Exclusive Tours of Two Portland Design Icons: The Shire and the Watzek House

Step inside two masterworks by influential Portland architect John Yeon, one of the defining forces of Northwest Modernism.

By Zach Dundas August 5, 2014

Photo: Courtesy Jack Liu

The University of Oregon's John Yeon Center for Architectural Studies—where Portland Monthly editor at large Randy Gragg serves as director—offers the summer's only public tours of two of Oregon’s most significant works of design: the 1937 Watzek House, a modernist masterpiece and Portland’s only National Historic Landmark residence; and The Shire, a 75-acre preserve in the Columbia Gorge sculpted into a picturesque landscape of captured views of Multnomah Falls.

Both were designed by John Yeon, one of the state’s most influential architects and conservationists. The Watzek House earned number-one spot in our “Ten Greatest Houses." The Shire was birthplace of the Friends of the Columbia Gorge, who devised the legislation establishing the Gorge's protective scenic area.

The Shire tours take place Aug 16-17; the Watzek Tours on Aug 22-23. Buy tickets here.


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