Editor’s Note: Portland Monthly’s “Property Watch” column takes a weekly look at an interesting home on the market in Portland’s super-competitive real estate market (with periodic ventures to the burbs and points beyond, for good measure). This week: A Dutch Colonial in Irvington that's been thoughtfully updated inside. Got a home you think would work for this column? Get in touch at [email protected].
Irvington, like so many of Portland’s neighborhoods, is a fun one to walk through if historic homes are your thing. Bounded by NE Broadway and Fremont from south to north, and Seventh and 26th from west to east, the area began filling in after 1899, when a new streetcar line was installed down Broadway. Many of the homes here were built between 1900 and 1930, so there are a lot of styles from those years on display, from Victorians to Arts and Crafts, Prairie Style to Colonial Revival, as well as the occasional modern added later.
Even better than walking by, though, is getting to peek inside these homes, courtesy of the popular Historic Homes Tour put on by the Irvington Community Association. But that only happens once a year, which is why this listing is such a treat. It’s a 1922 Dutch Colonial on a corner lot off Brazee that’s been thoroughly modernized thanks to the design/build efforts of two local outfits, Of Prairies and Tall Firs Building Company, all while remaining true to its classic good looks.
From the street, the house still presents traditional, with a gambrel roof and dormer up top, three sets of paned windows laid out rather symmetrically, and a front door flanked by sidelights and inset columns. (Irvington became a historic district in 2010—the largest in the state, apparently—so new construction and exterior alterations have to go through historic resource review.)
Inside, the historic features weren’t erased, just blended rather seamlessly with a more modern aesthetic. Now, artful plastered details and custom rift-sawn white oak cabinetry elegantly mingle with the refinished white oak floors and preserved trim, windows, and French doors.
In the living room, the wood-burning fireplace was given a sculptural plaster makeover, its offset angles complemented by a curving arched doorway at the nearby staircase. Exterior French doors open to a side porch covered by a trellis, while another set of internal French doors earmark entry to the dining room. There, a built-in bench sits in an arched alcove, and a wide cased doorway feeds easily into the kitchen.
The kitchen is wrapped in custom white oak cabinets, with Carrara marble counters and high-end Bertazzoni appliances. Detailed touches include the plastered stove hood, square wood knobs on the cabinets, and another arched alcove for accessing the refrigerator and pantry.
You can tell a lot of thought and craft went into this remodel: from the Tadelakt plaster in the primary bathroom, to the soothing tile picks, of which the powder room sink is a standout, right down to the knobs. We especially liked how the white oak squares were mixed with classic crystal doorknobs throughout.
On the second floor, find two bedrooms and a hall bathroom, as well as a generous primary suite, all with plenty of closet space. On the third floor, a finished attic would make an excellent office/media room/teen den. The basement is also finished, with a bedroom, family room, and laundry, the latter continuing with the same white oak cabinets and marble counters found upstairs.
Perhaps even better than the new serene aesthetic of this home is what you can’t see: a top-to-bottom structural overall that left no system behind. This includes all new plumbing, HVAC, high-efficiency furnace and water heater, roof, earthquake retrofit, most insulation, and electrical—the panel, as well as every wire, switch, and plug—all of which is truly valuable peace of mind for any new owner of a historic home.
Listing Fast Facts:
Address: 1610 NE Brazee St, Portland, OR 97212
Size: 3,067 square feet / 4 bedrooms + bonus / 2.5 bath
List Date: 7/14/2022
List Price: $1,450,000
Listing Agent: Karoline Ashley, RE/MAX Equity Group
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.