Those Elks…

The photo shows part of the ceiling decoration in the Sentinel Hotel in Portland, OR, which was built in 1923 as an Elks’ Club. I have some questions about those Elks…..

This week I was in Portland, Oregon for a Primary Care Review put on by Oregon Health Sciences University. The conference was held in the Sentinel Hotel. It has high beautiful decorated ceilings and walls. In the afternoon there are break out sessions, which are held in the Library or the Billiard Room. We need a candlestick, a wrench and Colonel Mustard. It is a little bit surreal to be in this gorgeous setting and then hear lectures about complications of diabetes and the United States obeisity epidemic.

Our last breakout a few days ago was two hours about addiction medicine, held in the Library. The photo is of the frieze just below the ceiling. There are cupid satyrs with weapons and horses. Some are nude and they are definitely male. They are not engaging in activities like the brothel wall paintings in Pompeii, but it does make me wonder about those Elk members in 1923.

I asked a person at the front desk about the building and she said that it was only an Elk’s club for a few years, because of the depression. I asked what else it had been used for and she looked rather severe and said, “other things”. There are naked women and cupids around the frieze in the lobby: I will try to get a decent picture of them, too.

4 thoughts on “Those Elks…

  1. scamp says:

    Would love to hear if you ever find out what “other things” the building might have been used for!

    • drkottaway says:

      I haven’t yet. The link to the history of the hotel is rather a teaser. I will see if I can dig up much on the Portland Elk’s Club today….

  2. amcmulin914 says:

    Fascinating post. I love checking out old buildings like this and imaging all the weirdness that’s taken place there. And yes the Dionysian motifs are little suggestive..ahem.

    Hey also this is sort of random, not random, but on the subject of nutrition/diabetes/heat disease, what do you think would be the best book on like an advisory level? The reason I ask is my wife is actually beginning and education position in a clinic and we are on the hunt for good materials on the subject.

    • drkottaway says:

      There is a wonderful book about diabetes, and I can’t remember the title. I will dig it out of clinic and let you know…. For diet, I recommend the DASH diet, which you can find on the National Institutes of Health Website. Stands for “Dietary Approaches to Stopping Hypertension”. It recommends no more than 1 tablespoon of any sweetener 5 days a week: that would be one 12 oz coke for the entire week. So that puts things in perspective….

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