Innovative Housing Presents the Legendary Erickson Saloon: A Sound Art Installation

On Thursday, September 15th, Innovative Housing, Inc. unveiled the first in a groundbreaking series of sound art installations designed to help bring the history of Old Town to life.  Guests gathered to celebrate Old Town’s newest attraction, created by historian Jacqueline Peterson-Loomis and sound recordist Larry Johnson, and produced in collaboration with Charles Morrow of Charles Morrow Sound, Inc.

The first soundscape evokes August Erickson’s Workingman’s Saloon between 1890 and 1916.  It is located on NW 2nd Avenue between Burnside and Couch, in front of the Erickson Fritz Apartments.  For the first 15 minutes of each hour, those who pass by on the sidewalk will find themselves enveloped in the sound bubble of another era.  Soon to come will be soundscapes that tell the story of the Greek community in Old Town circa 1925-1960, the Jewish immigrant experience from 1925-1960, and the Japanese American experience from 1915-1941.  Each soundscape will be installed on an historic building within a 3-block radius so that visitors can easily enjoy a self-guided tour through Old Town’s past.

The Old Town Soundscape Project is generously funded by the Portland Development Commission and the Oregon Cultural Trust.  To learn more about the project, read this Portland Tribune article.  You can also follow us on Facebook to receive updates on the other sound art installation openings.

Erickson Fritz Apartments
Unveiling: Sept. 15, 5-7 pm
Formerly: Erickson’s Workingman’s Saloon
Location: 9 N.W. Second Ave.
Time period: 1900-1930
Community: Finnish

“The Erickson Saloon, 1890-1920,” is the first in a ground breaking series of public sound art installations evoking the past lives of Portland’s Old Town, to be installed on the facades of buildings within the Skidmore/Old Town Historic District. The soundscapes are designed by historian Jacqueline Peterson-Loomis and sound recordist Larry Johnson, and produced in collaboration with Charles Morrow of Charles Morrow Sound, Inc. The installations are sound theatre, recreating and enveloping the visitor in the sounds and story fragments of daily life during different eras and among different ethnic communities.

Soon to come:

The Estate Building
Formerly: Maletis Market
Location: 225 N.W. Couch St.
Time period: 1925-1960
Community: Greek

Modern Rich Apartments
Formerly: Workingman’s Shoe Repairing
Location: 211 N.W. Couch St.
Time period: 1925-1960
Community: Jewish

Lyndon Musolf Manor
Formerly: Foster Hotel
Location: 216 N.W. Third Ave.
Time period: 1915-1941
Community: Japanese-American