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

Known as the “Tiffany of the Northwest,” the Povey Brothers Studio has produced some of the most beautiful and lasting stained glass pieces in all of Oregon. For instance, David and John Povey’s artwork can be found in the First Presbyterian Church, the Atkinson Memorial Unitarian Church, and the Pittock Mansion, just to name a few. Their windows were known for having unequaled quality and beauty, which has allowed the windows to last for over 100 years. The art of stained glass was a family... 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

Flipping through shelter magazines, you’d think “green” remodeling involves the installation of expensive energy-saving devices and a minimalist design that advertises the homeowner’s familiarity with the cutting edge. Or, conversely, an environmentally conscientious remodel might reflect a low-tech, salvage-focused approach, often at the expense of comfort and design. Preserving the original woodwork in the dining room not only saved resources, but also authenticates the home’s... more

As she made her morning coffee, Ari Starke realized she needed a sweater for the first time this season. She sighed, “Here we go again.” The owner of a 1930s Tudor, Starke loved her historic little home with all of its charm. Unless it was cold outside; then she was torn. “I have these beautiful wood windows, but it was miserable to sit too close to them. On windy days, they rattled and you could even feel the air coming in between the top and the bottom sash. The amount of money we spent heating... 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

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