House Proud

Gawk at These Modern Portland Homes on an Architectural Tour

The season kicks off next month with the Portland Modern Home Tour, featuring homes from Raleigh Hills to Sellwood to Cully.

By Julia Silverman September 23, 2022

A Lake Oswego showstopper headlines this year's Portland Modern Home Tour, back in person for the first time since 2019.

A sure sign that nature (and commerce, actually) are healing: the Portland Modern Home Tour is back in person this fall, for the first time since 2019. 

A $40 ticket ($15 for ages 10-17) buys you entry into seven Dwell Magazine-worthy homes, a mix of new builds and clever mid-century renovations that span the metro area, from Cully to Lake Oswego. They all boast impeccable green bona fides. (Does your house use less energy than it generates each year, even though you own an electric car? We didn’t think so.) All homes will be open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, October 15, with architects, designers and builders on hand to talk about their projects.  

Here’s a sneak peek at five of the tour’s showstoppers—full details on the last two homes are still pending. 

The new owners saved only fragments of the former home on this Cully lot.

This three-bedroom, two-bathroom home in Cully was built in 1926 and renovated in 2022. The original 468-square-foot home had already been “gutted of its original character when we purchased it,” say its new resident, who also own Akos Construction, which did the work. They kept the foundation, the subfloor and a single wall, and used the shiplap sheathing from the previous home as trim; otherwise, it’s all new. Watch for the large outdoor covered deck, a smartly designed home office, and rainwater harvesting for toilets and irrigation. 

An accent wall in the primary bedroom.

Another Akos home, this five-bedroom, three-bath home in Hillsdale is nicknamed “The Treehouse” for its forested setting. It’s a classic 1967 mid-century modern that got a spiffy upgrade. Pay particular attention to the walk-around fireplace, with brick and walnut accents; don’t miss the tile work in the primary bathroom, either.  

This super-energy efficient Sellwood home generates more energy than it uses.

This Sellwood house with three bedrooms and four bathrooms is so energy-efficient that even its backyard swimming pool is pressed into service, insulated from the environment and designed to help regulate the water temperature. The vaulted ceiling on the main floor is made from reclaimed Douglas Fir wood from the existing 100-year-old home on the site, which was disassembled. There’s plenty of wood to be found in the home, but it doesn’t feel dark, thanks to well-placed skylights throughout. 

Entry to this Lake Oswego home is via a floating bridge of a walkway that connects to the street.

Normally, you need access to Oswego Lake to take the full measure of this three-tiered house that fronts the lake, which has four bedrooms and three full bathrooms, plus a powder room. It looks like a neat stack of boxes, slightly offset, to allow for both privacy from neighbors and to allow for maximum water views. We’re partial to the sharp boat house, and the cascading, terraced lawns. 

This Raleigh Hills home has a distinctive L-shaped design to showcase the lot.

An L-shaped house set around a courtyard to make the most of the mature trees on its expansive lot, this five-bedroom, five-bathroom Raleigh Hills home was built in 2005, but has echoes of prewar German-inspired Bauhaus style. You can’t miss the curving, brass staircase that anchors the interior. 

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