The Architectural Heritage Center is proud to present its third annual Heritage Home Tour, Then and Now. This is your chance to tour five of Portland’s most exquisite homes that represent the work of architects and builders from 1892 to 1962 and learn about their history, architecture and craftsmanship. This event benefits the AHC's historic preservation education programs, heritage conservation advocacy efforts and museum exhibits. Don’t miss this opportunity to leisurely enjoy these architecturally significant homes that are not otherwise open to the public!
Join us for the tour and discover some of Portland’s greatest architectural gems!
Located in Eastmoreland, the house was designed for physician Dr. H.W. Howard by architect Bruce McKay and constructed in 1927 for $25,000. McKay was actively building fine homes in the Eastmoreland area during the 1920s and early 1930s.
Leony Howard, who hailed from Holland, requested that Dutch design elements be incorporated into the Mediterranean Revival architecture. The entry door has a carved wood panel with a decidedly Dutch theme. The door carving at the front is a characteristic feature seen in at least one other of McKay’s Eastmoreland houses. Other European touches include the massive brick chimney with multiple stacks, stepped gables, and a red tile roof.
Not long after the Howards built the house, “urgent business” in Europe called them away and the house was advertised for sale in November 1927, though they apparently returned to the house and lived in the house for at least a while longer.
Dr. Howard was an urologist noted for his work in kidney pathology. He gave lectures and was active in medical organizations. By 1930, the Howards had moved from this house to Portland’s west side. Leony became embroiled in a dramatic murder case as a key State Witness as she knew the victim.
The Johan Poulsen House has stood as a landmark overlooking the Willamette River since the early 1890s. Prior to 1954, its twin, built by Poulsen’s business partner Robert D. Inman, sat nearby across Powell. Sadly, the twin house was destroyed in 1954 to make way for an approach ramp for the Ross Island Bridge.
This majestic Queen Anne-style house in the Brooklyn neighborhood is a familiar sight to commuters on the Ross Island Bridge. Although the architect is unknown, the 1892 home features a 50-foot turret with curved glass, two leaded glass oriel windows and much more. It is listed in the National Register of Historic Places.
The house affords sweeping views of the city and was close to a large lumber mill run by Johan with business partner Robert Inman.
The home’s rich dark woodwork reflects Poulsen’s rising success in the lumber industry. Most rooms are adorned with period wallpaper. The layout of the house has been changed over the years due to city street development. For example, the kitchen is now on the main floor, adjacent to the dining room in a space that used to be the maid’s quarters. The kitchen was originally downstairs.
At the other end of the house is a more formal vestibule with a fireplace and sitting area that is actually part of the turret. One would have entered that through the large wrap-around porch. The stairway ascends from this vestibule to a floor with several bedrooms and a bathroom. Each sports a large Victorian bedstead. Continuing up to the fourth floor of the home, one finds an office that leads to the open turret porch. It is furnished as an outdoor room, making it a nice sitting place. There are more bedrooms on this floor as well.
Johan Poulsen originated from Denmark arriving in the United States in 1870. He met and married Dora Schnan in 1873 in Iowa. By 1876, Poulsen had made his way to Oregon where he found work in the lumber industry. While working for a lumber operation he met Robert D. Inman. Poulsen and Inman joined forces and established the Inman-Poulsen Lumber Company in 1890.
Poulsen’s house was reportedly built about the same time that company formed. Poulsen and Inman’s houses overlooked part of their operation lying below on the east bank of the Willamette River. From accounts it is not clear how long he lived at this house. Portland City Directories show that he also lived on Nineteenth Street in northwest Portland and by 1892 lived in Holladay’s Addition in a house located where Lloyd Center now stands. Poulsen and his wife had five daughters. He continued to work in the lumber business until his death in 1929 at the age of 81.
Insurance broker William J. Clemens lived in the house from 1902 to 1919 with his wife Mary. Clemens operated the successful insurance business of Clemens and O’Bryan. While living in the house Clemens served in the Oregon State Senate from 1908 to 1912.
Subsequent owners include “Doughnut King” A.A. (Albert A.) Hoover purchased the house in 1919. While employed by a grocer, he came up with the idea of making some of the delicatessen goods himself. His doughnuts proved to be a great hit and by 1908 had evolved into a private enterprise for Hoover that led him to success in business and the community. While living in the house it was sometimes called “the King’s Palace.” Next, Veterinarian Dr. Gustav Huthman and his wife Henrietta purchased the house in 1923 and lived there until the close of World War II circa 1946. During the Huthman’s tenure, the roadwork and the construction of the Ross Island Bridge cut away the house’s front and side yards. The concrete wall and the garage that faces Powell Boulevard were built as a result of the road construction.
