Sunday, May 02, 2010
McMenamins Kennedy School, northeast Portland
Kennedy School is 5736 N.E. 33rd Ave. In early March I rode the bus there for a day-long meeting. It was fun, riding a bus I'd never ridden, going on streets I'd never seen, and then getting off the bus practically in front of the building.
Found on the WWW: Renovated in 1997, the 1915 Kennedy School features Portland's most unusual lodging, 35 classrooms-turned-guestrooms, hallways lined with colorful artwork, an outdoor soaking pool, restaurant, and a brewery located in the old girls' lavatory! Sip a fresh-juice cocktail in the Honors Bar or savor a whiskey and a cigar in the Detention Bar. Our theater is one of the "10 Theaters That Do It Right" (Entertainment Weekly). We'll bring beer and pizza to your seat during the movie!
The Detention Bar--what a hoot!
Seen in a front yard flower bed.
From the Ladies Home Journal, April, 1916. I love this photo of the school.
Here's a hallway--what an interesting carpet. I imagine it would have confused elementary school students.
Another historical rendering that I found in a hallway. I remember doing a May Pole Dance in the sixth grade, all of the boys and girls in my class. I felt amazed at our accomplishment!
Found on the WWW about McMenamins:
McMenamins is a chain of nearly sixty brewpubs, microbreweries, music venues, historic hotels, and theater pubs. The chain is located mostly in the Portland metropolitan area, but has many other locations in Oregon and Washington. According to the Brewers Association, McMenamins is one of the top 50 largest craft breweries in the United States.
McMenamins was founded by Mike and Brian McMenamin, brothers who grew up in Northeast Portland, Oregon; they trace the beginning of McMenamins to the 1974 opening of Produce Row Café. They created the first post-Prohibition brewpub in Oregon — the Hillsdale Brewery & Public House in southwest Portland — in 1985. That same year McMenamins became the first brewery in the USA to legally use fruit in the brewing of ales (raspberries, for Ruby Ale, one of their "standard ales").
Their first theater pub was the Mission Theater (1987). The company then entered the broader hospitality business starting in 1990, when they converted a 74-acre-site (that at one time served as the Multnomah County Poor Farm) into Edgefield, which over the years has been expanded to include "vinting, distilling, gardening, lodging, [and] golf." By 1997, food accounted for over half of McMenamins' total sales. The purchase, $4 million remodeling, and 1997 re-opening of the Crystal Ballroom as a dance hall/music venue got McMenamins into the staging of national music acts.
By May 1998, there were 37 McMenamins locations in Oregon and six in Washington, grossing $50 million/year in business.
Many of its locations are renovated historical properties; as of June 2004, nine are on the National Register of Historic Places:
a former elementary school (Kennedy School),
a movie theater built by Universal Studios (The Bagdad Theater and Pub),
a building once used by the Church of Sweden as a Swedish Evangelical Mission (Mission Theater),
the site of a former general store once owned by Oregon's first state treasurer (Boon's Treasury),
a saloon once used by Polish immigrants to plan what became the west coast's first Polish Catholic Church (White Eagle Saloon),
a saloon and former brothel in downtown Centralia, Washington (Olympic Club Hotel),
a pioneer homestead with an octagonal barn (Cornelius Pass Roadhouse),
a former Multnomah County poor farm (Edgefield),
a ballroom with a floating floor (The Crystal Ballroom),
a saloon in Olympia, Washington called Spar Café and Bar, first opened in 1935.
Other locations include a former Masonic retirement home (The Grand Lodge), a building that was part of the Lewis & Clark Centennial Exposition (St. John's Pub) and a former funeral home in North Portland (The Chapel Pub) that also serves as the company's headquarters.
As of May 2009, McMenamins is in the process of renovating The Hotel Alma in downtown Portland, a former hotel, bathhouse and nightclub, into what the company hopes will become another property on the National Register of Historic Places.