About The Heathman Hotel
A Historical Sketch
The history of the Heathman Hotel is generational. It’s a story about how a hotel helped shape the cultural bedrock of Portland, Oregon—one that remains undisturbed today.
Enter George Heathman
In 1926, at the intersection of Park and Salmon, contractor and hotelier George Heathman finished construction of the original Heathman Hotel. It stood as a beacon for affluent travelers and residents who filled the busy streets and sidewalks of a burgeoning Portland. To meet popularity and demand, the ever-entrepreneurial Heathman broke ground on a sister property. In 1927, a block from its predecessor, the ribbon was cut, and The New Heathman Hotel opened its doors.
An Instant Classic
A ten-story structure made of concrete and brick, embellished by Jacobean Revival architectural elements, trimmed stone, and dark wood paneling—the new Heathman was met with much fanfare. It was celebrated by its guests and lauded in the newspapers. But it was much more than a place for travelers to visit. It was a distinctive cultural hub for the city. From the 1930s to the 50s, its mezzanine was home to popular Portland radio station KOIN. The size of its roster featured more musicians and entertainers than all the other local stations combined. And its signal beamed across California, Nevada, and Idaho.
The Heathman Goes Contemporary
Over the years, the Heathman Hotel has maintained its place within the community, undergoing renovations to stay in step and help define the city’s evolution. In 1984, the original exterior and the eucalyptus-paneled Tea Court Lounge were fully restored, while the main entrance was moved to Broadway Street to help invite visitors through its doors. At this time, the hotel shed its “new” designation, simply referring to itself as the Heathman Hotel. 2018 saw a new set of restorative efforts, revitalizing all guestrooms and public spaces with brighter and more contemporary furnishings. With every iteration, the hotel has remained faithful to its pioneering spirit, building a unique history as a muse to all that enter.