Editor’s Note: Portland Monthly’s “Property Watch” column takes a weekly look at an interesting home in Portland’s super-competitive real estate market (with periodic ventures to the burbs and points beyond, for good measure). This week: a Sellwood bungalow with bonus touches throughout. Got a home you think would work for this column? Get in touch at [email protected].
While it’s always fun to appraise the rich detail and craftsmanship found in Portland’s grand historic homes, like last week’s storybook Georgian Colonial, this week our head was turned by a more modest contemporary. Also built in 1908, this charmer on a tree-lined stretch of SE Lambert Street in Sellwood preceded the city’s bungalow boom of the 1910s and ’20s. Yet when it comes to exterior detailing, it’s a little less plain than its successors.
There’s a reason for that. According to architectural historian Thomas Hubka, this home would be classified as a Porch-Gable, so named for the large central gable set atop the wide front porch. It was a popular middle-class vernacular built between 1895 and 1915 that also dabbled in the adornment of older styles, like Queen Anne. Perhaps that’s why things like this home’s scalloped exterior trim and decorative leaded-glass windows caught our eye.
Inside, the plan is that of a modified side-hall, wherein the front door opens to a generous entry anchored on one side by a staircase. The entry segues into the living room underneath a wide archway, and the main living spaces are made sunny and cheerful by a bay window in the living room, and a side bay in the dining, which also has a more modern glass door to the backyard.
The adjacent kitchen is a tidy, utilitarian size, with an exposed brick chimney abutting newer stone counters and cabinetry, and a classic checked floor underfoot. Just off the kitchen, there’s a convenient walk-in pantry with a built-in desk, and the first-floor bathroom, which may have once been a rear porch, as it’s by the side door that leads to the driveway.
Upstairs, there’s a spacious landing and three bedrooms, two with more leaded-glass windows, as well as an updated bathroom. Out back, the detached garage was converted to a standalone studio, complete with freestanding stove, a half-bath, and clerestory windows that bring in light but ensure privacy. An on-site Tesla wall charger is another sweet recent upgrade for this historic cutie.
Hubka says that these types of houses, built after the 1905 Lewis and Clark Centennial Exposition but before the bungalow boom really took off, perfectly straddled the old and new styles of its time. And Sellwood, which was incorporated in 1893, was a hot place to build in the early 1900s, so we can see many instances of this transitional architecture still intact there. This house is also within easy walking distance of all the happenings on SE 13th Avenue, which makes it an enduring blend of old and new in more ways than one.
Listing Fast Facts:
Address: 1023 SE Lambert St, Portland, OR 97202
Size: 2,212 square feet/3 bedroom/2.5 bath
List Date: 12/27/2021
List Price: $785,000
Listing Agent: Tara Stone, Brantley Christianson Real Estate
Melissa Dalton is a freelance writer who has focused on Pacific Northwest design and lifestyle since 2008. She is based in Portland, Oregon. Contact Dalton here.