WOW Hall: a rich history
Claiming to have seen one of “the best concerts of his life” at the W.O.W. Hall, University senior Phil [email protected]@unable to find this name in directory@@ will tell you just how much he loves the venue: “When I was a freshman, I saw Bassnectar at the W.O.W and it was unreal. I have also seen EOTO at the W.O.W, and it was definitely one of my favorite shows hands down.”
The Woodman of the World Hall — also known as W.O.W. [email protected]@http://www.wowhall.org/@@ — has been a large part of the culture and community of Eugene for a long time. As the hall is currently used for various types of entertainment, including concerts and art showings in its gallery, its history is one of the richest in the state.
In 1906, the Woodmen of the World, a fraternal organization originally based in Omaha, Neb., bought the W.O.W. Hall building. The building, previously a small church, was built in 1833 and has been considered one of Eugene’s finest structures. This small church on 8th Avenue and Lincoln Street was also open to all community groups and denominations for use.
In 1975, the Woodmen of the World Hall was to be sold and possibly demolished. A group of concerned users, performers, neighbors and historical preservation enthusiasts organized the Community Center for the Performing Arts, a nonprofit (501c3) corporation. The CCPA provided a medium through which money could be raised to buy the hall. A $10,000 down payment was needed in a 13-day time period, and CCPA and other supporters organized a “WoWathon,” which included five days and nights of entertainment.
According to Bob [email protected]@http://www.wowhall.org/@@, publicist for the W.O.W. Hall, “the WoWathon managed to make enough money for the CCPA to make a down payment. And in 1983, the WOW Hall mortgage was paid off, making the facility ‘community-owned and democratically operated.”’
In 1996, W.O.W. Hall was officially designated a historic landmark by the National Register of Historic [email protected]@http://www.nationalregisterofhistoricplaces.com/or/Lane/state3.html@@. “No building has stronger connections to Eugene’s yeasty culture,” noted The Register-Guard in an [email protected]@what article did this come from?@@.
Today, W.O.W. Hall is a place for all kinds of entertainment, and it prides itself on diversity. It is a community meeting place where people can appreciate the arts. The hall is also used for classes, workshops, lectures, meetings, rehearsals and recording sessions.
The event line-up for the next year looks to be extremely good. It is one of the most diverse lineups yet. University senior Will [email protected]@http://directory.uoregon.edu/telecom/directory.jsp?p=findpeople%2Ffind_results&m=student&d=person&b=name&s=Will+Sheehan@@ is especially excited for Mac Miller on Oct. 27.
“I bought tickets so long ago, and it’s a good thing I did because it’s sold out!” Sheehan said. “I’m really excited for the show.”
University senior Riley [email protected]@http://directory.uoregon.edu/telecom/directory.jsp?p=findpeople%2Ffind_results&m=student&d=person&b=name&s=Riley+Egan@@ said, “Every concert I’ve been to at the W.O.W. Hall has been great. The hall has great acoustics, and it’s a perfect setting for a concert with friends.”
The W.O.W.Hall is a great place to gather for almost any event. The people of Eugene hold a special place in their hearts for the hall, and will continue to use it for various events in the future. Check out the W.O.W. hall for yourselves. You won’t regret it.
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