Governor Hotel Celebrates Centennial

Guests can enjoy a special anniversary-themed accommodation package

The Governor Hotel celebrates its centennial in 2009 // (c) 2009

The 100-room Governor Hotel, one of the longest-standing first-class hotels in Portland, Oregon, is celebrating its 2009 centennial. Listed in the National Register of Historic Places and a member of Historic Hotels of America, the newly renovated Governor was originally opened as the Seward Hotel on March 9, 1909.

“We are proud to celebrate 100 years of timeless memories with our guests and friends, especially as 2009 is also the 150th birthday of the state of Oregon,” said John Cullen, chief executive officer of Grand Heritage Group which manages the hotel. “The Governor is one of several cherished historic properties in our family of hotels, and we look forward to enjoying many more successes in years to come.”

Throughout 2009, guests and the public are invited to enjoy free historical hotel tours, a centennial hotel Open House complete with period-dressed guides, special anniversary-themed accommodation package, and more.

“An architectural treasure and a true Pacific Northwest Landmark, the Governor is a symbol of a very important time in American history,”
said Historic Hotels of America executive director Thierry Roch.
“Preserving the elegance of the early 20th century even through various updates and a major multimillion-dollar renovation, the hotel still remains true to the classic style that defined the period in which it and the city of Portland was born.”

The Governor was built in the boom years immediately following Portland’s 1905 Lewis and Clark Centennial Exposition. When the hotel first opened, reservations ran from $1.50 per night for a sleeping room to $2 per night for a private bath and breakfast.

Pioneering the use of early Viennese-influenced arts and crafts style design, the hotel’s architect William Christmas Knighton is the first known Oregonian to use fully-glazed terra cotta on the exterior of a building. Full of turn-of-the-century charm, Knighton’s guilded archways, ornate sconces and rustic chandeliers attest to the glamour of the early 1900s, while Lewis and Clark expedition murals, native American-inspired themes and the hotel’s early years as an official Fraternal Order of the Elks temple capture the romance of Oregon’s past.