The History of Union/Pine
The 10,000 square foot warehouse we now call Union/Pine was built in 1960, designed by the remarkable Margaret Fritsch, who was the first female architect in the State of Oregon. The building served as a storage facility for the Volunteers of America for its first 30 years, and shifted between a few other businesses throughout the 90's before the main floor became a sign shop. The 2nd floor on the other hand came into the loving hands of Todd Fadel, who converted it into the legendary all-ages venue, Meow Meow. Hosting a slew of local and traveling talent from Death Cab and Modest Mouse to Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Meow Meow was the go-to spot for countless teens and twenty-somethings for a handful of super fun years until they were forced to move locations and eventually close their doors.
After another few years getting tossed around, 525 SE Pine was worse for the wear. A terribly leaky roof created massive puddles upstairs, rendering it completely uninhabitable. The sign shop crew had built rooms and cubicles throughout the main floor and covered them in sawdust and stuff for 20 years, and along the way, reinforced the rickety plexiglass windows with big wood doors, blocking out nearly all natural light. The exterior was a dingy white with rotting wood framing and stucco badly in need of repair when the building went up for sale in 2011. One Spring afternoon, Patrick Triato, a fresh transplant from Ohio, rode by on his way to work at his product design firm, and he fell in love.
Patrick inked a deal days later that countless architects and developers had passed on because it was "too much work", and the building was officially his. Now all he had to do was to power through the remodel, and find a roommate to help pay the rent.
Meanwhile, Summer Killingsworth was hunting for a live/work loft, and answered a vague Craigslist ad for a place in Central SE. When she set eyes on it the next day, something bigger than a cool home started brewing as they began scheming an idea for an art gallery and event space that they hoped would serve as a hub for the Portland creative community. The list to get the place in shape was miles long, so Summer and Patrick got straight to work.
After demolishing all the walls and taking down all the fluorescent lights, they tackled the bar, using pallets they foraged from the neighborhood. The list continued to grow as evenings and weekends were spent lowering the 'sunken' living room floor, building the stage, replacing the windows, fixing up the bathrooms, building the rolling doors, and painting every square inch while they fine-tuned their business plan. Work parties turned into rooftop parties, as their amazing friends rallied to support their crazy project.
Brainstorming names for their venture on a rare weekend outside, they came up with "Union" as a word that symbolized joining people together, which was at the heart of the business. Looking for a word to compliment, "Pine" popped out, and it clicked. It wasn't until months later that they discovered that the cross street (Grand/MLK) was once Union Street - adding a very cool element of destiny to the tale.
Once they had a name, the rest fell into line. The calendar was booking up, the parties were a blast, and the roommates were tired and happy.
Many lists, and 4 years later, Summer and Patrick were married.
This year they launched their newest venture, opened The Loft, the upstairs space that doubles as their residence. For now, their vision is complete, and hopefully it would make Margaret proud.
Though the expanse of UNION/PINE totals 5,000 square feet, the space has been broken into 3 areas to create ideal event flow and give Clients several layout alternatives.
Originally a storage facility for Volunteers of America in the 1960's, the loading dock has been built up with wood floors to create what we have dubbed 'the sunken living room'. With a cozy vibe and incredible natural light from the South-facing windows, the room is ideal for meetings, ceremonies, and lounge areas.
Reclaimed wood bar
The area a few steps up from the living room is where our hand-crafted wood bar lives and where guests tend to station the cocktail area.
Patrick and Summer's first construction project, they drug the pallets from discard piles in the neighborhood to UNION/PINE, where they deconstructed and repurposed them to build the bar.
EXPANSIVE BACKROOM AREA
Primed for seated dinners and dance floors, as well as larger meetings and ceremonies, the back half of the building has been left mostly open to highlight the polished concrete floors, stoic black beams, and the poplar wood wall.
Large cedar doors can be rolled out to section off the back as needed. The feature creates two distinct sections and allows smaller gatherings to use only the front of the venue.
A private getaway for a multitude of uses, the Green Room is a comfortable respite that comes equipped with the sofa set pictured as well as some decorative additions and a full-length mirror.
A recommended addition for wedding prep, it is also a perfect coat check or VIP room, and it's a great getaway for admins during a sales meeting or executives needing a confidential break out.
The kitchen provides a simple set up for meetings and shoots to service snacks and meals, and ample room for caterers to spread out and gear up for Day Of prep.
A sink, refrigerator, and counter space is furnished, along with a warming unit and burners for heating purposes, as cooking is not allowed.
Additional Key Features
- Open catering policy
- Sonos surround-sound system
- 10-ton central A/C and heat
- Ample pre-strung cafe bulbs
- Wheelchair accessible entrance
- High-speed wireless Internet
- Multi-stall men's & women's restrooms
- Exterior deck and bench
- Complimentary furnishings