After the Huthmans moved away, the house became a boarding house. When James Nevin purchased the house in 1976, he strove to preserve its heritage of the house by submitting a nomination to the National Register of Historic Places. It has been used as a residence and office since that time, and has maintained many of the original details.
Julius and Delia Durkheimer’s house was designed in the Colonial Revival style by architect Rolph H. Miller in 1899. When the house was built, this portion of northwest Portland was mostly vacant land, and the neighborhood undeveloped.
When completed, a newspaper article noted that the exterior of the house was painted “gray and white, with a green-stained roof.” The house interior was finished with clear-grained fir and oak. An “old rose hue” was painted on the interior walls, while dark green was used in the dining room and rich red in the smoking room off the reception area. Built-in furniture pieces included “cosy (sic) couches and bookcases.”
Architect Miller was drawn from Missouri to work in the architectural office of Whidden and Lewis to supervise the construction of the Portland City Hall because of his known technical expertise. Once the building was completed, he struck out on his own in about 1895. Within several years Miller had built up a notable body of work of fine homes including that of the Durkheimers, and also oversaw the construction of schools including the Central Albina School in 1898. Unfortunately, Miller died in 1901 due to complications related to appendicitis.
The Sam and Esther Fort house was completed in 1962. The one-story house was designed by noted Portland architect Saul Zaik. Like many of Zaik’s designs the Fort house is set into the landscape, designed to recede behind the trees and the native plantings. During the period that this house was constructed many of Zaik’s houses were organized into zones defined by individual pavilions. Here, three separate pavilions define the living and kitchen workspace, the children’s area, and adult area. After the house was completed, a swimming pool was built in 1962, though it was removed by the current owner.
Leo Samuel Fort graduated from University of Oregon with a degree in art. He and Esther Heidtbrink were married in 1940. During World War II Fort served in the Coast Guard. Fort worked in the printing business after returning from the War. Fort also worked as an artist painting, sculpting and making furniture. Mr. Zaik remembers that Mr. Fort was very sensitive to design and the use of good materials. Saul Zaik has been continuously working as an architect since graduating from University of Oregon in architecture in 1952. He worked with the architectural office of Stewart Richardson and Belluschi, Skidmore, Owens, and Merrill before striking out on his own in 1956. Since then, he has worked continuously on many significant projects. At present, he works with his son and has found an interest in historic preservation.
The present owner Albert C. Horn has enclosed a portion of the garage, and recently made additional interior modifications.
The Frank C. and Isabella Barnes House was built in 1913 on the Alameda Ridge in the Irene Heights Addition. The house design has been previously attributed to architect David Lochead Williams. Some of the confusion may lie in the fact that the house went through at least one revision before being completed by architect/builders Stokes and Zeller took on the job to redesign the house plans in 1913. Stokes and Zeller were prolific home builders who designed and built many residences in the Portland area including modest cottages, many of which they owned and rented in inner southeast Portland, to apartment buildings, to grand homes like that of the Barnes family.
Frank C. Barnes was a prominent businessman whose business dealings stretched along the Pacific coast as far as Alaska. Through the F.C. Barnes Company, he operated canneries, developed land, and shipped goods. Circa 1910, he also served as a Multnomah County Commissioner.
Local lore notes that Barnes was a strong rival of Henry Pittock, owner and publisher of The Oregonian, and that he built the house to rival the Pittock Mansion. Barnes’ success in business was expressed through many fine details in the house. The massive mahogany stairway leading to a leaded stained glass window on the landing, Honduras mahogany veneered paneling, and gold threaded wallpaper covered the main floor walls. The servants’ quarters were located in the basement.
Frank and Isabelle Barnes raised a family of seven children, six girls and one boy, in a home on NE Tillamook Street. Most of their children had grown by the time this grand home of 32 rooms was completed in 1913. Frank and Isabella moved into the house with the youngest of their children.
Frank and Isabella’s family life was centered at the home. They drew their adult children close by giving them lots on neighboring parcels where they could build houses. At least six of the children and their spouses lived nearby for a time. Frank and Isabella lived in the home until their deaths, she in 1930 and he in 1931.
After the Barnes’ death, the house was briefly occupied in 1933 by real estate businessman Charles J. Derbes, and his wife Carmen.