First Regiment Armory Annex - Uses


Constructed with a truss system with no supporting pillars to block views or impede movement, the building was one of the few Portland buildings in the early 20th century that could handle large crowds. As a result, the building hosted exhibitions of early motion picture machines, conventions, reunions, recitals, concerts, and speeches by presidents Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, and Woodrow Wilson. In 1918, the new Municipal Auditorium (now called Keller Auditorium), designed with superior acoustics and comfortable seating, supplanted the Armory for concerts and speeches, though amateur boxing events were still held at the Armory.

In 1928, the Portland fire marshal declared the building to be a fire hazard; nonetheless, the building continued to be used. From 1946 to 1948, the Armory was home to the Portland Indians of the Pacific Coast Professional Basketball League. In 1948, the building was used to take in refugees of the Vanport Flood which destroyed the town of Vanport in 1948.

In 1968, the Blitz-Weinhard Brewing Company purchased the entire complex, demolishing the original Armory for a parking lot and using the Annex as a warehouse.

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