NW Portland mansion by famous architect is being sold for the first time in 32 years. Value vaults from $165,000 to $2.6 millionRead Now
This article was posted in the Oregonian last month on May 22, 2021. This home has always appealed to me and now I know why. The windows are large in all the rooms. There is so much sunlight in the home that it is amazing. I was able to get a tour before the Open House occurred and it was such a treat to see the interior after dreaming about being in this home for 40 years. Connie
By Janet Eastman | The Oregonian/OregonLive
Portland real estate has always been a rollercoaster. Consider this example: A large Dutch Colonial house in the Northwest District was built for $14,060 in 1909, during a housing boom.
The property sold for $165,000 in 1989, again when the market peaked before plunging in a recession. And now, the two-story dwelling on a prominent corner lot across from Wallace Park is for sale at $2.6 million. Granted, this well-maintained, historic house with almost 5,000 square feet of living space is special.
It was designed by architect Emil Schacht, who famously introduced Portland residents and visitors to the then cutting-edge Craftsman house. The style proliferated during the city’s first housing and population boom around the 1905 Lewis and Clark Centennial Exposition.
A year after Schacht’s Dutch Colonial home was completed, it was deemed “handsome” and “modern” when featured in a 1910 issue of Northwest Architect magazine. The Colonial Revival exterior showcases a large porch on rock-faced Tenino bluestone with a ceiling of tongue-and-groove fir supported by four massive columns.
Schacht’s interior reflects his appreciation of the Arts and Crafts aesthetic of beautiful, light-filled, highly livable spaces. The well-preserved home has mahogany ceiling beams, built-in cabinetry, tiled hearths and art glass windows.
“The original grandeur is superbly intact and blended with modern upgrades,” said Karoline Ashley of RE/MAX Equity Group about the property at 1331 N.W. 25th Ave. that she listed for sale on Wednesday, May 19.
Just look at the basement. The space once was used to store fruit, wash laundry and fuel the steam heat boiler. It’s now a studio apartment with a full bathroom and a separate entrance from the outside that can serve as an in-law suite, entertainment room or rental.
Ashley said the 112-year-old house has a timeless design that benefits people who are downsizing or housing multi-generations. She added that its location supports wide-ranging interests, from hopping on a streetcar, to walking to restaurants and shops, or hiking on nature trails in Forest Park.
She is holding an open house that adheres to COVID-19 safety protocols from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, May 22.
Potential buyers will hear that whether it’s 1909 or 2021, people’s home goals can be satisfied here. Ashley points out top buying trends:
The fascinating story
The original homeowner was Christine Becker, a widow who invested in real estate, drove a Buick luxury touring car and lived in the house with her son Rudolph Jr., daughter Sophia and son-in-law Claude D. Smith, an insurance, real estate and mortgage broker and president of the Morgan & Smith Agency.
Becker’s late husband, Rudolph Becker, was a milliner who may have lost his business in the 1871 Chicago fire and came to Portland to start over with a millinery store on 1st Avenue. He died in 1906. The widow paid $7,500 for the lot in 1908 and hired Emil Schacht and Son to design her residence.
Both of the Beckers and Schacht immigrated from Germany. Little else is known about Christine Becker, except she died in 1916 at her son’s home and her daughter and son-in-law moved away and sold her property in 1923.
The Christine Becker House earned a spot on the National Register of Historic Places for its elegant and intact interior detailing and as an “outstanding” example of the more than 100 houses Schacht designed in the Arts and Crafts and Colonial Revival styles.
Over his 42-year career, Schacht was influential, designing warehouses, theaters and office and public buildings. He also helped to introduce the East Coast idea of luxury multifamily living to Portland with upscale “apartment houses.”
Fast forward: The rare Dutch Colonial designed by Schacht in Northwest Portland was purchased by the current owner in 1989 who has since carefully maintained its original features.
Signature Schacht features
Still visible on the Tenino bluestone chimney is an ornamental “S,” signaling this is a Schacht-designed building.
Schacht’s great-granddaughter, writer Connie Shipley, said she has only seen one other of his designs that has the initial of his last name on the chimney: The 1909 John A. Veness House, which is less than a mile away and is included in the Alphabet Historic District on the National Register of Historic Places.
Real estate agent Ashley said the owner fell in love with the Dutch Colonial home the instant she stepped into the foyer and saw natural light streaming down from the top of the staircase. Each oak step is decorated with a scroll form and leads to a landing that curves around the stairwell opening. A door from the landing opens to the summer sleeping porch off the stairwell.
The living room and entry hall are painted the original eggshell white enamel while the dining room has South American mahogany beamed ceilings and panel wainscoting, according to historic documents. The den has Eastern white oak and French doors that open to a north-facing porch.
The four bedrooms have oak floors and most had embellished brass pushbuttons that activated the servant’s bell in the kitchen.
The 255-square-foot master bedroom has a six-foot-long window seat built in under the sill of the front dormers and a walk-in closet. The master bathroom has contemporary tile, a glass-enclosed shower and double sinks.
“The home is beautiful,” said Shipley, who joined Emil Schacht experts, Jim Heuer and Robert Mercer, on a tour of the home on May 19. “Changes to the master bathroom and closet are very tasteful,” she said, “and the upgraded kitchen is very respectful in design.”
Still in place: the butler’s pantry with the original copper sink.
See more homes for sale in the 97210 zip code
— Janet Eastman | firstname.lastname@example.org