PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — As city officials begin to weigh whether to replace or renovate Portland’s Keller Auditorium, the group behind renovating the landmark has shared new renderings for their vision.

After eight months of work, Halprin Landscape Conservancy gave KOIN 6 News an exclusive look at their newly finished report and renovation concept for Keller, which found it feasible to upgrade the auditorium and resolve all of the facility’s current physical and operational challenges.

Principal architect Andrew Smith says some of the solutions devised by Hennebery Eddy Architects include expanding the building to the west and east – to create more space for loading docs, concessions, equitable seating, and restrooms – as well as improving sitelines, acoustics and more.

“To transform it from being the Keller Auditorium, being a place where people come certain nights of the year and then go away and it’s essentially dark the rest of the time, into a space that’s more of a week-long, year-round destination,” Smith said.

  • A rendering of the Keller Auditorium's proposed renovations from the Northwest facade and proposed Third Avenue plaza (Credit: Halprin Landscape Conservancy)
  • An exhibit photo of plans to expand and improve the footprint of the Keller Auditorium for the renovation pitch
  • A rendering of the proposed Keller Auditorium renovation from the building's Southwest facade (Credit: Halprin Landscape Conservancy)
  • A rendering of the Keller Fountain being used for visual arts outside of the Keller Auditorium.
  • A rendering of the second balcony of the reimagined Keller Auditorium for the renovation plan
  • A rendering of the reimagined first balcony for the Keller Auditorium renovation plan
  • A rendering of the featured stairs in the Keller Auditorium renovation plan
  • A rendering of the ground foyer bar of the proposed Keller Auditorium renovation

Halprin Landscape Conservancy Executive Director Karen Whitman told KOIN 6 News that reinvesting in the historic site would also be a reinvestment in downtown Portland.

“It’s become so valuable, such a part of Portland and Portland’s history, and I think it’s very much tied to Portland’s future if we think about the next chapter for Portland,” Whitman said. “We think it would be wonderful to have the leaders of Portland aspire to another performing arts center, but not one to replace the Keller.”

Story continues below document

Officials say that the City of Portland, Prosper Portland and Portland’5 Centers for the Performing Arts will narrow down proposed locations in September before further evaluations are conducted.

Some of the other sites that have been proposed include ones at Portland State University, a site at Oregon Museum of Science and Industry, Zidell Yards in South Portland and the Lloyd Center Mall.