New Life for the Guild Theater?

Studio Building ca. 1980

Shuttered for several years, yet in a prime location directly facing the new Director Park, the Guild Theater deserves another chance to become a viable venue for theater, music, and other live events. According to recent reports in the Oregonian, that may just happen.

Opera Theater Oregon is hoping they can convince building owner Tom Moyer to give them the opportunity to revamp the theater.  One major issue however is that the Guild no longer has bathrooms.  The Guild is connected to the wonderful Studio building and during the renovation of the Studio’s ground floor space (now home to an Italian restaurant), the Guild’s bathrooms were eliminated.

Built in 1927, the Guild Theater and the Studio Building were designed by Luther Lee Dougan. Dougan designed a number of buildings in the vicinity of the Guild/Studio buildings, including the Medical-Dental Building on SW 11th and Taylor. Together with Chester Houghtaling, Dougan also designed the Elks Club building (now part of the Governor Hotel). Houghtaling and Dougan were also the architects of Washington High School – as you may know – another Portland building that desperately need renovation.

Besides the bathrooms, there are of course many other repairs and upgrades that the aging Guild Theater needs, but surely these obstacles can be overcome and the Guild’s marquee could once again shine brightly downtown.

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1 Comment

Filed under Historic Preservation

One response to “New Life for the Guild Theater?

  1. Fred Leeson

    I’d love to see this happen. But there are two HUGE obstacles not thoroughly explored: 1) development rights on that site will allow a MUCH bigger building…someday. That makes it harder to pump in a bunch of bucks now; 2) the article tells us that this group has never undertaken such a big project. This would NOT be for the faint-of-heart if all modern codes have to be met, from earthquake down to disability access, restrooms, aisle widths, etc., etc.

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