the Shangri-La Motel.

For the Time-Based Art Festival in 2006 (put together by the Portland Institute for Contemporary Art), multimedia artist Mack MacFarland assembled video shorts of found film footage that relates to specific sites in Portland.  One of these is a film of the rebuilding of the Shangri-La Motel, which was at 6828 NE Union Avenue (now MLK Boulevard):

In the video’s description, Highway 99E is Union Avenue/MLK Boulevard; the mention of DeKalb is an error, since DeKalb is in Southwest Portland.

Another view of the Shangri-La can be found here on

In the 1930’s, 6828 NE Union was the residence of a gentleman named Harry Circle; sometime after (not long after, I’m guessing), the Shangri-La was built.  Next door was the Shangri-La Café.  The Motel lasted into the 70’s, when it became Knight’s Inn.  After that, it was turned into Woodlawn Terrace, a stretch of condos accessible on Grand Avenue. The entryway into the motel along MLK was covered over, as seen in this photo:


2 thoughts on “the Shangri-La Motel.”

  1. Great video! I now work for the owner of this complex, and it is still known as Woodlawn Terrace. As a note on your comments, the Shangri-La was built in 1951. The title of the video is a bit misleading, as this wasn’t really a “re-build”, so much as the addition of a giant cross-beam (seen early in the video) and the sign that reads “Relax in Luxury”. It’s so crazy to see what those places looked like 60 years ago!

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