Pfunder House, NW Portland

Retelling the Stories of Portland’s Houses

In neighborhoods old and new, some homes come with bragging rights.

That’s the theme of a recent Oregonian article on the excitement of researching the history of Portland houses, the vast majority of which have not been formally researched or designated as “Historic.” Statewide, there are 41,085 houses that have been documented to varying degrees and included in the Oregon Historic Sites Database. These are the houses that have been listed in the National Register, designated as local landmarks, or recorded by pen-and-clipboard historic resource surveys—so, in short, just a sampling of the older homes that make up Oregon’s neighborhoods. And, every year more and more houses cross that 50-year threshold making them eligible to be considered historic and ripe for research and celebration.
PfunderHouse Postcard
And it’s not just architectural gems that are being researched. In recent years, University of Oregon professor Thomas Hubka has been studying Portland’s “houses without names.” These common, everyday houses may not be architect-designed or built to embody a specific style, but they do tell the stories of how families in the past lived and how they modified their homes to suit changing needs. Every Oregon house, be it an often-overlooked common house or a textbook Colonial Revival, has stories that have yet to be retold.

The full article can be found on the Oregonlive website.

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Statewide Partner of the National Trust for Historic Preservation