Residences in Irvington – Mystery Location

This beautiful home is somewhere in Portland’s northeast Irvington neighborhood, assuming it’s still intact. Anyone have any idea where this beauty is? The photo is circa 1905.

(City of Portland Archives)

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35 Responses to “Residences in Irvington – Mystery Location”

  1. Chuck Says:

    Shame on me. I grew up in Irvington but don’t recognize the houses. I’m going to guess that maybe it’s on 21st or 24th near Tillamook. The only reason I’m guessing that is because the houses in that area are on small hills.

  2. Jim Says:

    1615 NE Wasco. Demolished in 1960 according to the website of the Irvington Historic Home tour (a tour I highly recommend).

    Holliday Park Plaza sites on this site today.

  3. Jim Says:

    Here’s a link to other historic homes in Irvington:

  4. Chuck Says:

    I lived in this wonderful mansion on the corner of 11th & Hancock & I just went to google.maps AND IT’S GONE! It was reported to be the home of Portland’s first postmaster general. I lived in it around 1970 with another guy who was usually off to Alaska fishing and one couple. The house was furnished and huge. My ‘bedroom’ took up the entire east side of the main floor I had my own bathroom & side entrance altho the porch was no longer there. I’d have to jump down to the ground to go out of it. The couple had the master bedroom on the 2nd floor – which was actually two rooms & one had a fireplace in it. There was also a great second floor solarium furnished with great old furniture & drapes. All in all there must’ve been about 8 bedrooms. It was 3 stories tall. And, of course, had a large basement. I’m sickened to see that it’s gone because I saw when I was living in Portland in the ’90’s. Obviously Portland’s still in the practice of tearing down its historic buildings. Does anyone remember that house?

  5. Robert Says:

    it was on Wasco. It was actually in Holladay’s Addition and built by one of the real estate developers of that neighborhood. I have his name somewhere. There was a whole series of postcards called Residences of Irvington. They were all actually in Holladay’s Addition. So far the only one I have found which is not demolished is the big white house on about 16th & Clackamas

  6. Chuck Says:

    Was Holladay’s Addition where Lloyd Center is now? Now that I think about it I have no idea what was there pre-center. I suspect a continuation of the great houses north of Broadway.

  7. Jim Says:


    Given the Irvington neighborhood’s active and tenacious efforts to preserve its historic properties, I wondered whether maybe your old house had been moved rather than demolished.

    According to the Portland maps web site, It looks like the home may have been moved to “the 800 block of NE Ainsworth.” Google earth and Portland maps records for 879 NE Ainsworth indicate that may the the mansion you lived in. Google maps also has a notation for the home next door, “Pinnacle restoration.” I did not check the Pinnacle house on Portland maps. Here’s the street view:

    Let us know if your bit of history was saved.,+Portland,+OR&sll=37.0625,-95.677068&sspn=40.052282,66.181641&ie=UTF8&hq=&hnear=879+NE+Ainsworth+St,+Portland,+Multnomah,+Oregon+97211&ll=45.566437,-122.656048&spn=0.001091,0.003042&z=19&layer=c&cbll=45.566437,-122.656237&panoid=E6wT2mU02kjZYdEA_gw8JA&cbp=12,335.21,,0,2.36

  8. Chuck Says:

    Thanks for the info, Jim. It’s kind of hard to see the house on Ainsworth but I see it has a very large porch which the house on Hancock had. I seem to remember the top floor being more substantial. But now that I have this to compare it to I’ll try & find a photo of the house when I lived there & see if there are any similarities. Since moving a house all of that distance would be such a large undertaking I suspect that maybe just parts of the house would’ve been moved. I’ve never been to Portland maps website so I think I’ll check it out now.

  9. Chuck Says:

    Yes! I think that IS the house! Not the one on the corner but the one next to the alley. Definitely the porch. Funny how I remember its being so much larger. That is so cool that it’s been spared. My ‘room’ was the side of the house on the right side of the porch. The solarium was the large windows on the second floor. The window to its left was the couple’s front bedroom window.
    Thanks so much for showing me this, Jim. How were you able to find it?

