Morris Marks House, 1963

This was the second Italianate home that architect Warren H. Williams designed for shoe merchant Morris Marks. It was built in 1882 on the southwest corner of SW 11th and Clay, diagonally across from The Old Church. It was moved to its present location at 1501 SW Harrison in 1910 and is beautifully restored today. The first Williams-designed Marks home, at 1134 SW 12th, is more well known, primarily because of efforts to relocate and preserve the house in the face of urban development.

(University of Oregon Libraries)

8 thoughts on “Morris Marks House, 1963

  1. This is a gorgeous house. Sadly, today it has a textbook case of Obscured by Street Trees Syndrome (OSTS).

    I always thought it was interesting that when Morris Marks wanted more house, he came back to the same architect, who basically doubled his first order.

    Hopefully the first Morris Marks house will find a good outcome. I can’t imagine it being allowed to be demolished, but I fear the elements and the potential for fire by campers.

  2. One of my favorite surviving Portland Victorian Houses. When it was moved in 1910 it was sawed in two and pulled on logs by teams of mules into place.

  3. Perplexed? 1963? The house being depicted is clearly and erroneously dated. Would that the forces behind the Urban Renewal cleansing of this period (post Eisenhower) were replacing housing stock of America with beautiful examples of the Italianate style such as this?

    For the record, the Morris Marks House II (1883), was rescued 102 years ago in 1910 and was separated into two halves and relocated to its current location on SW Harrison.

    The first house built for Morris Marks (1880), located at 1134 SW 12th Avenue, has miraculously survived and is awaiting relocation and restoration.

  4. I remember this house well. In 1965 I wrote a thesis for the Oregon Historical Society’s graduate class in historical restoration and preservation, on the Morris Marks house. I thoroughly enjoyed that project and made my first visit back to see the house a month ago after all these years. Whoever owns the property now has done a marvelous job in restoring the house to its former glory. Well worth a visit. The house was originally built in 1882 catty-corner to the Old Church on the corner of SW 9th and Clay. The house was built in the same italianate mode as the two mansions of Isaac and Ralph Jacobs located at Montgomery and Park Ave(9th St) Mark Morris’ wife wanted that look. She was the sister of Isaac Jacobs wife. In 1910 The house was sawn in half from the side, set on sleds and hauled by horses to its present location at 1501 SW Harrison.

    I knew the owner of the house–Wallace Huntington–because he was my Visual Arts professor (Portland State) at the time and he was very generous in allowing me to roam all over his home over a period of several weeks while I compiled a ton of information for the thesis that I wrote. That thesis is located at the Oregon Historical Society and is available for research purposes if anyone was interested.

    One Note: Morris Marks built his first house in 1880 and it is still extant at 1134 SW 12th Ave. At the present time it is looking for a new location to reside, because it is facing demolition down the road if one is not found. Keep your fingers crossed on this one.

  5. BARTT H i live on the back side in the martha washington i love the olod mark morris and have placed a few prayers to god to help save it i have done projects of this nature before my phone is 9712442516 i would love to acess the house and walk through

  6. My husband and I just saw the Morris Marks house being moved today! It’s going from the SW Harrison site on which it’s been since 1910 to a small triangular lot near the I405 interchange at SW Broadway and 6th Avenue. FASCINATING to watch the two halves of the house being moved along the route through PSU. It’ll go on for hours, so if anyone’s here in Portland, reading this today, go take a look!

  7. Liz,

    The one you saw being moved was the first Morris Marks house. It was being moved from its original location on 12th between Main and Madison. The second Morris Marks house is the one on Harrison and it remains there to this day.

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