Architect: Floyd A. Naramore/renovation: Fletcher Farr Ayotte, 1915
This schoolhouse was something
of an anomaly in its day. Its multi-winged, single-story design was designed for safety in case of emergency evacuation, and it was easier to add on to gracefully than the typical multiple-storied schools. Executed in a Mediterranean style with its stucco, low-pitched roof, and arched entrances, the building is a textbook ("textbook," get it?) example of the approach Portland's McMenamin brothers take to their restorations. This school was closed in 1975, and it remained boarded up for nearly twenty years, until the McMenamins purchased the property from the city and recreated it as a community center/restaurant/hotel/movie house. In the process, they created a synthesis between the school's history and the company's own psychedelic Olde English interiors.
* Ireland-native Jack Kennedy (1852-1936) owned large tracts of land in East Portland. In 1913, he sold 4 acres to the Portland School District, and although he lost his henhouse in the transaction, he gained his name on a school.
This building's renovation began with an organic approach, incorporating as many original features of the original school as possible. According to Mike McMenamin, the project's spontaneity was reflected in the fact that there was not an architectural rendering of the interior at the outset of the project, only a floor plan.
The results include the still-functional basketball court and the classrooms (blackboards intact) that now serve as lodging quarters for the hotel's guests. The manifold aspects of the location's art reflect the area's history, as no surface is left undecorated. Electrical boxes, steam pipes, doors, and even the backboards of the basketball court are all tied together in one grand thematic tapestry, combining with the school's original Renaissance bas-relief panels in the lobby.
* In 1916, the revolutionary design of this building warranted a piece in Ladies Home Journal entitled "First One-Story School of Its Kind in Nation."Less Text