wall overlooking the Ira Keller Fountain, and the building is home to a collection of original artwork. (hamlin,kristen,eHow,2010-09-30)

Read more: History of the Keller Auditorium in Portland |

Originally holding 4,500 people, the venue now has a capacity of 2,992.[2]
Overall, a clean, well run, modern, attractive theater.

Jerry performed here on 1/14/84.

^ a b "Venue information and background". Retrieved 2008-06-09.
^ "256 - Address at the Civic Auditorium in Portland, Oregon.". The American Presidency Project. Retrieved 2010-01-02.
^ "Excerpts from a Speech Delivered by Senator John F. Kennedy, Civic Auditorium, Portland, OR". Retrieved 2010-01-02.
^ Huxtable, Ada Louise (1970-06-21). "Coast Fountain Melds Art and Environment". New York Times: pp. 53. Retrieved 21 March 2010.

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