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Salvage Stories: The Historic Lloyd Golf Course Clubhouse

We were able to snatch up yet another bittersweet opportunity to salvage a community staple in Portland’s Historic Sullivan’s Gulch Neighborhood, the former Lloyd Golf Club.

Aerial view of the golf course during its operational era, circa 1950.

Contemporary, pre-demolition, aerial view of the clubhouse with the lot that was once the course behind.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Sullivan’s Gulch neighborhood was first settled by Timothy Sullivan, thanks to the Donation Land Claim act of 1850. Sullivan was issued 320 acres of land just east of the Willamette River in 1855. The land then was then a home to PNW wildlife with streams and waterfalls amounts the forest. After the Sullivan family passed away and passed down the land, the gulch was filled because of frequent flooding and was used for a railroad passage in 1881.

The land also became available for manufacturing and other industrial businesses around the same time. This pathway is now the beginning of I-84.

View from the west bank of the Willamette showing the flooding in Sullivan’s Gulch circa 1884.

The view east during the construction of a green around 1932.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As the community’s industry grew, another business that settled into the gulch was Lloyd Golf Club & Restaurant in 1930. The lot where the clubhouse resided was on the corner of what is now NE Irving & 12th street. The course was 9 holes and the clubhouse included luxury locker rooms and multiple dining rooms catered by a high-end restaurant.

This image from 1957 shows construction vehicles repairing landslide damage above the train tracks, with the Banfield Expressway and golf course in the background.

The clubhouse was designed by an architect name Charles Walter Ertz. He did a handful of Portland buildings during the rise of the city’s industries including McMinnville High School and the notorious Jantzen house on Jantzen Island in Lake Oswego just south of Portland.

The golf club closed and the clubhouse became a new restaurant called “Sweet Tibbie Dunbar’s” in 1974. This restaurant was a local institution, known as a great place for birthdays or other celebrations due to the service, lively ambience and multiple dining rooms. The clubhouse was later converted into a second restaurant called the Polo Club before becoming its final institution as a bank under Point West Credit Union. This bank was active until 2016 when the lot was sold.

A contemporary, pre-demolition, image of the clubhouse during it’s time as a credit union.

This is when we come in: late September 2017. The building was under historic preservation protective laws but was removed from the the list, and torn down for a new business. We were able to salvage many architectural elements and fixtures that were left behind from the myriad of previous ownerships.