22 thoughts on “Pittock Mansion, 1964

  1. The Efiles copy of this photo carries the date February 26, 1964. On February 27, the Oregonian ran a story titled “On the Town” (p. 23) that has a similar photo, from a slightly different angle. It goes on to say: “Build thee more stately mansions” is not the idea behind the Pittock Acres Retention Committee (PARC). They want to keep the one Portland has already, if $100,000 is raised within 30 days”.

    “Mrs. Norton Peck, a spark in launching the drive to acquire the Henry L.Pittock mansion on Imperial Heights for Portlanders and out of town visitors to enjoy, never even saw the residence until Feb. 3”

    Mrs. Peck lived in Beaverton. She had read an earlier story in the paper about the mansion’s being “slated for the hammer.” She contacted the reporter for that story who arranged for her and members of a group to which she belonged (apparently called the Delphinian Assembly) to tour the estate. The rules of that group did not permit them as a club to get involved, but “::…after thawing out in a nearby restaurant with hot coffee, [they decided] to act as individuals…to preserve the estate for future generations. San Simeon looking from the wrong end of opera glasses, in other words…. Mrs. Peck’s battle cry was, “Let’s not call it gone if final papers have yet to be signed.”

    “Pittock, founder of the Daily Oregonian, asked Architect Foulkes to design the living room so the publisher could look through the left window and see Mt. St. Helen, the center to see the city, and the right window to see Mt. Hood….”

    There’s much more to this article, and as we know, Mrs. Peck’s endeavors succeeded!

    (I grew up near San Simeon and its famous Hearst Castle, so particularly liked the comment about it.)

  2. I notice, like the other recent Pittock mansion photo posted here, that the date in efiles is 1946. In fact that previous photo is still dated 1946. Maybe someone needs to edit the dates.

  3. This is my personal opinion and I know many will disagree. Architecturally speaking there is nothing significant about the Pittock mansion. Yes it it built of excellent quality materials by a historically significant citizen. Yes it it is sited on a beautiful view lot. The building technology was state of the art at the time it was constructed. In my opinion a far more interesting looking Building is the Pittock mansion which preceded it built in Portland Heights in the Victorian age, it also still exists but in private hands.

  4. Liz C. I grew up near San Simeon also, what a fabulous art history education it is. I can’t think of anything about the Pittock mansion that is similar in any way to Hearst Castle.

  5. Mike when the Pittock Mansion was built it appears that the location was called both Imperial Heights and King’s Heights in news stories related to weekly building permit activity that was printed in the Oregonian & Oregonian Journal on October 27, 1912.

    Oregonian page 10
    A permit was issued to H. L. Pittock to build a two story dwelling on Imperial Heights. The house will be built by day’s work, and cost $50,000.

    Oregon Journal page 14

    H L Pittock Home Will Cost $50,000

    Henry L. Pittock took out a permit last Wednesday for his proposed new home on King’s Heights. According to the permit, the Pittock residence will be the costliest building of its kind in Portland. No other residence in Portland has cost so large a sum. The building is described in the permit as a two story frame structure and the location as Imperial Heights.

  6. How topical to bring up Hearst Castle, it also being a perfect example of wealthy people building palatial estates left as “gifts” to the public when they’re no longer useful to the occupants.

    Preservation is a nice thing and certainly worthwhile at times. That said, if you look at every “long gone” post on VP you realize quickly that taxpayers can no more easily sustain every legacy than the individuals who built them. Unfortunately we have to be selective.

  7. Oregonian January 29, 1919 page 1

    H. L. Pittock Passes Away

    Illness which began on January 16 takes publisher of The Oregonian
    Henry L. Pittock, publisher of The Oregonian died at his residence on Imperial Heights at 11:10 o’clock last night. He was taken ill January 16 and the symptoms were those of influenza. For a week or more he held his own, but complications set in and made the struggle for life hopeless. The arrangements for the funeral will be announced in due time.

  8. Vlad — I think the reporter’s comment, “San Simeon looking from the wrong end of opera glasses, in other words” confirms what you say about not finding similarities between Hearst Castle and Pittock Mansion. When one looks through “the wrong end” of opera glasses, everything is quite small!

  9. Ron K.— Multnomah County voter reg. shows that Henry Pittock lived at 115 West Park (today known as SW 9th ave.) in the early 1900’s before moving to the Pittock Mansion, and today we know this location as the Pittock Block. The in the Oregonian from October 25, 1910 describes the Pittock Block as ” bounded by Washington, Tenth, West Park (SW 9th today) and Stark. Two residences are now on the property, one a cottage that was occupied by Mr. Pittock in early days in Portland, the other a larger residence built by him for a home some years later.”

