A Former Church Has Been Remodeled Into Mildred Hall, a Bright, Beautifully Finished Event Space

The owners’ renovations even won them a DeMuro Award in 2022, which recognizes efforts to promote historic preservation.

Mildred Hall (Courtesy Mildred Hall)

For more than 100 years, a quaint building at the intersection of Northeast Sumner Street and 23rd Avenue served as a church. First, it housed the Norwegian Danish Congregational Church. Then came the Mennonite Church. That was followed by the Portland Korean Church. Then came the Fellowship Church of God.

And then, in 2004, no more churches came. For over 15 years, a local couple operated it as a one-floor sleepy event space with a cottage rental out back and a bedroom in the basement. But it begged for a higher purpose.

That’s when Matt and Yuka Hollingsworth, a former Nike executive and a fashion industry illustrator, respectively, came along. In 2021, the couple purchased the property and spent two years patching it up. The result: Mildred Hall, a bright, beautifully finished event space that has studios available for art workshops, a larger room with handsome exposed ceiling beams to accommodate gatherings like a wedding ceremony, and a beautiful outdoor garden that can seat 80.

Mildred Hall Photo courtesy of Matthew Hollingsworth.

Matt Hollingsworth says they’ve hosted 20 weddings since April 2022. The couple was only seeking a creative studio, but when they found the building, Matt says he “instantly saw all the opportunities.”

All of the Hollingsworths’ renovations even won them a DeMuro Award in 2022, which recognizes efforts to promote historic preservation.

Now the former church hosts creative workshops ranging from cooking to felting to ceramic firing. Local chefs cook for dozens seated in the garden, and the Hollingsworths occasionally screen movies outdoors too—they recently showed The Goonies.

Activities currently on the schedule include a two-day punch needle craft seminar for kids ($120), paper collage classes with your choice of animals or still life as the subject ($160), and a dumpling and cold sesame noodle workshop with local chef Holly Ong ($75, but the next one in August is sold out).

Mildred Hall Photo courtesy of Matthew Hollingsworth.

“It’s going to be the year of learning,” Matt Hollingsworth says of the wedding season. “This is our first time running our own business. We want to make it rad for our clients.”

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