15 thoughts on “Civic Auditorium, 1967

  1. All of the classes at Central Catholic graduated from the Civic Auditorium except mine – the class of ’67. Because it was being renovated our class graduated in the old Oriental Theater. It was hot & the archbishop was very um wordy. By the time it was over there were some classmates close to fainting.

  2. It would be another three years until the Keller Fountain (originally the Forecourt Fountain) would be built across the street. Until now, I was not aware that the lot was previously a parking lot. I prefer the fountain!

  3. I would like to see a picture of “Old Keller Auditorium” before the “remodel” and I’d like to know when it was originally built? It strikes me that after studying the history of Portland in photos for years this is one building which has escaped the camera, I know that there are some photos out there.

  4. sorry, I see now that there is a picture linked below from 1958, and judging from the style of the architecture I would guess the building was built in between 1925 and 1935.

  5. @Paul: the parking lot across the street in this photo is on the block to the south of the auditorium. The Forecourt fountain was built on the block to the west, which has several buildings on it here.

  6. @ken: Thanks for the correction. Looking at the picture that @Brian posted, I now see the extension on the back (east side) of the building. I should have been more careful with my initial comment.

  7. I spent a lot of time in that auditorium as a kid, before the re-model…season tickets to the Portland Symphony for a couple of years…I got to see people like Van Cliburn, (piano), Mary Costa, (opera singer), Victor Borge, (piano), Mary Martin, (singer), and many traveling Broadway performances while sitting up in the first balcony, stage left. It was always a treat to “go downtown” to see the lights, the big cars and the people of various classes, together, all enjoying the music.
    And remember…that’s when smoking was okay in public buildings…the grey cement hallways in the back were thickly clouded in smoke during the intermissions and there were those 3ft tall cylinder-sand filled ashtrays everywhere the eye could see!
    Indeed, I remember the music, the orchestras, the performers and the various actors and actresses that appeared there, but I remember all of that smoke even more! It made the building seem very dismal…except for the entrance with its grand staircase. When it came time to re-model, it was the light that eventually changed the entire atmosphere of the entrance and turned it from gloomy and dark to bright and inviting!

  8. Remember that SW Market was the northern boundary of the South Auditorium Urban Renewal area………nothing but scorched earth south to SW Arthur Street between front and 6th

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