The Benson Hotel (formerly New Hotel Oregon)
The Benson Hotel, built in Portland by lumberman Simon Benson in 1913, who capitalized on the California population and building boom by supplying timber to the state. The hotel was constructed as an annex to the adjacent Oregon Hotel (since demolished) to the south and originally called the New Oregon Hotel. Conceived as a high-end hotel in downtown Portland with an opulent interior, The $1 million, 200-room hotel boasted the latest in modern conveniences, including private baths, automatic door switches, electric lights, and telephones in each room. Over the years, the hotel has been home to celebrities, business leaders, politicians, and many U.S. presidents.
Backstory and Context
As much as it is a part of history, it also symbolizes the move by Americans to California and the entire West Coast. To do so, Americans had to reallocate natural resources, such as water and timber, to a place enjoying temperate weather, but lacking those basic societal necessities, which allowed Benson to make his fortune..
"Use the Forests: President Says They Must Not Be Destroyed." Morning Oregonian(Portland), January 06, 1905. University of Oregon Libraries; Eugene, OR, http://oregonnews.uoregon.edu/lccn/sn83025138/1905-01-06/ed-1/seq-4/
Willingham, William F. The Benson Hotel. The Oregon Encyclopedia. Accessed April 18, 2017. https://oregonencyclopedia.org/articles/benson_hotel/#.WPZPCvQrJD8.