The Glamorous 1950s Home

This 1956 home in the West hills exudes a whimsical elegance not usually found in Northwest mid-century modernism.

By Kristin Belz August 7, 2013 Published in the August 2013 issue of Portland Monthly

Surely, if Thurston Howell III had ever moved to Portland, he would have wanted to live in the house architect Richard Marlitt designed in 1956 for a sloping, eastward-facing site in the Southwest Hills. The house exudes a well-bred, quirky glamor that our favorite Island-dwellers shared. Sorry for Thurston, but lucky for us, Jennifer and Benton Wong live there now and are treating the house with the glamorous respect it deserves.

They generously opened their house for the Architectural Heritage Center's recent Heritage Home Tour. We enviously snapped photos of the period details and open, flowing yet formal procession of rooms. Take our Slide Show tour of the house to see this atypical mid-century Portland Modern gem.

The Wongs are particular fans of artist Trish Grantham, whose work adorns many of the walls in the house, as murals or as hanging paintings. They have maintained the house much as it was originally designed for Ralph and Ruth Williams (including restoring a few changes that had been made over the years to their original).

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