*Shooting the Kennedy School

the kennedy school

The historic John D. Kennedy Elementary School, in North East Portland, Oregon was given to the Portland Public Schools in 1913, finished and opened in 1915 and functioned as an elementary school until 1975.  For anyone residing in Portland, the name McMenamin is synonymous with appropriated derelict properties which are converted into theaters, restaurants, breweries, bars and hotels.  The Kennedy Elementary School is one of the more unique and enjoyable of the many, and continually growing list of properties owned and operated by the McMenamins which started as two brothers, raised in North East Portland, who opened the Produce Row Cafe in 1974, but I digress.  The Kennedy School (as it’s known to Portlanders) has a theater, multiple bars, a courtyard restaurant, soaking pool, gym and many guest and conference rooms, all residing within the original framework of this old school.   The Kennedy School recently built a new wing of guest rooms and I was asked to shoot the new hotel room additions for the company that handled this and other McMenamins property redesigns, my friends at WCI. Here are a few shots from the Kennedy School’s new hotel rooms.

guest room mcmenamins kennedy school

Each guest room is unique in both layout and design boasting hand painted furniture and original art.

guest room mcmenamins kennedy school

guest room mcmenamins kennedy school

guest room mcmenamins kennedy school

The Kennedy School can be found HERE, (no, I did not shoot the room shots on the site… 🙂 )  If you’re ever in North East Portland, it’s a fun stop and certainly worth a visit to the Detention Bar for a whisky, or Honors Bar for, well, I don’t know what they serve there as I’ve never been to that one… Certainly a unique venue for a drink or a meal, and if you find yourself having enjoyed a bit too much, they now have many more rooms to accommodate you in the event you’d like to stay and take advantage of the warm soaking pool, movie theater or whatever may tickle your fancy.

Happy shooting,



5 thoughts on “*Shooting the Kennedy School

  1. Nice! Any thoughts on shooting indoors, esp. commercially. Turn the lights on and open the window coverings – can see that. Wide angle, I suppose but don’t want too obvious a distortion. White balance pretty warm, daylight maybe?

    These for use on the web, I would imagine. Nice shooting, T.


    • Hi Terry,

      I used to do elaborate lighting setups which required more setup time and a bunch more gear. For many of my interior projects now, I bracket exposures and process in Photomatix. As far as light goes, I normally do two series, one without any lights on and one with them on color balanced entirely differently. Aside from galleries, I don’t think I’ve ever been in a space that was conscious of light temp where most hotels, bars, restaurants, homes etc, use many different types of light sources which play havoc. Certainly, a key is to either eliminate light or add your own. These were all shot with the 5D2 and either a 14mm f/2.8 or the 17-40 f/4 at the wider end. These rooms were TINY!


  2. Pingback: If My Elementary School Had Been Like This, My Transcripts Would've Looked A Whole Lot Different. | Domestiphobia

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