Erickson Hotel in the 1920s or 1930s (Photo courtesy Innovative Housing Inc.)

Storied Stumptown Saloon to Be Reimagined as Housing

Erickson Hotel today (Photo courtesy Innovative Housing Inc.)

Erickson Hotel today
(Photo courtesy Innovative Housing Inc.)

Erickson Hotel in the 1920s or 1930s (Photo courtesy Innovative Housing Inc.)

Erickson Hotel in the 1920s or 1930s
(Photo courtesy Innovative Housing Inc.)

Portland has a lot of storied buildings, but few are as legendary as Erickson’s Saloon. Built in 1912, the current brick building is the last incarnation of an evolution of properties that saloon proprietor August Erickson turned into a “den of vice” during the early 1900s. Located in the heart of the Skidmore/Old Town Historic District, Erickson’s historically featured a 684-foot bar, 50 bartenders, and 50¢ beers. The building’s last tenant, Barracuda night club, vacated in 2012, leaving the building a blank slate for reuse. A $15.5 million rehabilitation will kick-off in June.

Gone are the electrified rail that once protected the all-women orchestra, the warren of tiny rooms on the second floor (no further explanation needed), and the penny arcade machines with pictures of “painted ladies.” On the way are 62 studio and one–bedroom apartments built for working class Portlanders.

Innovative Housing Inc., a Portland developer specializing in affordable housing, will use a mix of funding tools, including the Federal Rehabilitation Tax Credit, to bring Erickson Saloon and the adjoining Fritz Building up to code for the new apartment tenants. The project is expected to be completed in 2015.

Head over to the Oregonian to read the full story.

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