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Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Neighbors Of The Woodcraft (The Tiffany Center), 1410 SW Morrison Street, Portland, Oregon

Neighbors of Woodcraft Building

Founded in 1897, Neighbors Of Woodcraft can trace its beginnings to Joseph Cullen Root, who founded Woodmen and the Supreme Forest Woodmen Circle.
Originally named Women of Woodcraft, NOW grew out of the Woodmen Circle, serving as a women's auxiliary to Woodmen's Pacific Jurisdiction, which operated in the states of Colorado, Montana, Wyoming, Utah, Idaho, Nevada, Washington, Oregon and California. Circle President May Falkenburg and her successors, Mary J. Huse and Emma B. Manchester, worked hard to establish the Circle in the states of the Pacific Jurisdiction.

In 1897, however, members from Colorado and Oregon wanted to leave the Woodmen Circle's Pacific Jurisdiction, and created a new organization called the "Pacific Circle, Women of Woodcraft" and established its headquarters in Portland, Ore.

By 1905, Women of Woodcraft had grown substantially in membership, and the organization was about ready to occupy their new headquarters building in Portland, Ore. when the San Francisco earthquake put the young organization to a difficult test.
The earthquake devastated the San Francisco bay area. Members of the California organization had been on the ground for three days by the time the help arrived - by train from Portland - and they had already begun the task of providing aid to the victims of the disaster, and locating members. Claims brought about by the earthquake were paid promptly and the organizations efficient and selfless reaction to one of the greatest disasters in American history did much to solidify the reputation of Women of Woodcraft.

In 1917, the Women of Woodcraft changed its name to Neighbors of Woodcraft to reflect the organization's acceptance of both men and women for membership.

The Neighbors of Woodcraft retirement home is now the Columbia Gorge Hotel in Hood River, Oregon. Many of the members are buried in Idlewilde Cemetery in Hood River.

When the building was constructed in 1928 it was known as the Neighbors of Woodcraft Building, the home office of Woodcraft Insurance, a fraternal insurance group.
The first death claim paid was that of Willie O. Warner, who drowned on June 14, 1891 in Nile, Mich.
Woodmen's first financial statement, dated December 31, 1891, listed receipts of $59,753.31 and disbursements of $58,876.22, with a balance on hand of only $877.09. 
Woodmen continued to grow throughout the Depression era, and on its 50th anniversary in 1941, showed $364 million of life insurance in force.

The building was constructed by a local contractor, Lorenz Bros, at a cost of $315,981. The site was acquired for the sum of $16,000.
The large arched opening with carved gargoyle stone ornaments add to the uniqueness of the structure. The interior appointments of the lobby, reception rooms and formal event rooms have been maintained with the unique wood paneling, lighting and windows of the original building.

There are two ballrooms in the building.
The Crystal Ballroom
400 Seated, 565 Standing Reception
6500 square feet

One of Portland’s finest Historic works of art.  High ceilings, dramatically lit mirrors, tall cityscape windows are just a few of the best features.  Polished hardwoods, 30’ ceilings, hand-carved detailing accent this magnificent venue.  An orchestra stage with a crystal chandelier create a unique ambiance.  
Nothing compares to the class & elegance of the Crystal Ballroom.
96 feet x 85 feet of expansiveness. Accommodates ~400 in round table seating.
Pretend the married couple isn't there.

The Emerald Ballroom
300 Seated, 560 Standing Reception
900 Theater Style w/ Balcony
4,000 square feet

A Stunning Display of Historic Craftsmanship.  The Emerald Ballroom is a Classic Ballroom Style Venue with soaring ceilings, handcrafted detailing and a full scale Theater Stage (70‘x20’). Open and expansive, with 4,000 square feet of stunning ambiance.
Accommodations for 900 with Theater Style seating.  The Balcony offers seating for an additional 300.  Formal dances up to 560.

March 1, 1980
Now known as The Tiffany Center, the building is on the National Register of Historical Places. The current name “Tiffany Center” was placed on the building in 1993 when the building was purchased by it’s present owner and is named after the owner’s daughter.

As of 2010, it is no longer a fraternal structure, but is operated as a commercial event venue.

Jerry performed here on
6/4/82 John Kahn (acoustic)


  1. Wow, full circle moment reading up on parents bought a Mission couch from the daughter of a Mr Brunelo who worked at the Portland NOW as elevator operator, I think he was given it when he retired or they sold the building. I'm going to have to go there and check the place out! I have been to the Columbia Gorge Hotel, So I know I am in for a treat at the Tiffany!

    1. I knew him. We used to take him cookies when I was a little girl. The elevator man I knew there was old at the time and he lived down in the basement of NOW. I am sure there was no one else than him. He had a very good reputation there. My grandmother, worked with Mrs Codding who ran the organization.

  2. i have ritual past giardian neoghbor. guardian cover & black cover rotaul women of woodcraft.ritaul n.o.w.& burial and unveiling services & by laws of circles want to sell 509-899-0621

  3. My grandmother mentioned the NOW. She paid life insurance through them. She passed in 2005 and I came across a booklet. No one in the family ever collected any life insurance from the company so did she make those payments for all those years for nothing.