Property Watch: A Gracious Colonial Revival with an Illustrious Political Past
Editor’s Note: Portland Monthly’s “Property Watch” column takes a weekly look at an interesting home in Portland’s real estate market (with periodic ventures to the burbs and points beyond, for good measure). This week: a Colonial revival in the Portland Heights neighborhood. Got a home you think would work for this column? Get in touch at [email protected].
Portland may be nearly 3,000 miles from Washington, DC, but this stately Colonial Revival home in the Portland Heights neighborhood would fit right in in the nation’s capital. First, there’s the front façade, where six massive columns support a two-story portico. The tops of the columns fan out to meet the entablature, itself topped with a balustrade that wraps the front portion of the roof. A neat, repeating window pattern and crisp white siding complete the ode to symmetry and classical detailing.
The home was designed by David C. Lewis and built in 1908, but it’s not the architect that gives it its notable provenance. That comes from the first owner, Nan Wood Honeyman. While living there, Honeyman helped repeal Prohibition, was elected as Oregon’s first female Congressperson, and counted Eleanor Roosevelt as a good friend—enough so that Roosevelt visited multiple times and even had a favorite guest room. (That would be the second-largest bedroom after the primary suite, at the front of the house, facing the sweeping view of the city.)
Standing in the entry foyer, with its high ceilings, grand staircase, and handsome fireplace—one of seven total—it’s not hard to imagine this house opening its doors to such fancy company. Wide cased doorways to the left and right lead to gracious main rooms. The living room encompasses nearly one side of the house, crowned with thick molding and box beams supported by more decorative columns. The dining room is wrapped in its original mahogany wainscot, with a fireplace flanked by leaded glass windows.
But for all the grandeur, there are several cozy touches as well, like the living room’s built-in bookshelves, the fireplace in the revamped kitchen, the large upstairs landing-turned-sunroom, and a rear addition that includes a downstairs family room with paneled walls, beamed ceiling, brick fireplace, and bay window.
All of the rooms, including the five bedrooms upstairs, have comfortable proportions, and are connected together in an easy, flowing circular plan, making this a historic home that’s very livable. On the main floor, that flow is even aided by several sets of glass doors leading to the yard.
Being such an old house, of course it comes with its share of stories, starting with the massive sequoia tree on the southeast corner of the lot that was planted in the 1880s by officials marking early Portland’s city limits. When Roosevelt was in-house, the former first lady would set up an office in the dining room to get her writing done. And, downstairs, rumor has it that the sauna was previously a still and the nearby wine cellar, with its heavy metal door, served well to hide the supply during Prohibition.
Listing Fast Facts
Address: 1728 SW Prospect Dr, Portland, OR 97201
Size: 8,635 square feet/7 bedroom/6.5 bath
List Date: 4/1/2022
List Price: $2,475,000
Listing Agent: Suzann Baricevic Murphy, Where Inc.
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.