By CJ Hurley
CJ Hurley Century Arts co-owner
The Architectural Heritage Center is gearing up for its annual Kitchen Revival Tour. The Tour, which will take place April 13, is celebrating its 15th anniversary. Each year, the Tour spotlights kitchens in original or near-to-original condition as well as kitchens that have been sensitively remodeled to fit the history of the home. All of this year’s homes are on Portland’s Eastside.
The event offers a glimpse into the vintage homes of Portland and an opportunity to take away ideas for finding ways to balance a kitchen’s history with its modern lifestyle requirements. This year’s Tour features eight kitchens representing the late-Victorian period of the1890s through the Mid-Century period of the 1950s.
NE Portland homes featured on the tour:
One of the featured kitchens is found in a 1928 English Cottage-style house in the Alameda neighborhood. The home was originally owned by Peter Maletis, founder of Maletis Brothers Grocery Store in Portland’s Old Town. Peter, along with his brother James and their cousin Chris, brought Greek feta cheese, olives, olive oil and other imported goods to Portland residents, although they catered primarily to the local Scandinavian, Western European and Japanese population.
Today, the kitchen of this Art Deco era home retains many of its original components, which acted as a guide for the remodel designed by Anne DeWolf with the local firm Arciform.
“The kitchen was very charming but was in need of an update,” DeWolf said.
Tour goers will note that the kitchen contains much of its original tile countertops and backsplash, along with a bank of cabinets with period hardware. DeWolf used those elements to flesh out the rest of the kitchen. The new cabinetry is built to the solid standards of the 1920s.
“The pink, yellow and burgundy tiles were not the favorite color scheme for the current homeowners,” DeWolf said, “but they agreed it would be a shame to remove them.”
Ultimately, the homeowners came to love the eclectic colors. Once all the conflicting elements from later eras had been removed and the kitchen was restored, the tiles fit right in.
The 1913 Arts & Crafts bungalow, located in the Eliot neighborhood, underwent an unusual remodel in the 1920s. The pocket-door wall dividing the living room from the dining room was removed to convert the space into a barber shop. To replace the lost eating area, a breakfast nook was added onto the rear of the kitchen. The home served as both a business and a residence until it was purchased in 1947 by Rev. Hardie D. Williams, founder and pastor of the Williams Temple Church of God in Christ, located on Northeast Hancock Street.
When Mark Klemmer and Dean Alby purchased the home in 1998, they began the long process of unearthing the kitchen’s original features hidden beneath layers of paint, carpet and vinyl.
“Our house was built for the working class,” Alby said; and that’s how it has remained throughout its history. We didn’t want to change that.”
“Our approach to the kitchen was to restore its design integrity while maintaining the functionality of a working-class home,” Klemmer said about the only do-it-yourself kitchen on the tour.
The kitchen proper follows its original footprint and retains original features, including a bank of upper cabinets, an ironing board cabinet (converted to a spice cabinet) and a dumb waiter that now serves as a station for an electric mixer. Klemmer used his skills as a craftsman to build additional cabinetry from reclaimed materials.
“All of the materials are from the period, or close to it,” he said. “A lot of our neighbors were doing remodels and tearing out their period materials. We wouldn’t let them throw any of it away. Their houses were built the same time as ours, so the materials were a perfect match.”
Anyone who appreciates Mid-Century modern design will enjoy visiting the 1958 Ranch in the Concordia neighborhood.
“When I bought the home,” said owner Laurel Dickie, “the kitchen had its original plywood cabinets and salmon-colored Formica.”
Unfortunately, the interior of the home had seen better days. Dickie lived in the house for 20 years before tackling her remodel so she had plenty of time to decide just what kind of remodel she wanted. The original Douglas fir plywood cabinetry was replaced with cabinets made from pecan-stained red birch plywood.
“I changed the hardware over to new ones,” Dickie said, “because the original copper plating had worn off. Fortunately, (W.C.) Winks Hardware had matching pieces in a chrome finish.”
The Formica counters were replaced with a type of composite quartz called Cambria; and the vinyl floor, installed years ago, was replaced with new Marmoleum.
Other homes of note on this year’s tour include:
• An 1892 Victorian in University Park.
• A 1923 Tudor Revival in the Laurelhurst neighborhood. Known as the Brick House Beautiful, the home is listed in the National Register of Historic Places.
The Architectural Heritage Center, 701 S.E. Grand Ave., is a facility for people seeking resources for small- and large-scale projects in their homes.
CJ Hurley is co-owner of CJ Hurley Century Arts (cjhurley.com), a small studio that helps people with color and design for new construction and period homes from 1850-1950.
If you go:
What: 2013 Kitchen Revival Tour
(Hosted by Architectural Heritage Center)
When: Saturday, April 13, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Where: Various locations
Tickets: $25 ($20 for AHC members)
For more information: VisitAHC.org;