Pittock Mansion, the French Renaissance-style château perched high atop the West Hills, is the crown jewel of Portland’s Northwest historic homes. Built for Henry and Georgiana Pittock, it was designed in 1914 by Oregon born architect Edward Foulkes, who created a home that incorporated grand architectural themes, the best technical innovations of the period, and the highest quality products produced in the Pacific Northwest.
A hundred years later, visitors are welcomed into Pittock Mansion to view Foulkes’s masterpiece and learn more about the extraordinary lives of one of Portland’s most influential families. When you visit the mansion keep your eye out for these special features for insight into how Foulkes interpreted an American dream home of the Victorian Age.
The forty-six room, 16,000 square foot mansion combines French, English and Turkish architecture in a fluid design centered around a magnificent marble staircase. Two wings branch out from the receiving area, with curving walls and corridors creating an elegant flow throughout the Main Floor. Look for the unique curved windows in the upstairs Sewing Room and the intricately patterned domed ceiling in the Turkish smoking room.
A grand home deserved cutting edge technology and Foulkes made sure to incorporate many of the latest inventions of the time into his design. Extensive use of indoor plumbing is seen in the bathrooms and kitchen, recessed lighting installed behind crown molding added depth to rooms, and an intercom system connected the Pittocks with their servants throughout the house.
Pacific Northwest Products
Being an industrialist, Henry Pittock insisted that Foulkes use as many locally produced products as possible, and throughout the mansion you’ll find wood cut from Oregon’s forests, sandstone pillars from a Tenino, Washington quarry, and iron and gold mined from all across the West Coast. The best local craftsmen were commissioned to create and install the final products, which still retain their beauty a hundred years later.
Pittock Mansion is a magnificent example of elegant Victorian design. Furniture, clothes, and personal items donated by the Pittock’s descendants and other private collectors fill the home, and more items from the period are featured in rotating exhibits shown in the Lower Level Ballroom. Three floors of the mansion are open to the public and special tours will take you through twenty-three rooms to see the special features that are both typical of the era and unusual in their technical innovation or high quality.
When you go:
Pittock Mansion is located at 3229 NW Pittock Dr in the West Hills of Portland’s Northwest neighborhood. In addition to the mansion, the caretaker’s home is open to the public and the Pittock’s three car garage has been renovated into a gift store, ticket booth and public restrooms. Don’t miss out on the amazing view of the city and Mt. Hood from the garden!
Hours are 11am-4pm and entrance fees vary, but check their website for scheduled closure dates. For more information visit the Pittock Mansion website or call 503-823-3623.