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About Portland observer. (Portland, Or.) 1970-current | View Entire Issue (May 17, 2017)
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Wednesday • May 17, 2017
Volume XLVI • Number 20
Established in 1970
Committed to Cultural Diversity
photo by C hrista M C i ntyre /t he p ortland o bserver
Randall Stuart welcomes the public to his non-profit ‘Cerimon House,’ a new community space that was created from remodeling a 93-year-old former Masonic lodge at
5131 N.E. 23rd and turning it into a multicultural event center for performances, art and education.
Alberta lodge renovated as cultural sanctuary
C hrista M C i ntyre
t he p ortland o bserver
The big bulky building at 5131 N.E. 23rd Ave. just
north of Alberta Street is a site familiar to many long
time Portlanders. But for too long the structure had been
left empty and a cold, dusty exterior gave off the feel of
a ghost living on the block.
Today, architects, plumbers and electricians are among
the scores of workers who have taken a hand to restore
the 93 year old space into a community resource, a mul-
ticultural sanctuary for the neighborhood and beyond.
Named the Cerimon House, it is the new public event
space for a homegrown humanities and culture non-profit
Founder Randall Stuart said he saw the good bones of
the building and the potential for a community center to
foster conversations through performance, art and edu-
Built in 1924 as the Masonic Fellowship Hall, the
building served as the Alberta Lodge until the mid 1980’s
when it was sold to the International Fellowship Family.
For a few years it served as a church and then the hall lay
bare for 5 years.
“It needed a 100 percent renovation, 100 percent new
electrical, 100 percent new plumbing, an entire new roof,
entirely new HVAC heating and cooling ADA compliant
bathrooms, this was the full meal deal,” Stuart told the
C ontinued on p age 2