LGBTQ+ National Register of Historic Places listings

Information
Photo of current exterior of the building currently known as the Crystal Hotel.
Several Portland places have been nominated to the National Register of Historic Places for their associations with LGBTQ+ history, including McMenamins Crystal Hotel pictured above.

Several hundred buildings and other spaces across Portland hold special historical significance to LGBTQ+ history. However, the vast majority of these historic resources have never been considered for local landmark status or listing in the National Register of Historic Places for their associations with this history.

In recent years, cities across the country—including Portland—have advanced nominations of LGBTQ+ historic sites to the National Register to recognize the significance and diversity of these resources at the national level. Portland properties listed in the National Register receive demolition protection through adopted land use regulations and are eligible for financial incentives supporting their maintenance and rehabilitation.

Of the 700+ properties across the city already listed in the National Register, Darcelle XV Showplace is Portland’s only historic site designated for its association with LGBTQ+ history. This lack of inclusion and protection of resources associated with Portland’s vast lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, and queer+ histories prompted the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability’s Historic Resources Program to launch the LGBTQ+ Historic Sites Project. As part of the project, three Portland LGBTQ+ historic sites will be nominated to the National Register in 2024, with additional sites expected to be considered for listing in future years.

National Register nominations developed through the LGBTQ+ Historic Sites Project expand on existing research compiled by professional and community historians, including The Umbrella Project, Oregon Queer History Collective (formerly the Gay and Lesbian Archives of the Pacific Northwest), David Grant Kohl, Peter Boag, and many others. The properties nominated to the National Register through the LGBTQ+ Historic Sites Project are intended to reflect a range of experiences and typologies, providing nuance and deeper understandings of Portland’s historic LGBTQ+ built environment.

City-sponsored National Register listings (in progress)

The following LGBTQ+ historic resources are in the process of being nominated to the National Register of Historic Places as part of the LGBTQ+ Historic Sites Project.

Photo taken looking down the third base line of the ballfield toward home plate.

Erv Lind Field
NE 57th Ave and Hassalo St

Erv Lind Field, part of Normandale Park in the Rose City Park neighborhood, was constructed by the Portland Parks Department in 1948 for the National Amateur Softball Association Fastpitch Softball Championship. The field served as the home base for the women’s softball team, the Erv Lind Florists, from 1948 until their disbanding in 1964. Among the team’s many achievements are their 1944 and 1964 wins of the Amateur Softball Association national championship titles. Although neither the team nor the fan base were exclusively lesbian, Erv Lind Field fostered a safe space for LGBTQ+ women to connect over sports between the late 1940s and early 1960s when limited venues existed for LGBTQ+ women to gather. The Erv Lind Field National Register nomination makes the case that the property is historically significant in women’s and LGBTQ+ history.

The draft Erv Lind Field nomination is available through the State Advisory Committee on Historic Preservation.


Photo of the exterior of the building currently known as the Crystal Hotel.

Majestic Hotel and Club Baths (Crystal Hotel)
303 SW 12th Ave

The historic Hotel Alma at 303 SW 12th Ave was constructed in the early 1910s during an era of booming real estate development in downtown Portland. Starting in 1969, the mixed-use building hosted several gay businesses, including the bathhouse franchise The Majestic Hotel and Club Baths. Operating in the building from 1973 through the early 2000s, Club Baths served as the longest operating gay bathhouse on the west coast. From 1969 to 1985, the businesses housed in the former Hotel Alma established the trapezoidal building as arguably the most important anchor for the emerging LGBTQ+ district, commonly referred to as the “Burnside Triangle.” While already listed in the National Register of Historic Places for its significance in Commerce and Community Development, an amendment to the nomination intends to recognize the landmark’s LGBTQ+ significance.

The draft Majestic Hotel and Club Baths nomination is available through the State Advisory Committee on Historic Preservation.


Photo of the front of a historic residence, also known as the Juniper House.

Juniper House
2006 SE Ankeny St

Built in 1902 as a single-family residence, 2006 SE Ankeny Street converted into various health care facilities during the late 20th century, ranging from a birth house and psychiatric ward to a hospice facility and healing center. In the summer of 1987, Juniper House opened in the building as Oregon’s first residential care facility specifically for people with acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS), the most advanced stage of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). As the need for care grew, so too did Juniper House; it became Our House in the early 1990s and subsequently moved to a larger property. Juniper House’s emergence during the HIV/AIDS epidemic as a grassroots community care center set a model for later facilities across the state. Juniper House’s nomination to the National Register makes the case for the property’s exceptional significance in Portland during the late 1980s and early 1990s era of the HIV/AIDS epidemic.

A draft nomination for the Juniper House will be available for public review in spring 2024.


Community-sponsored National Register listings

The following LGBTQ+ historic resources have been nominated to — and are now listed in — the National Register of Historic Places.

Sidewalk view photo showing the exterior facade of Darcelle XV

Darcelle XV Showplace
208 NW 3rd Ave

Darcelle XV Showplace, formerly Demas Tavern, is an Old Town-based bar and drag venue owned and operated by Walter Cole Sr. / Darcelle from 1967 to 2023. Darcelle and company utilized humor and community building to advance the social acceptance of gay rights and drag performances. Don/Donnie Horn, Kristen Minor, and other supporters spearheaded the 2020 designation honoring Darcelle XV Showplace’s national significance as a longstanding drag performance venue and community hub. The property was the first in Oregon to be listed in the National Register for an association with LGBTQ+ history.

Access the Darcelle XV Showplace National Register listing.