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This guide to historic gay, lesbian, and transgender buildings and locations in Downtown Portland borrows from a number of primary sources, including Minutes of the Portland City Council, Oregon Liquor Control Commission records, Portland city directories, Sanborn fire insurance maps, and several early gay newspapers published in the city between and The Fountain , The NW Fountain , The Northwest Gay Review, and The Cascade Voice. For information on sites associated with Marie Equi and Harriet Speckart, we relied on Portland city directories for the years , the and U. Federal censuses, and the Marie Equi files from the Dept. Information on the vice scandal in Portland comes from the research of Mr.

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Gay Portland, ME: The way life should be

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This guide to historic gay, lesbian, and transgender buildings and locations in Downtown Portland borrows from a number of primary sources, including Minutes of the Portland City Council, Oregon Liquor Control Commission records, Portland city directories, Sanborn fire insurance maps, and several early gay newspapers published in the city between and The Fountain , The NW Fountain , The Northwest Gay Review, and The Cascade Voice.

For information on sites associated with Marie Equi and Harriet Speckart, we relied on Portland city directories for the years , the and U. Federal censuses, and the Marie Equi files from the Dept.

Information on the vice scandal in Portland comes from the research of Mr. George Painter, and Mr. For additional information of the life of Dr. Alan L. For additional information about these historic locations and others in Oregon and in the U. Special thanks to the Oregon Historical Society, which provided many of the images in this guide, and to the Gay and Lesbian Archives of the Pacific Northwest for its financial support.

Note that, in , the City of Portland underwent a massive renumbering of city addresses, with even some street names changing. Some locations included here have only the old address number available, because the building had been demolished by the time of the ordinance. The Milwaukee Tavern , W. This storefront address since renumbered , once a tavern, was fingered in the vice reports of Chief of Police McNamara as being a lesbian hangout. She had worked previously at the Transfusion Inn, a notorious lesbian dive located on Southwest Front almost at water level.

The only employees at the Milwaukee Tavern were women. The Pied Piper , S. The oldest continuing gay bar on Stark, operating from the late s until the s under various names. This suggests that perhaps the location was already attracting some gays back then.

Until its closure, it was the oldest continuing gay bathhouse in the city. There is no record of the ABC ever applying for a liquor license, and it apparently never advertised in the local press or city directories. Washington Street at that time was an interesting conglomeration of small hotels, art galleries, and curio shops, the type of street that might attract the theatrical and artistic crowd. The Washington Hotel , S.

Washington, now the Washington Apartments. The tavern was formerly a gay bar under the name of the Timber Topper , the Axe Handle , and the Alley. Few people know, however, that the hotel was designed in by architect Lionel Deane, who was arrested with other men the weekend that the Portland vice scandal began in November Deane himself is listed in Portland City directory of as the keeper of the saloon, which had its entrance at S.

Deane was born in Canada in , and immigrated to this country at age five. He began the study of architecture at age 16 and one of his early works was a Dominican monastery. In , he moved to San Francisco and entered into a professional partnership with James Kollofrath that lasted four years.

In , Deane was the architect spearheading local efforts to rebuild San Francisco after its devastating earthquake and fires. He returned to Portland in to work on the Washington Hotel project. After having his name published in both Oregon and California newspapers as involved in the scandal, he resigned from the California Board.

He died there in Hotel San Marco , S. One of the men arrested during the Portland vice scandal of was Harry Work, a desk clerk at this hotel. He was arrested by police while at work and promised immunity from prosecution in return for evidence against prominent attorney Edward S.

Marie Equi residence, Nortonia Hotel , S. Marie Equi and her longtime companion Harriet Speckart lived together in this hotel according to Portland city directories of thru Other locations around the city were Yamhill old number from ; th Street N. Northrup, the Parkhurst Apts. Additionally, one man arrested in the Vice Clique Scandal, Bruce Stone, lived in the Nortonia at the time of the scandal.

This was the site of a popular gay bar in the early s, which featured a small dance floor and mezzanine conducive to the cruising crowd. It is mentioned several times in the Oregonian in and The Riptide , S. Honegger closed the establishment in under continuing pressure from the city, which refused to issue him food permits, and from the OLCC, which, under the state liquor laws, required him to serve food.

The bar remained under his management until April , according to Oregon Liquor Control Commission records, which provide much of the information for the history of many of our bars. Lanny Swerdlow recalls that, in the beginning months of the Gay Liberation Front, the bar was targeted for its discriminatory practice of excluding women wearing pants. Gay Lib activists requested the owner to meet with them to discuss the issue, but he refused.

A picket line formed shortly thereafter on a busy weekend, and Swerdlow relates how the bar owner called them up and asked to meet with them, and the practice of excluding pant-wearing women soon ended. Several ads regarding the Riptide and its entertainment schedule appeared in the Oregonian between June and May The Music Hall , a.

Opened by Paul Schneiderman in , the nightclub took its name from the tradition of the old English musical hall.

Its first mention in the Oregonian is in an article stating it was denied a liquor license, Mar. Early on, it featured vaudeville-type entertainment as well as big name acts. He was elegant and dressed in wonderful costumes and was truly beautiful. He used a white Russian wolf hound in his stately act. Unfortunately the hound fell in love with the pianist and often spoiled the illusion and mood straining at the leash to be with the object of his affections.

