Monday, April 25

Pittok Mansion, Portland OR

The view of the city of Portland, OR at Pittock Mansion is amazing. The mansion sits on a hill 1,000 feet up so you can see most of downtown Portland, Mount Hood and Mount St Helens. It is like the city was designed to provide this picture perfect view from the house. The mansion was the home to Henry Pittock and his family. Henry was quite a busy man. Not only was he the owner of the Oregonian newspaper, but he built an enormous empire with his wife Georgiana Burton. Their empire included banking, railroads, steamboats, sheep ranching and the pulp and paper industry. More impressive was his devotion to work, community service and his family.

In 1909 the Pittocks commissioned architect Edward Foulkes to design a new home to share with their nine family members. Ahead of their time, they hired Oregon craftsmen and artisans and used mostly NW materials to build the house. The house was completed in 1914.

What is the most impressive feature of the mansion is that many modern inventions were used. These included the use of a central vacuum systems, intercoms, an elevator and indirect lighting. The photo above is from one of the bathrooms that has a shower in it. Other remarkably modern features are radiators and a refrigerated room. There is even one room where the radiator is fastened to the ceiling.

The house incorporated English, French and Turkish design styles. The estate includes the 16,000 square foot mansion, a gate lodge, a three car garage and the greenhouses. The house is very livable and modern for a house of its time.

Pittock family members lived in the house until 1958, when they put the estate on the market. The empty mansion was severely damaged by a Columbus Day storm in 1962. The City of Portland purchased the estate for $225,000. It took 15 months to restore it and open it as an historical house.

The house and its 46 acres are beautifully maintained. The mansion opens daily except for the month of January, Thanksgiving and Christmas. For more information

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