I am really lucky to live in Portland, Oregon. More specifically in Northeast Portland, home to a rich history of turn of the century homes. NE Portland was one of those first “streetcar suburbs” of Portland back in the 1900’s, and so many of my friend’s parents grew up in these neighborhoods. A little historic background: Portland’s population and wealth exploded in the years immediately after the Lewis and Clark Expedition of 1905, and the style-conscious citizens turned to local architects to bring “modern” ideas to life in the new streetcar neighborhoods sprawling out from downtown. 94% of our neighborhood buildings were constructed between 1894 and 1948. We’re also recognized for our eclectic mix of architectural styles, examples of the work of many of Portland’s best architects and builders, and its late 19th century building covenants. Few city neighborhoods in the West have the variety and quality of early 20th Century residential architecture to equal Portland’s historic Irvington Neighborhood: Arts & Crafts, Craftsman, Colonial Revival, Prairie Style, Bungalow.
Many of the homes are celebrating their 100th birthdays – in Portland as in many other communities it’s common now to have “100 year old birthday parties” for your home. I’ve still got a few years to go for mine – it was built in 1927, but I am already planning for it. In my neighborhood, we’ve got a lot of things going for us – huge walk-ability scores, (with a score of 78, Irvington is the #14 most walk-able neighborhood in Portland) more bike traffic than cars it seems, and an abundance of period authentic homes from that era, many which used Rejuvenation fixtures.
Walking every day through my neighbors underscores 1. How amazingly folks have made their home their own and 2. How many more things I could be doing with mine! If you are like me, you like to get out at dusk when the porch lights have been turned on, and there’s just a bit of an opportunity for peeping into dining rooms, living rooms and kitchens along the way (hey, the curtains are wide open; I am not that kind of peeper!)
Here are some of my favorite examples, from last year’s Irvington Home Tour: irvingtonhometour.com