Among those paying to see the Mills Brothers were City Council members, who were offended by the inclusion of drags. Upon investigation, it was discovered that both the Music Hall and the Backstage were being run on the same liquor license. Council closed both places, and neither ever re-opened. The Bohemian, S. Operated by Roman Wydra from December to December The restaurant was once one of the most popular dining establishments in the city.

During its heyday in the s, it was one of Dr. Just Out newspaper offices, Ninth. This building dates as far back as the s when it was the waiting room for the Linnton trolley line. According to Kerson, the bar had already an established gay reputation of considerable years when he purchased the place. According to legend he heard, the corner of Oak and Park was a dropoff site for buses carrying G. Because so many military servicemen were dumped on that corner, the bar became the first watering hole where men thirsty and horny would stop.

Thus, the location evolved its own cruisy history and, even years after the war had ended, gay men continued frequenting the location. Constitution provided that right. Years later Damis, who is still at this writing a practicing attorney, spearheaded an effort by his colleagues in the Multnomah County Bar Association to sign a letter condemning the Measure Nine Initiative of After Hoblitt took ownership of the bar, it certainly became one of the most popular gay hangouts in the city, although it later developed a deserved reputation for indiscriminate drug use.

The Hotel Oregon , S. Broadway and Stark. Her medical offices were located in the Lafayette Building, at the corner of Sixth and Washington. Many of her patients were indigent and from the immigrant classes, yet she charged them only what they were able to pay, which endeared her to many.

Marie Equi above and Harriet Speckhart lived as a couple in Portland during the Teens and Twenties of the last century, and adopted a child together. There is more information about Dr. Marie Equi here. This is one of the locations cited during the trial of Edward McAllister where he was reported to have cruised for male companionship-specifically the first floor lobby restrooms, which have probably been remodeled from the original state.

Several men known to have been or believed to have been involved in the Vice Clique Scandal worked here as elevator operators or bellhops. Image below courtesy of George Painter. Park, A popular bathhouse that opened in the mids, it featured erotic black-light drawings on the walls, an orgy room, jacuzzi, and a number of individual rooms for private assignations.

The rise of AIDS epidemic and the fear surrounding the disease helped to bring its closure due to lack of business. Smith got word of a police sweep for involved men and hurriedly fled his room, leaving behind a number of photos and letters that helped the police identify and arrest a number of other men in the city. The Medical Building , S. Alder, offices of Dr.

Marie Equi and Harry A. Start , later known as the Park Building. This building has a significant lavender history. Built in , it became an office building mostly for doctors, thus its original name.

When caught, she and the superintendent, George Prettyman, became involved in a knock-down, drag-out fight and police were called. Equi had Prettyman arrested, but the ensuing trial led to his acquittal. The limited newspaper coverage of the altercation made neither party look good. Prettyman had a violent temper and Equi was a known blackmailer.

The Multnomah County Medical Society held its twice-monthly meetings here as well. At one meeting in early , Equi made a presentation to assembled doctors about one of her male patients with gonorrhea in his throat.

LGBTQ groups in Portland

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Portland Oregon Gay Sex Clubs and Bathhouses Guide

This is a park that seems to get cruisy at night. There are bushes along the edges that provide cover. This end of the park has a small 10 car parking lot. There are a couple cruising spots near the parking lot. The first place is right behind the lot. There are a few trails that lead back to i Also known as Rock. One of the largest natural swimming areas near Portland. It's even more natural the farther east you go east of the main entrance gate. You'll find one of Oregon's two designated

Meet gays in Oregon

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To listen to the locals, you'd think Portland has a serious identity crisis - everyone feels the need to compare the smallish oceanside city to another notable like San Francisco or Denver or Providence. Lucky for the folks in Maine, Portland stands firmly on its own legs exuding a charm, friendliness and authenticity that simply isn't a trademark of many other U. No, you won't find any sex clubs or college nights - you'll be somewhat hard-pressed to find a critical mass of gay guys at local bars - and that's part of the draw. Portland, and Maine which recently became the fifth state to legalize gay marriage, subscribes to a live and let live philosophy.


Portland , Clackamas County , Oregon. Dallas , Polk County , Oregon. Portland, Multnomah County , Oregon.

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Portland Gay Cruising Areas

With one of the highest percentages of LGBT residents in the nation, the progressive city of Portland also has a quite strong reputation as a sex-positive metropolis. Scan the usual dating and hookup apps, and you'll find lots of guys who identify as queer and fairly political, a relatively high number of men in open or polyamorous relationships, quite a few trans persons, and in general a good variety of guys open to sex without many hangups about age, race, body perfection, and so on. It's a pretty great city for finding hot sexual encounters if you identify as a bear, too. Portland has a pair of venues geared to guys hooking up with guys. Just off of I, exit 1 or 2 depending on which direction you're coming from , the attractive Steam Portland N. Sandy Blvd. Steam boasts the Northwest's largest outdoor sun deck, and inside, features a large steam room with amphitheater-style seating, a rainfall shower, and a relaxing and sweat-inducing degree environment. Open round the clock, this private club caters to a mix of visitors and locals—it's on the East Side, near the Hollywood and Lloyd Center districts, and it's only a minute car or taxi ride from downtown.

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