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BDS Intern Students at the Armory in the Pearl District


This year’s BDS Summer Interns had the opportunity to star on stage at the Gerding Theater at the Armory in the Pearl District. The Education Director, Kelsey Tyler enlightened the students on the history of the original purpose of the Armory Theater followed up with a very exciting and informative tour of the theater.

BDS Intern Students at the Gerding TheaterThe Armory Theater was originally built in 1891 and was used as storage for weapons and later used for boxing, wrestling and other events. In 2002, Mayor Vera Katz partnered with the Artistic Director of Portland Center Stage and Bob Gerding to start the efforts to make the Armory the home for Portland’s Center Stage.

BDS student interns were filled with many facts about the past history of the building and the transformation into the new building. It was the first time the students had ever heard of Green Building and it’s relevance to the Armory. The Armory was certified by Green Building Council as exceeding the requirements of LEED Platinum.  

BDS Intern Students at the Gerding TheaterWith all of the rich history and beautiful theaters, the students couldn’t help to be infatuated with the original key hole windows used in the past as a sniper look out, the costume room and the actual making of the hand sewn wigs.

After the tour we experienced another great delight in the Pearl, Gelato and Mio Gelato. This was a first time experience for the students as well. I was asked the question “what makes this different from regular ice cream?” I explained to them that it originates from Italy and is considered an high end ice cream because it contains less air due to the special churning process and has less calories.


BDS Intern Students at the Gerding TheaterThe tour of the Armory and the Gelato experience was well received by the students and raised an interest in attending a play in the future and the Gelato is now an instant lure to the Pearl District.


On behalf of the students and myself I would like to extend a warm thank you to the Armory’s,  Kelsey Tyler for giving the students the opportunity to take a rich bite out of the many splendors Portland has to offer.


For more information contact Outreach Program Coordinator, Tiffani Penson at (503) 823-1109 or 




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