The historic Kridel Grand Ballroom reopened this month. The ballroom, located on the third floor of the Museum’s Mark Building, had been closed for repairs following damage to its decorative ceiling last fall. On September 3, 2019, a portion of the decorative ceiling fell inside the ballroom. No one was inside or injured, and no artworks were damaged. Engineers from KPPF and M.A. Mortensen, the Museum’s building contractor, examined the room and found no structural safety issues in the ballroom or the rest of the building. It was later determined that a portion of the ceiling fell because of the failure of 92-year-old screws attaching the wooden main beams to the metal straps in the ceiling; the screws have been replaced with sturdy bolts throughout the ceiling.
Portland architectural firm Hennebery Eddy consulted on repairing the damaged portions of the ceiling, reusing as much of the original wood as possible. Constructed in 1927 in a coffered pattern, the decorative ceiling was made from 12-foot lengths of vertical grain fir of a quality and beauty that is difficult to obtain now.
“I am delighted to welcome the community again to our beautiful Grand Ballroom,” said Mohammed Ali, Director of Operations, who oversees Artful Venues rentals. “We are so grateful to our many longtime rental clients for their understanding in rescheduling and relocating events, and to our local partners for finding places for fundraisers and other celebrations during the busiest season. We look forward to hosting wonderful community events again this spring.”
The 9,000-square-foot, 1,000-capacity Grand Ballroom occupies a unique place in our community. Located at the center of the city’s cultural district, the space has hosted many of Portland’s great events, from weddings to celebrations of life, graduations, proms, and nonprofit fundraising events. It is home to the annual HeART of Portland event showcasing performances by Portland Public Schools students. The ballroom of the former Masonic Temple hosted a wide range of cultural events prior to its 2005 renovation, including a memorable Grateful Dead concert in 1967.
“So many of us share fond memories of attending events with our friends and families in the Grand Ballroom,” said Brian Ferriso, Director and Chief Curator. “We are so pleased to return this treasured space to the community.”