Benson Hotel

Coordinates: 45°31′19″N 122°40′43″W / 45.521918°N 122.678561°W / 45.521918; -122.678561
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Benson Hotel
Portland Historic Landmark[2]
The Benson Hotel complex: the original building (center) was built in 1912. The additional annex building (to its left) was built in 1959
Benson Hotel is located in Portland, Oregon
Benson Hotel
Location within downtown Portland
Location309 SW Broadway
Portland, Oregon
Coordinates45°31′19″N 122°40′43″W / 45.521918°N 122.678561°W / 45.521918; -122.678561
ArchitectDoyle, Patterson & Beach
NRHP reference No.86003175[1]
Added to NRHPNovember 20, 1986

The Benson Portland, Curio Collection by Hilton[3][4] is a 287-room historic hotel building in downtown Portland, Oregon, United States.[5] It is owned and operated by Coast Hotels & Resorts. It was originally known as the New Oregon Hotel,[6] and is commonly known as "The Benson". It has a reputation as one of Portland's finest hotels. The hotel is named after notable businessman and philanthropist Simon Benson. The Benson is the seventh largest hotel in Portland based on the number of rooms.[7]

The lobby features a piano bar.


The Benson Hotel in the 1920s

Simon Benson had wished to build a world-class hotel in Portland. During the population boom which occurred between the 1905 Lewis and Clark Centennial Exposition and the Great Depression, Benson fulfilled his wish.

The firm of Doyle, Patterson & Beach designed the main hotel building in French Second Empire style; Chicago's Blackstone Hotel served as an inspiration of the building's design.[6] The hotel opened on March 5, 1913 as an annex to the adjacent Oregon Hotel, on the southern half of the block. It was known as the New Oregon Hotel for 16 months, then renamed The Benson Hotel after Benson took over management. Benson sold the hotel to William Boyd and Robert Keller in 1919. They, in turn, sold it to Seattle-based Western Hotels in 1944. In 1959, the old Oregon Hotel building next door was demolished by Western to make way for a 175-room annex to the 1912 building. Western International Hotels was renamed Westin Hotels in 1981, and the hotel became The Westin Benson. The Westin Benson was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1986.[1] Westin Hotels sold the hotel to WestCoast Hotels (now Coast Hotels & Resorts) in 1988 and it returned to its original name.

El Gaucho Restaurant[8] is on the ground floor of the building.

The Jimi Hendrix Experience drummer Mitch Mitchell died in his hotel room at the Benson Hotel on November 12, 2008.[9][10][11]

On October 6, 2021, the hotel was rebranded as part of Curio Collection by Hilton, a division of Hilton Hotels.[12]


  1. ^ a b "Oregon National Register List" (PDF). Oregon Parks and Recreation Department. June 6, 2011. p. 30. Archived from the original (PDF) on June 9, 2011. Retrieved December 25, 2011.
  2. ^ Portland Historic Landmarks Commission (July 2010), Historic Landmarks -- Portland, Oregon (XLS), retrieved October 30, 2013.
  3. ^ Benson Hotel (official website)
  4. ^ Hotel Oregon
  5. ^ "Portland — Benson Hotel". Archived from the original on 2011-07-15. Retrieved 2008-12-22.
  6. ^ a b "Benson Hotel". The Oregon Encyclopedia.
  7. ^ Stevens, Suzanne (February 24, 2012). "List: Top Portland hotels". Portland Business Journal. Retrieved February 24, 2012.
  8. ^ El Gaucho Portland Archived January 19, 2015, at the Wayback Machine
  9. ^ "Hendrix drummer Mitch Mitchell dies in Portland hotel room". 13 November 2008. Retrieved 2016-09-16.
  10. ^ Times, Los Angeles (13 November 2008). "Mitch Mitchell dies at 61; drummer for the Jimi Hendrix Experience". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2016-09-16.
  11. ^ NME.COM. "Jimi Hendrix's drummer Mitch Mitchell found dead | NME.COM". NME.COM. Retrieved 2016-09-16.
  12. ^ "The Benson Hotel in Portland Converts to the Benson, Curio Collection by Hilton".

Further reading[edit]

  • Benson, Alice Simon Benson, Northwest Lumber King (Portland, Ore.: Binford & Mort, 1976)
  • MacColl, E. Kimbark Money, Merchants, and Power: The Portland Establishment, 1843-1913 (Portland, Ore.: Georgian Press, 1988)

External links[edit]