Jacob H. Cook House, c1910

This fine home sits just a half block east of the Mt. Tabor Presbyterian Church we visited a couple weeks ago. Located at 5631 SE Belmont Street, the Jacob H. Cook home is an excellent colonial revival example. Even the low block wall is still beautifully intact.

cook house 5631 SE Belmont 20761 c1910(University of Oregon Libraries)

37 thoughts on “Jacob H. Cook House, c1910

  1. Amazing that this place already looked as if it had been there “forever” when this photo was taken, and surely that was in the master plan of the house and garden. Either the trees showed an amazing explosion of growth in seven short years: the trees were there already(unlikely), or the trees were brought in as fairly mature specimens. We did have the technology then to move very large intact trees and shrubs, though this is seen more often on the east coast on large estates. My theory is that our incredible Willamette Valley climate turned some rather small trees into big ones.

  2. Within sight of where I was born at Portland Adventist Hospital (as it came to be called later) and, looking down Belmont the other way, almost within sight of the building where we first met our youngest son in an adoption. (Next to the Horse Brass Inn, wouldn’t you know?)

  3. I think this is the house that used to get all decorated up for Christmas and other holidays if my memory serves me right.

  4. About 6 years ago it was owned by a couple who had a Christmas museum there. I know in about 1975 it was inherited by a very young, partying 18 year old and it became the party house of Mt.Tabor. Not to long after that, she sold it. A family was in there for not very long before it was sold to the Christmas museum people. I have watched and admired this house over the 45 years I have lived in Portland. Last year it was listed for sale and I got to take a picture tour on one of the real estate websites. I would love to own this home but I am afraid I would need lots of help to maintain it. It was built in the era when household help was common by those in the financial position to own such a house. I have done some study of it and I am sure that it had an entrance from the street behind and was a much larger piece of property at one time. A lot on the back was probably sold, if you study Portland maps you will probably come to the same conclusion. It is a treasure for sure.
    And yes…. It is my house I would buy if I ever won the lottery….LOL! BTW, who was Mr. Cook?

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  6. The couple who owned the Christmas museum in the house are a very close family friend. And the wife just told me that apparently Walt Disney used to own this house, though he spent very little time there.

  7. I don’t think that’s a valid sale and probably just a transfer of ownership. There is a note currently on the front door: “Please contact NW Property Services at 971-512-5635”
    I hope they do something with the property, there are homeless folks who regularly hang out on the porch and one of the side windows is busted out from squatters sneaking inside.

  8. This amazing home and land are going up for auction at the Multnomah County Courthouse December 27, 2016. That’s 1021 SW 4th Ave., at the 4th Ave. entrance vestibule at 11:00am. I live nearby and am very interested to know who’s buying. Join me! For more info go to Oregon Property Foreclosures and enter the home address.

  9. The auction is now scheduled for Feb 14th at 11 am on the Multnomah County Courthouse steps on SW 4th Ave, according to the successor trustee, Clear Recon Corp.

  10. I called the successor trustee for the bank, Clear Recon Corp, at 858-750-7600, who gave me the date for the auction. The current owners bought it for $2,000 listed as a Bargain and Sale Deed on PortlandMaps. I think they also bought ~$800K debt to the bank, according to Multnomah County document # 2016-140888, available at Hawthorne and MLK, which described the scheduled auction on Dec 27. I think the auction has been postponed twice since then. That’s about all I could find out. Can you give me a web address for the Oregon Property Foreclosures you mentioned in your post?

  11. Thanks David. That web address seems to have been taken down. Back in December it was oregonpropertyforeclosures.com

  12. I’m in middle school right now and some of my friends told me that they we’re able to get into this house. Apparently it’s abandoned and trashed with graffiti, old food, and used lottery tickets. All the light and pluming also don’t work. Someone told them that it’s now a sanctuary for drugys and homeless. But I was trying to look it up on line and nothing came up. All the pictures on sites to buy the house didn’t look like anything like the pictures my friends showed me. On sites to buy this house it makes the house look really clean like someone had lived in it not that long ago. And someone on here even said that the house was gonna be sold last February, while my friend found a bus ticket from two years ago. I looked up everything from abandoned houses in Portland to the house address and found nothing. Does anyone know whats going on with this house??? If so can you email me I really want to know mershashys@gmail.com

  13. it is such a beautiful house. Truly it needs work, but a team of healthy people could clean and repair. i could do the cutting back of clematis and brambles, revealing the roses and maples. It would be such a lovely community house both for housing people and for artists and community events. We built our house from recycled materials back in the 80’s; it is still beautiful and unique in the hills of Mendocino County, California. I would love to get together with like-minded people and save this house from ruin. I just moved to this section of town; every time i visit the house, someone comes by and we verify our love for this place built with so much care.

  14. I just called Prime Realty NW, 11818 SE Mill Plain Blvd #403 – Vancouver, WA 98684
    and talked with Steve Romig (360) 600-4080. He doesn’t know why the earlier auctions were cancelled or why the bank isn’t moving the property. He said he would let me know when it goes up for auction again.

  15. For those of you who are still interested in this Portland gem, Lyrin Murphy from Estate Solutions PDX just purchased the home at auction. We are working with a village of people to RESTORE it to its original beauty. Even though the process is in very early stages, you can track the progress and follow along at Estate_Solutions_PDX on Instagram.

  16. I am so happy to see Lyrin completely restoring this truly incredible home that fell upon hard luck and has been vacant since March of 2012. It was built in 1903 as mentioned above and took 2 years to build, many of the materials including the dining room tapestries, tile, and beautiful quarter sawn oak and mahogany wood were imported when the home was built. I know it will turn out gorgeous in her hands.

  17. Really happy to see that work has started on this house! I’ve driven by and seen dumpsters and such!

  18. I looked up Estate_Solutions_PDX on Instagram and don’t see any posts yet. I’m keeping my hopes up that this local treasure is truly being restored! Was inside it when it was the ‘Christmas House’ a couple of times and as a long time resident on Tabor have longed to see this house saved.

  19. The Cook House is definitely being restored! On Instagram search for Christmashousepdx and you’ll be able to follow the progress.
    It feels good to see this home taken care of.

  20. Here is the Southeast Examiner article about the current restoration of the house.

    Here’s an undated exterior photo during the house’s heyday as the “Christmas House.”

    And here is a photo of 1909 handwriting on one of the walls, discovered underneath several layers of wallpaper. J.H. Tovey was James Hurbert Tovey (1875-1950).

  21. The house recently sold and it undergoing a MASSIVE restoration by a team of people that really get it. Original construction date is 1903 but the house was extensively remodeled in 1911 and that’s what you see today with all the classical details. It was originally very Victorian in style and there are remnants of that here and there inside and out. I did a Sanborn map comparison and you can see they tore off the polygonal bays that would have made it look very 1903 in favor of this classical edifice.

  22. This is the most famous house in the neighborhood…probably always was but there are a lot of nice homes around there.

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