  10. Chuck Says:

    PS: the house is the same color it was 40 years ago, too.

  11. Jim Says:

    Chuck, is a good (and free) public resource for neighborhood and individual lot information. Used in conjunction with Google Maps or Google Earth (and just plain “Google”), one can get the answer they’re looking for more often than not. It’s a bit too complicated to explain all of its features in a comment on a blog, so you will want to just play around and explore the site to get familiar with it.


  12. Chuck Says:

    Thanks, Jim. Really amazing that you found the house & I’m so glad it still exists. I really appreciate your efforts & will start playing with those sites.

  13. Tad Says:

    I believe that most of what is now Lloyd Center was previously a golf course.

    Jim – curious, what records on Portland Maps indicate that the house was moved?

  14. Tad Says:

    Oops, forgot to click for email notifications… is there any way to do that without adding another comment?

  15. Jim Says:


    You need to click on parent property in the record for the current condos. Under the permits/cases tab for the parent property, there is a record for “nuisance – house move” (or something to that effect).

  16. Chuck Says:

    I kept a diary back in 1970 when I lived at 1033 NE Hancock & found a photo of the house in said diary. I’d like to post it but am not sure how to do so. This is how I attach it to an email.
    C:\Documents and Settings\Administrator.VIDEO_XP\My Documents\My Scans\Hancock House.jpg

  17. Dan Davis Says:

    Chuck. Email me the photo at, I can upload it and link from the comments.

  18. Chris Says:


    I believe the Golf course you’re referring to was on the opposite side of Sullivan’s Gulch. The building that was the Clubhouse still stands, directly across the street from Benson HS, on Irving.

  19. Dan Davis Says:

    Correct. Ralph Lloyd built the 9-hole Lloyd’s Golf Course between 12th and 19th Avenues, Irving Street and Sullivan’s Gulch in the early 1930s. Elston Ireland’s coffee shop operated out of the clubhouse. After much of the golf course disappeared under I-84, the clubhouse was remodeled into Sweet Tibbie Dunbar’s in the early 1970s. It became the Polo Club in 1990 and since 1995 has been a credit union office.

  20. Dan Davis Says:

    Here’s Chuck’s house photo circa 1970. Taken when it was at NE 11th and Hancock, now moved to 863 NE Ainsworth and beautifully restored. Thanks Chuck!

    Here it is on Google maps.,+portland,+or&sll=37.0625,-95.677068&sspn=50.291089,70.400391&ie=UTF8&hq=&hnear=863+NE+Ainsworth+St,+Portland,+Multnomah,+Oregon+97211&ll=45.566673,-122.656535&spn=0.003872,0.004297&t=h&z=18&layer=c&cbll=45.566436,-122.656502&panoid=HSL8NlWAy0phLrGdQdp2ew&cbp=12,351.01,,0,-6.91

  21. Chuck Says:

    Thank you, Dan.

  22. Roxanne Says:

    Chuck. was your place on the NE corner of the intersection? I always loved that house and you are right! I remember it being yellow almost 55 years ago when I lived over on 15th. I am so glad it was moved rather than torn down!!! What a find! I am so thrilled.

  23. Roxanne Says:

    Well, Heck, I fibbed. The one I remember being where those apts are now looked more like the house on 16th/Wasco mentioned above. I seem to remember it took up like a quarter of the block (I thought the whole block but my dad says not), and it had a porch that seemed to go all the way around the house. I thought they tore it down when I was young to build apts.

  24. chuck Says:

    There are a lot of great old houses in Irvington. Like the ones on NE Knott between 15th & 21st. Most of them took up half the block. One takes up the entire block facing Knott. Our house was on the NW corner of 11th & Hancock, Rosanne. Where did you grow up? I was a teenager when my family lived in Irvington.

  25. Roxanne Says:

    Grew up in Portland. Almost 50 of 60 years. Grandma had a house about 15th and Thompson. One I am looking for was yellow, took up about 1/4 or 1/2 of the block, had a wrap around porch and was Victorian looking that I remember. I thought it was west and south of 15th/Thompson but my dad says it was on 15th. However, his memory is not flawless.

