This Saturday brings the Heritage Home Tour, offered by the Architectural Heritage Center. Proceeds will benefit the Bosco-Milligan Foundation, the AHC's parent organization.
The six homes on this new tour cover a century of residential construction in Portland and represent a variety of styles and notable architects, such as the great Pietro Belluschi as well as other local notables of architecture history such as Herman Brookman.
The tour will be held 10:00am to 4:00pm. Tickets are $35 for members and $50 for non-members. That seems a little too steep a price in my mind, but it probably speaks to the difficulty the AHC and other nonprofits face raising funds. The same is true with the AHC's education programs, which one would like to be free to maximize outreach but usually are $13.
The Belluschi house on the tour is one of his last completed works, from 1980, and is situated in the West Hills off Germantown Road. I happened to visit the house two years ago. It's owned by another local architect of note, Mike McCulloch, who served for 11 years as the head of the Portland Design Commission and also worked at firms like Waterleaf before striking out on his own.
In addition to the Belluschi house itself, the McCulloch designed two other structures: an elegant glass and wood teahouse overlooking an outdoor pool (flanked by a striking Lee Kelly sculpture) and a guest house renovated from an old root cellar. The house also is extensively landscaped with a water feature and countless plantings and boasts a broad view of the valley floor below.
Here are some small snapshots of other houses on the tour, provided by the Architectural Heritage Center and photographer Cindy Hvind. First, a circa 1910 house on NW Lovejoy Street that was designed by Edward Thompson Root:
And a Victorian house on SW Vista dating to 1884, architect unknown:
Here is some more information on The Architectural Heritage Center from the organization's website:
"The Architectural Heritage Center began as a vision of two remarkable men, Jerry Bosco and Ben Milligan, and is their legacy to historic preservation in Portland and the Northwest. Alarmed by the tragic destruction of historic buildings throughout the region, Bosco and Milligan salvaged countless architectural pieces which would otherwise have been lost to the wrecking ball. From the 1950s – 1980s, they collected a truly awe-inspiring treasure trove of historic stained glass windows, building hardware, doors, light fixtures and shades, tiles, mantles, cast iron, and countless other historic building elements. The National Park Service documents that the Bosco-Milligan Foundation's collections are the largest in the West and among the five largest in the United States. Our collections distinguish us from other historic preservation organizations in the western US."
"Prior to their passing, Jerry Bosco and Ben Milligan established the Bosco-Milligan Foundation to fulfill their vision of a place where their collections could be used in education and training programs. Our vision of renovating the historic West's Block Building - constructed in 1883 at 701 SE Grand Avenue in Portland’s Central eastside - to house the Architectural Heritage Center was completed with the Center’s opening in 2005. The Center includes two exhibition galleries, two classrooms, workshop space, a library, collections storage spaces and the Foundation's offices. Our public historic preservation programming has increased four-fold at our “home base” and we have served the needs of more than 40,000 people, beginning in 1992. With continued progress on the professional inventory and documentation of the collections, public access will be expanded beyond the rotating exhibits in our galleries. The Architectural Heritage Center is a significant historic preservation education facility for the Portland region and plays an important role in celebrating and advocating for the architectural heritage of our city and region."
Text and photos by Brian Libby
Published with permission of Portland