The Portland Hotel was a late-19th-century hotel in Portland, Oregon, United States that once occupied the city block on which Pioneer Courthouse Square now stands. It closed in 1951 after 61 years of operation.HistoryThe building was designed by William M. Whidden, later of the prominent Portland architectural firm Whidden & Lewis, and Charles Follen McKim of McKim, Mead, & White. The site was previously occupied by the Central School Building. To make way for the hotel, the school building was purchased by Philip A. Marquam, one of the hotel project's financial backers, who relocated it one block north (to where the Selling Building now stands).Railroad magnate Henry Villard financed the Portland Hotel and construction began in 1882, but his finances collapsed—in part because of the Panic of 1884—and the construction stopped for five years. With only the foundation completed, the site became known as "Villard's Ruins" and the bodies of two murder victims were found there before construction resumed. George B. Markle, Jr. began a campaign to raise local money to complete the hotel. He generated enough interest and subscribers to his plan, among them Henry W. Corbett, Henry Failing, Simeon Reed and William S. Ladd, to get construction started again. Later investors included labor leader Ed Boyce.
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