The Odd Fellows Building was one of two female-owned properties provided free paint by Benjamin Moore & Co. through a program with the National Trust for Historic Preservation honoring the 100th anniversary of women’s suffrage.

This year marks the centennial of the 19th Amendment, which guaranteed women the right to vote. The paint company partnered with the trust on a multiyear campaign, “Where Women Made History,” bringing attention to the impact of women on U.S. history.



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The partners behind the restoration of the Odd Fellows Building in Astoria hired local contractor Simo Ranta to apply a new coat of paint.




The Odd Fellows Building on Commercial Street was chosen as an initial recipient of paint, along with the Women’s Building in San Francisco.

Jessamyn Grace West, Andrea Mazzarella and her mother, Nancy Mazzarella-Tisch, purchased the building after the property received interest from a Portland-area entrepreneur who tenants feared would drastically raise rents and force them out. The building’s upstairs hosts the Astoria Arts and Movement Center, a nonprofit dance studio West oversees. The downstairs storefronts house a black box theater, artist studios and a gift shop.

“We didn’t really have to do anything for this,” said West, who serves on the Astoria City Council. “They reached out to us. And so, it was essentially a dream come true.”

The restoration had been on the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s radar since it won $150,000 from the trust’s Partners in Preservation: Main Streets grant program through a national popular vote competition. The grant paid to replace the large Italianate windows around the second floor, weatherproof the stucco facade and paint the building.

“With the renovation that’s been happening, we’ve been, like so many renovation endeavors, pretty over budget, because we’re just choosing not to cut any corners,” West said. “And so being able to get the paint donated is literally what is going to help us cross the finish line for this phase of the historic restoration.”

The partners hired local contractor Simo Ranta to paint the building over the next month and finish in October before the rainy season. They are contemplating a shade of white for the body of the building, with dark trim.

Mazzarella said the partners have been working with Benjamin Moore to nail down a color scheme that shows off all the architectural features of the building without making it look like a birthday cake. In working on the building, she has been finding previous bright layers of paint from a periwinkle and lavender to frosty green and baby pink.

The next step of the restoration is replacing the building’s roof and refurbishing the basement for more studio space. The partnership hopes to have the building completely renovated by its centennial in 2023.

The building recently lost one of the main tenants, Downtown Coffee Shop. But Mazzarella is partnering with local chef Wade Padgett and Kendall Padgett-McEuen to open a to-go focused lunch, juice and coffee spot utilizing organic produce sourced from her parents’ and other local farms.

“We’re calling it The Green Door Cafe — eventually we’ll paint the door green, so it will make sense,” Mazzarella said. “When I was fixing up the space, I just kept picturing the inside of the cafe being bright and green and full of life and plants, and I just wanted it to feel really alive and warm in there.”