By CJ Hurley
For the Hollywood Star News, July, 2010
The Architectural Heritage Center (AHC) inaugurates its Heritage Home Tour on Saturday, July 31. The tour will be a fundraiser for the Bosco-Milligan Foundation, which works to preserve Portland’s historic buildings and neighborhoods and acts as an educational center to members and the public.
Through the Heritage Home Tour, the AHC is offering the community an unprecedented opportunity to view the wide spectrum of architectural styles that compose Portland’s housing stock. The tour features houses designed by some of Portland’s most notable architects and offers a way to learn about the various architectural eras Portland has experienced.
“Our historic residential architecture is one of the city’s proudest features and helps make Portland so unique,” says Barbara Pierce, marketing manager for the AHC. “The make-up of local architecture is as eclectic as that of its people, an amalgam that makes our landscape as unique and diverse as our people make our neighborhoods and communities. This tour is a chance to view some of the more spectacular homes that make our neighborhoods the distinct and interesting treasures they are.”
The Heritage Home Tour will showcase six Portland houses covering a 100-year span beginning in the mid-Victorian period and ending in the Postmodern age. Portland grew as a city during the Reform Movements, which began in the 1800s in England and launched an era of significant architectural reform throughout the Western world, one that focused on quality of design, artistry, and integrity of materials in architecture. That’s one of the reasons Portland’s neighborhoods are so spectacular; not only were they designed well, but the building materials were superior.
One of the homes on the tour, the Harry A. Green house, is located in the Laurelhurst neighborhood. The home was built in 1928 for Doernbecher Furniture magnate Harry A. Green and designed by architect Herman Brookman. Located on the northwest edge of Laurelhurst Park, the 17-room house is significant for many reasons, including the fact that it was built in a style rare to residential architecture, the Byzantine-Romanesque.
Byzantine-Romanesque architecture began in the 1840s in Western Europe and was most often utilized for ecclesiastical and commercial buildings. In the United States, the style was typically combined with other Medieval Revival styles, such as the Gothic or Spanish Colonial. The Harry Green House shows the telltale signs of that sort of eclecticism. Two turreted portions of the house reflect the Byzantine Revival influence, while arched and columnated windows are classic features of the Romanesque. The massive brick chimneys are indicative of Gothic Revival. All around the house are fantastically intricate details that add to its eclectic charm, including Arabesque tiles and wrought-iron peacocks and trees.
The oldest home on the tour, the Nicholas-Lang House, was built in 1885 by Horace B. Nicholas in the Tudor Revival style and is located in the Portland Heights neighborhood. The youngest home on the tour, designed by Oregon’s premier mid-century architect Pietro Belluschi, is a 1980s beauty situated on 40 acres in the Northwest hills.
With his wife Barbara Pierce, CJ Hurley operates CJ Hurley Century Arts, a small studio specializing in hand-painted interiors, design, and color consultation for the restoration of vintage homes from the 1850s-1950.
If you go
Date: Saturday, July 31.
Time: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Tickets: $35/Architectural Heritage Center members, $50/general public
For more information: visitahc.org or (503) 231-7264