But it is getting a new home — in Wine Country.
“I was young. I could live rogue,” explained Kim Hamblin.
The former Portlander has a one-of-a-kind connection to the Quonset Hut on the patio of the Rogue Eastside Pub & Pilot Brewery: She lived in it.
Kim, an artist, passed the Quonset hut outside a warehouse daily on her drive to work in the late 1990s. After persistently tracked down the property owner, she convinced him to let her rent the outbuilding for $350 a month.
Kim and her dog lived in the corrugated metal structure, a style usually associated with WWII army surplus, for three years from around 1997 to 2000. Before that, no one’s really sure where the hut came from, or what it was used for.
She used the glass-fronted space looking out on Belmont as an apartment and art studio. After hosting a successful Roe v. Wade anniversary art show inside her hut, she continued using it as a gallery with exhibitions rotating every two weeks.
The inside was far from glamorous. Kim’s bed — in a back room separate from the gallery — was next to a bathtub she had plumbed in herself. But it was in keeping with the neighborhood at the time, which she remembered still had a serious “underbelly” vibe.
Despite her technically illegal living situation, she made friends with the neighborhood bike cops, who stopped by frequently to make sure she was OK.
Eventually, the warehouse sold and Kim was kicked out of the hut. When the building was turned into the Green Dragon, which Rogue took ownership of in 2008, the Quonset hut remained unfit for occupancy.
Last year, the Dragon was converted into the Rogue Eastside Pub and improvements have been underway. Since city code prevents Rogue from allowing patrons inside the dragon-muraled “Q Hut,” as it’s affectionately called by Rogues, it was decided that it would be replaced with an expanded patio space.
Luckily, Kim got word of the transition from a friend who remembered her time in the hut.
“I immediately wondered, ‘What are they going to do with the building?’” She said. “I need that building!”
Kim and her husband, Dan Rinke, drove out from Yamhill County last week to dismantle the Quonset hut and transport all the pieces to their 52-acre Roshambo ArtFarm in Willamina.
They envision splitting the large building into two separate artists’ residences on an upper pasture of their farm to provide space for visiting artists to stay and create.
Roshambo ArtFarm is the home of Art+Science cidery and winery, rescue animals like alpacas, a rock-quarry-turned-garden, and the Wildwood Music Festival, an outdoor Americana festival that draws around 1,200 people to Oregon Wine Country every summer.
Kim still produces art, working in unique “cut paper assemblage,” and plans are in the works to display some of her pieces on the Rogue Eastside patio near where the Quonset hut stood.
For anyone wanting to visit the beloved Q Hut in person, Kim and Dan hope to have it fully reconstructed on the farm sometime this summer.
“It’s going to a good home,” she said. “Back to its mama.”