Northwest Renovation Magazine

A Home Improvement Magazine


The American Gothic Revival movement began around 1840 and continued for about thirty years for houses, much longer for churches and schools. Though early Portland was once filled with Gothic Revival houses, none exist today. Gothic style houses, together with houses in the Greek Revival style, were built in those central city neighborhoods most likely to meet the wrecking ball from the ever-expanding downtown. Other cities in Oregon, those that did not experience Portland’s explosive growth, still... more

On my usual trip to England last November, I made a weeklong side trip to Stockholm, Sweden. When people ask me, “Why Sweden?” I (half) jokingly tell them that I wanted to see if the whole country was run as well as that large Swedish home furnishings store we know so well. But my curiosity regarding Swedish efficiency was only part of my motive. Sweden in general, and Stockholm in particular, has a reputation for appreciating and caring for their historic buildings. Every city in Europe, of... more

The western slopes of Mt. Hood hold a myriad of recreational opportunities and scenic wonders. The area, clustered along Route 26 from Welches up-mountain to Government Camp, also contains dozens of artistically rustic “Steiner Cabins.” Between the late 1920s and 1940s, German immigrant carpenter/homebuilder Henry Steiner and his son, John, constructed as many as 100 of these one-of-a-kind log dwellings (the exact number is still a matter of speculation).Many cabins and houses were built on Mt.... more

“Prairie” is the name given to a style of house originated by Chicago architect Frank Lloyd Wright around 1900. The first use of the term “Prairie” occurred with Wright’s plan for “A House On the Prairie,” published in the Ladies’ Home Journal in 1901. The term “Prairie School of architecture” was later given to the informal group of architects who practiced in this style. Many of these later architects had worked for Wright himself, or for Wright’s mentor, Louis Sullivan.... more

The author of the above lines was expressing a yearning for an authentic sense of place, firmly rooted in the historical past. Much of America in the late 19th and early 20th centuries was looking backward to a romanticized pre-industrial colonial past, where life seemed somehow less complicated and stressful, where a sense of community mattered more than the rush to industrial prominence. The Philadelphia Centennial Exposition of 1876 unleashed a wave of patriotism and pride in all things traditionally... more

It’s June, Portlanders, and we all know what that means, right? Well, yes, it does mean Rose Festival is here again, but the month also heralds in the return of the sun to us light-deprived northerners. Sometime during June, El Sol will roll into town and remain more-or-less parked in the daytime sky until it’s time to go back to school in September (or if we’re lucky, until Halloween). What better way to celebrate the coming bright season than to learn more about the historic architecture... more

Palm Springs, CA — the famed desert resort 100 miles east of Los Angeles — has reinvented itself as a hip, retro-chic tourist destination playing up on its legacy of modern-era buildings from the 1950s and 1960s. Each year at the end of February, the city is host to “Modernism Week,” a weeklong celebration of all things Mid-Century Modern. Each year, the event grows larger, adding more tours, lectures, and exhibits. This year’s Modernism Week stretched from February 23 through March 4,... more

The Wallace House, above, designed by architect William Whidden in 1888, was the first Colonial Revival-style house built in Portland. Intensively-planted urban gardens and mature street trees give the neighborhood a connection to nature. Examples of Architect Elmer Feig Buildings Architect Elmer Feig designed 21 fanciful, 1920s apartment buildings in Northwest. Below are a few examples of the great design and detail applied to these structures. Most Portlanders... more

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