  26. Roxanne Says:

    Anyone remember there being an amphitheater or a stadium actually IN the gulch near Union in the late ’40’s? My dad says there was one but I cannot find a single photo, reference nor person who remembers it.

  27. chuck Says:

    I think I know the house you’re talking about, Roxanne. It was a fabulous old mansion that had a wrap-around porch, a big rounded corner room on the second floor and I believe a porch on the floor above it. I was only about 12 when it was torn down but I remember thinking at the time how sad it was. There was another mansion on the other side of 15th in the middle of the block that was also torn down. An ugly, cheap, ’60’s apartment building was put up at its former site.
    I grew up on 16th between Knott and Stanton. The house on Hancock & 11th was one I lived in when I was in college.
    Don’t know anything about the amphitheater in Sullivan’s Gulch. Only remember Lloyd Center and the freeway.

  28. Roxanne Says:

    You are about the same age as I then. I think they tore that house down in my preteens or early teens. You must have gone to Irvington School? I was by there and took photos of it the other day. My mother was confirmed at the Luthern Church on the corner of 15th and I think it is Knott, I think. Or it might have been at 8th and maybe Stanton which is where the 15th church congregation was originally. Grandma ran a big boarding house in one of the larger houses on 15th, they had like 8 bedrooms. I can remember trick or treating at some of the big fancy houses to the east.

  29. chuck Says:

    Yes. I’m 61. I went to St Andrews on 9th & Alberta. My family moved from 11th & Shaver to NE 16th the summer before I started high school at Central Catholic. My younger siblings went to Madeleine. The church you’re talking about is on 15th & Knott. I waited for the Jackson Park/Irvington bus there many, many, many times. Before the bus shelter was built we’d wait out of the rain in the church’s doorway.
    Is your grandmother’s house still standing?

  30. Roxanne Says:

    Grandma’s house is on the west side of NE 15th 2nd house from the corner north of Thompson. It had 3 stories not counting the full finished basement. Not huge but a very large house. The master bedroom ran all the way across the front of the 2nd floor. It was basically just a large box, no real ornamentation, no style to it. I think it was built about 1910. Grandma would have a heart attack if she knew it sold for almost $600,000 the last time it sold in the mid 2000’s…..I lived there as a younger child. Parents moved to Oswego (back when it was just Oswego and NOT Lake Oswego) and then back to deeper NE Portland and Grandma moved to the Mt. Tabor area when I was in the last 1/2 of my teens. I can just remember LLoyd Center going in and I can remember pre-I80N going out the gorge.

  31. Roxanne Says:

    Found several photos of the house at 1750 NE Knott you mentioned. The John Bowmqn house. Also a pretty good one at Google Earth. I don’t often covet, but that house is on my list.

  32. Roxanne Says:

    Sorry, 1759..fingers on wrong keys.

  33. Robert Says:

    This house was on the NE corner of 16th and Wasco St., facing Wasco. Later it became the Battleship Oregon Museum. Holladay Park Plaza, the retirement home, is there now. It was in the Holladay addition, not Irvington.

    Mystery Guest

  34. Jim Brown Says:

    Robert nailed the location and finaluse of the house.
    The “amphitheater” referred to may have been the big hole in the ground at the current location of the parking lot of the Lloyd Cinemas. As I recall, the excavation was performed in 1929. It was to have been the “basement” of a 20-storey hotel. Mr. Lloyd had to scrap the plan due to economic conditions. Later, it was a kind of outdoor theater dubbed “Holladay Bowl”, and productions took place there. At least once, it may have been used for a Christmas tree dump which was then set ablaze. All of this should be archived in The Oregonian files. I will confirm when I have a bit of time to do it.


  35. Jack Says:

    Isn’t the house on the left the Harkness Chapin house?

    The Harkness Chapin residence (1908–1965). Site now occupied by Holladay Park Plaza.

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