PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Portland’s oldest drag club — Darcelle XV — is now on the National Register of Historic Places.
Representative Earl Blumenauer wrote a letter in June urging the United States Interior secretary to support the club’s nomination for its historic role in using entertainment to impact a cultural shift in the acceptance of LGBTQ rights. According to the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department, this listing aligns with Oregon’s Statewide Preservation plan, which aims “to diversify the resources listed in the National Register and continue to tell the stories and uplift the voices of those previously marginalized.”
Darcell XV is one of four Portland properties now listed to the register — others include the German Baptist Old People’s Home, New Fliedner Building and the Postal Employee Credit Union. Each nomination was recommended by Oregon’s State Advisory Committee on Historic Preservation at their June 2020 meeting. The nominations were then accepted by the National Park Service in October and November
Darcelle XV is a nightclub and drag venue that has been owned and operated by Walter Cole since 1967. For decades, Darcelle XV has been known as a powerhouse for drag support and the overall LGBTQ community.