    Information on the Leadbetter-Pittock home in Camas Washington indicates that it was built as a wedding gift for his daughter when she married Frederick Leadbetter.

    The other Pittock mansion is I believe the 1894 Julies Loewenberg home that Frederick and Caroline Pittock Leadbetter purchased about 1903, and was torn down in 1960.

    Portion of 1960 Oregonian story

    Relic of 90s To Be Razed
    Leadbetter Home Will Be Rubble
    Another elegant old Portland mansion, the former Frederick W. Leadbetter home at 2407 SW Park Pl., will be demolished soon because it has become a white elephant to operate.

    Leadbetter married Caroline Pittock, daughter of Henry L. Pittock, banker and founder of The Oregonian as a daily newspaper. The leadbetters raised four children in the house, attended by five servants, not counting nursemaids. By the time of his death in 1948, Leadbetter also had homes in Camas, Wa., Santa Barbara, Ca. and Las Vegas. His widow has spent most of her time in Santa Barbara since his death. Mrs Leadbetter gave the house and grounds to the Oregon Historical Society in 1951 with the idea that it might become a home and museum.

    If to Google Julies Loewenberg house the is very good photo.

  10. Ron K. this information needs to be verified but I was told by the home owner that the Pittocks built the Portland Heights mansion in 1887. It is located at
    1816 sw hawthorne terrace, portland or 97201.

  11. Thanks to Robert G and Dennis for doing the research and finding the links to the Leadbetter house photos. I have walked past the site on SW Park many times and had no idea it once held such an interesting house.

  12. Thank you also, Vlad. I have wandered past that one too, but had no idea about its history. There are many, many interesting houses up there on the hills.

  13. Vlad the house at 1816 SW Hawthorne Terrace has a listed construction date of 1894 on Portland maps, but it does not look like Henry L Pittock built or lived there. A 1893 story about the marriage of his daughter Caroline to Frederick Leadbetter indicated the wedding took place at Henry Pittock’s house at 115 West Park. 1900 US Census shows Henry Pittock is still living at 115 West Park with his wife, son Fredrick (Fred) 36 yrs, divorced, daughters Kate 27 yrs, single, and Louise 24 yrs. single. Fredrick Pittock’s 1916 Multnomah County voter reg. shows he is living at 667 Overton which is between 20th & 21st. The 1920 & 1930 US Census shows that Frederick and his wife and children were living at on 570 Hawthorne Terrace, which is now 1816 SW Hawthorne Terrace.
    So 1816 Hawthorne Terrace was another mansion owned by a child of Henry L Pittock.

  14. Ron K & Vlad there is a very interesting story in the Oregonian on October 30 1984 page 10 regarding the Markle-Pittock house at 1816 SW Hawthorne Terrace, and I will just give a few highlight from the story.

    J Carroll McCaffrey started the house in 1888 but never lived in it, according to John Tess of Heritage Investment Corp. who did research on the house for its National Register nomination. McCaffrey sold it to George B. Markle, a financier and developer who was born into a wealthy family in Hazletown, Pa., received a doctor of philosophy degree from Lafayette College in 1878 and came to Portland in 1887.

    In 1893 the country experienced a financial “panic” and Markle was in trouble too. Sheriff Penumbra Kelly had deposited school tax funds in two of Markle’s banks. Markle took out mortgages of $120,000 and $60,000 on his house. He made the mistake of using the public tax monies to repay some of his investors claims. One by one, his businesses failed. Markle, Sheriff Kelly and others were indicted for misuse of $318,000 of public funds, Tess said in his research material. Harvey W. Scott, then editor of The Oregonian, posted Markle’s bail.

    The house on the heights was empty for 10 years with its ownership tangled in legal questions. The Scottish American Investment Trust eventually got it and sold it to Frederick Leadbetter, the son-in-law and business partner of Henry L Pittock, owner of The Oregonian. Leadbetter gave it to his sister Bertha, who was married to Frederick (Fred) F. Pittock, the only son of Henery Pittock.

  15. I don’t value the Pittock Mansion as a monument to a rich man. I value it for the craftsmanship of the immigrants who built and decorated it and who stayed on in Portland…many of them Italian artisans. I’ve often wondered if the plentitude of art glass in old Portland homes is due to their presence in the city.

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