Memorial Coliseum, 1959

City officials at the Memorial Coliseum construction site, 1959. Officials in the image include Stanley Earl, Ormond R. Bean, and Terry Schrunk.


City of Portland (OR) Archives, A2005-005.716.80.


View this image in Efiles by clicking here.

19 thoughts on “Memorial Coliseum, 1959

  1. The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Elvis & the Bee Gees have all given performance here.
    Poet Allen Ginsberg attended the Beatles concert and wrote a poem…
    Portland Coliseum

    From the Penguin Classics: Read the Beatles
    “Portland Coliseum”
    by Allen Ginsberg

    A brown piano in diamond
    white spotlight
    Leviathan auditorium
    iron run wired
    hanging organs, vox
    black battery
    A single whistling sound of ten thousand children’s
    larynxes asinging
    pierce the ears
    and following up the belly
    bliss the moment arrived

    Apparition, four brown English
    jacket christhair boys
    Goofed Ringo battling bright
    white drums
    Silent George hair patient
    Soul horse
    Short black-skulled Paul
    with the guitar
    Lennon the Captain, his mouth
    a triangular smile,
    all jump together to End
    some tearful memory song
    ancient-two years,
    The million children
    the thousand words
    bounce in their seats, bash
    each other’s sides, press
    legs together nervous
    Scream again & claphand
    become one Animal
    in the New World Auditorium
    —hands waving myriad
    snakes of thought
    screetch beyond hearing

    while a line of police with
    folded arms stands
    Sentry to contain the red
    sweatered ecstasy
    that rises upward to the
    wired roof.

    -August 27, 1965

  2. Thanks, Lou! Regarding the Beatles, the Oregon Historical Society’s new major exhibit revolves around them.

  3. Part of the destruction of a vibrant black community along Williams Ave. “Jumptown” by Robert Dietsche offers a glimpse into Porland’s great jazz scene in that neighborhood. I was just a kid when the coliseum was built and like a lot of white kids I was happy to go to a Portland Buckaroos hockey game, not yet understanding what urban renewal was really about. It is jot a question of feeling guilty about the past, just recognizing what did happen and why.

  4. I think these guys did a great job. They helped build the Veterans Memorial Coliseum which led to the many great events/concerts and eventually, the Portland Trail Blazer franchise. Soon after, the Jack Ramsey and Bill Walton era would arrive with an NBA title in 1977. That remains a high point in the city’s sports history as the Blazers have yet to repeat such glory. To the guys in the hard hats: Well done.

  5. Yay !!
    At least the majority of those oppressive tobacco using white guys are wearing Bullard 303 helmets !

  6. That comment about “darkies”? That’s acceptable at this site? Really? If so, go screw yourself!

  7. Please remember this is a City run blog. Any comment that violates the Social Media Terms of Use will be removed. Content that promotes, fosters, or perpetuates discrimination on the basis of race, religion, gender, marital status, familial status, national origin, age, mental or physical disability, sexual orientation, gender identity will be removed. Thank you for your continued support. We hope to continue to provide content everyone can enjoy.

  8. I am totally good with those terms of use. But I would like to know how “neighborhood observers” comments about getting rid of “darkies” was deemed to be an acceptable post under those guidelines? I am here for history and enjoyment, not to get racist comments. Please respond from an official capacity

  9. Racist how ?
    Are they white guys? Yes.
    Tobacco using ? Yes.
    “Opressive” is opinion. Is tobacco oppressive ? I don’t think so, but others might.
    Is being officials of City Government oppressive ? It’s basically a job requirement, Somebody gets opressed under its rule, while some do not.

  10. Terry Schrunk was a former Portland policeman who brought both dignity and class to the office; a humble and mild manner gentleman.

    Maybe a bit too incorrect to mention but along with the numerous Buckaroo games I attended there I fondly recall the Easter Sunrise services.

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