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: an inner Southeast Portland brick bungalow with details old and new. Got a home you think would work for this column? Get in touch at [email protected].
In 1955, the Oregon State Highway Department announced plans for the Mount Hood Freeway, just one of fourteen new expressways marked for the city. It was to be an 8-lane spur that connected the Marquam Bridge to SE 122nd Avenue, aligning with Division Street until about 50th, with a centerline down Ivon Street. However, since the construction of Interstates 5, 205, and the 405 were all prioritized, the proposal didn’t get its funds until 1969.
But the 1970s brought changes, including key federal legislation like the Clean Air Act and grassroots activists filing legal claims against state highway officials, all of which came together to ultimately prevent construction in 1974. Neighborhood vestiges of the original plan are the Clinton Community Garden and Piccolo Park, both of which were residential lots acquired by the highway department, but eventually became public green space instead.
The highway would have demolished over 1700 houses, with this bungalow on the quiet corner of Southeast Ivon Street and 25th Avenue surely one of them. Built in 1933, it still boasts many of its original exterior features: clinker brick, leaded glass windows, and a deep front porch. Inside, more original features are highlighted alongside new decorative flourishes, like opulent light fixtures, bold wallpaper, and statement tile.
In the living room, the balance is held between the preserved features — thickly textured plaster walls, leaded glass bookcases flanking the fireplace, and top-nailed white oak floors — and some surprise accents, like the intricate tile mosaic around the firebox and the brass and glass chandelier. To the left of the front door, glass pocket doors lead to what’s technically one of the five bedrooms, but which would also make a lovely office.
With those double doors open, the floorplan is nicely circular, with the living room, dining, and kitchen stacked to one side, a hallway down the center, and two more bedrooms and a bathroom off of it.
The kitchen is another charmer, thanks to its checkered floor, central island with embossed sides, and cheery floral wallpaper. The stove takes center stage in the island, so much of the mess can be kept to a rear scullery, which is an old-fashioned room dedicated to washing dishes. The scullery seems original, due to its mint tile counters and backsplash, and cupboards adorned with jadeite handles. (Don’t worry, there is a dishwasher.)
The hall bathroom has equally glorious vintage tile, only the mint is paired with an unexpected lavender, down to the purple pedestal sink.
Upstairs, there’s the primary bedroom with its own bonus space, another bedroom, and a large bathroom with more modern statement tile, its bright pattern covering the floor and walk-in shower, alongside luxe marble accents.
The basement has been handily waterproofed and insulated, making it ready for any future cosmetic upgrades. Outside, there’s a private side yard with a light-strung patio, and above the garage, a cozy finished ADU: a 324-square-foot studio that was once rented out on Airbnb with a five-star rating. There, find vaulted ceilings with skylights, and a kitchen and bathroom tucked under an additional loft.
And don’t be fooled by the quiet street – all of this is smack dab between the commercial corridors of Division and Clinton Streets. You’re getting the best of new and old in the neighborhood, whether you want to try some recent spots, like the relocated Akadi, or swing by stalwarts like the Clinton Street Theater, which has been there since 1915.
Listing Fast Facts:
Address: 2443 SE Ivon St, Portland, OR 97202
Size: 4,892 square feet / 5 bedrooms / 3 bath / ADU
List Date: 8/25/2022
List Price: $1,300,000
Listing Agent: Terri Robertson, John L. Scott NE Portland
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.