The historic John D. Kennedy Elementary School, in North East Portland, Oregon was given to the Portland Public Schools in 1913, finished and opened in 1915 and functioned as an elementary school until 1975. For anyone residing in Portland, the name McMenamin is synonymous with appropriated derelict properties which are converted into theaters, restaurants, breweries, bars and hotels. The Kennedy Elementary School is one of the more unique and enjoyable of the many, and continually growing list of properties owned and operated by the McMenamins which started as two brothers, raised in North East Portland, who opened the Produce Row Cafe in 1974, but I digress. The Kennedy School (as it’s known to Portlanders) has a theater, multiple bars, a courtyard restaurant, soaking pool, gym and many guest and conference rooms, all residing within the original framework of this old school. The Kennedy School recently built a new wing of guest rooms and I was asked to shoot the new hotel room additions for the company that handled this and other McMenamins property redesigns, my friends at WCI. Here are a few shots from the Kennedy School’s new hotel rooms.
The dream of many hard working creative professionals is one born of independence, creative control, self direction, recognition and collaboration with artistic minds enabling a motivating force to push you forward in your craft. There is something to be said about being your own boss, setting your own hours and managing your own business, but this requires you to be a tireless jack of all trades. You must master the business side and all that goes along with it all while maintaining a creative drive, not to mention drumming up business. It is easy to burn out, or fall into a rut, ultimately sacrificing something along the way. What if you could gather great friends, all working in various creative fields with complimentary skill sets to collaborate on projects which benefit greatly from each individual part, making a much stronger whole? I would like to introduce you to the ELK Collective… C’mon in.