Property Watch: Our Readers’ Favorite Midcentury Houses on the Market in 2022
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 look back at the most popular midcentury homes we wrote about in 2022. Got a home you think would work for this column? Get in touch at [email protected].
Judging by how popular these posts were over the past year, love for the midcentury-modern aesthetic is still going strong in Portland and its surroundings. In 2022, the local market saw some great examples of this classic style, often updated for the modern buyer who wants the old character, but, you know, a 21st-century dishwasher, too. Read on to see which of these midcentury homes readers were most eager to ogle—and learn how much they sold for.
9. A Modernized Midcentury Perched above NW Skyline Boulevard
Designed by architect Clive Kiehl, built in 1962, and extensively remodeled in 2017, this Northwest Portland home retained the original midcentury exterior detailing in things like the low-pitched gabled roof, broad chimney, and exterior brick, but was all new on the inside. We especially loved the dining room’s dramatic floor-to-ceiling glass, a midcentury staple, which looked into the surrounding forest for a lovely secluded treehouse feel.
Status: Sold for $1,560,000 on 11/9/22, after being listed for $1,700,000 on 9/8/22
8. A Vista Hills Midcentury with a Sleek New Look
This 1952 Vista Hills home was also more recently remodeled, this time with a clean-lined look and top-notch finishes. It maintains that midcentury swagger though, given there’s still a vintage fallout shelter intact in the basement.
Status: Went off market
7. A Midcentury Modern Retreat in Highland Crest
A climbing wall, oversized hanging chair, and all-season turf are just a few of the exterior add-ons that made this 1962 home standout. Other newer interventions, like the highly crafted custom cabinetry and a spa-like bathroom that makes it like you’re showering in the forest, didn’t hurt either.
Status: Sold for $1,665,000 on 10/11/22; that's the price it was listed for as of 7/26/22.
6. A Midcentury Chalet in the Treetops Is Polished to a Shine in Highlands Crest
Just next door to the listing above, on SW Burton Drive, this buzzy home has gotten a lot of attention over its life span. Originally designed by architect Richard Campbell, it was chosen as Sunset magazine’s “Home of the Year” in 1967, then given a sensitive restoration by current local architect Paul McKean, since approved of by the historic advocacy group Restore Oregon.
Status: Sold for $1,978,350 on 6/30/22, after being listed for $1,465,000 on 6/1/22
5. A Color-Blocked Classic by William Fletcher
This never-before-seen, and never-previously-on-the-market, 1954 home was designed by William Fletcher, for himself and first wife Joyce, shortly after the architect graduated college. That color-blocking! It starts on the exterior and repeats in the kitchen.
Status: Sold for $1,425,000 on 5/27/22, after being listed for $1,250,000 on 4/25/2022
4. In Oak Grove, a Modernized Pietro Belluschi Home in a Parklike Setting
A rare gem: a 1949, Pietro Belluschi–designed home on almost two acres. It received a sensitive addition with architect Richard Brown years later—so sensitive, it was hard to tell if the kitchen cabinets were old or new.
Status: Sold for $1,870,000 on 4/12/22; that's the price it was listed for as of 3/15/22.
3. A Serene Rummer in a Neighborhood Full of Them
When you think of a midcentury house, you probably imagine something that looks a lot like a Rummer. Robert Rummer was a developer and builder, who started his company, Rummer Homes, in 1959, and became the most prolific builder in the state of a type of home popularized in California by Joseph Eichler. This particular house is in our local Rummer mecca: the Bohmann Park subdivision in Garden Home.
Status: Sold for $1,285,000 on 9/30/22, after being listed for $1,199,000 on 9/15/22
2. A Classic Midcentury in Multnomah Village That May Have Been the Architect’s Own
Architect James Jamison passed away in 2007, and the obituary mentions that he designed his own Southwest Portland residence. So, the question is: could this 1952 house in Multnomah Village be it? Regardless of the answer, this house, and how it still embodies the architect’s intentions despite being lightly remodeled, is a special one.
Status: Delisted on 10/29/22
1. A Council Crest Midcentury with Lots of Modern Style
Modern tweaks, like designer wallpaper from the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam and sleek dark cabinets in the kitchen, mix effortlessly with the original preserved elements in this Council Crest home. Long live its vaulted cedar-lined ceilings, large picture windows, and massive brick fireplace. And, obviously, the pink bathroom fixtures paired with brass faucets.
Status: Sold for $1,850,000 on 4/29/22, after being listed for $1,395,00 on 4/4/22
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.