Real Estate

Property Watch: A Delightfully Restored Atomic Ranch in Markham

Welcome to the ‘Retro Ranch.’

By Melissa Dalton May 15, 2023

From the street, this house looks like a fairly typical 1960s ranch, with its modest, one-story brick façade tucked behind a semicircular front drive and tidy, green lawn. But there are little clues that it’s got more going on, once you know where to look.

That’s because after purchasing the home in 2016, the last owners embarked on a meticulous, years-long renovation, dubbing the home the Retro Ranch and chronicling the project on their blog. They restored every inch of its vintage charm while also updating rooms that needed more modern convenience.

This starts with the retro mailbox at the curb and continues to the double front doors painted a fun orange sherbet color. Inside, their painstaking attention to the details is evidenced throughout, from the grooved switch plates to the polished mahogany woodwork, amber bottle glass, and refinished hardwood floors.

The main living spaces have a connected, circular layout, making it an entertainer’s dream, with a tiled entry foyer that feeds into a sunlit sunken living room. There, the focal point is a three-sided fireplace—each face of which is shared with a different room—and here with its fanciest treatment: a black steel and copper hood and floating hearth. In one corner of the room, there’s a built-in wet bar complete with prep sink and amber bottle glass doors. In the other, a sliding glass door opens to an expansive outdoor room, protected under cover of the roof and with a grilling station in the second facet of the brick chimney.

Through another sliding glass door, arrive in the dining room and kitchen, which links both back to the foyer to complete the circle, or to the utility area, powder room, and garage. The dining room has the third fireplace, as well as more preserved built-ins, while the kitchen was gently updated. For it, the owners kept the original pecan wood cabinetry with its grain matching across the faces from floor to ceiling—talk about detail!—and combined them with new quartz counters and stainless-steel appliances.

They also added a convenient half-bath nearby, and updated the two other full bathrooms, making sure to bring in period-specific materials for all. Think colorful marmoleum and metal hairpin legs on the custom vanities, alongside modern function, like the walk-in shower in the primary en suite.

Finishing touches pull everything together, like the midcentury brass clock hardwired in the entry and the bronze plaque beside the front door. The latter has a decal that was discovered in the garage: a medallion that declared the home technologically advanced at the time of its construction in 1964, making it just one of so many delightful callbacks to the home’s atomic origins.

Listing Fast Facts

  • Address: 3301 SW Ridge Dr, Portland, OR 97219
  • Size: 1,501 square feet/3 bedrooms/2.5 baths
  • List Date: 5/11/2023 
  • List Price: $635,000
  • Listing Agent: Craig Reger and Kelsey McConville, Reger Homes, LLC

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. 

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). Got a home you think would work for this column? Get in touch at [email protected].

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