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Oregon Historic Sites Database

address:1850 North Shore Rd historic name:Jantzen, Carl C, Estate
Lake Oswego, Clackamas County (97034) current/other names:Jantzen Estate; Jantzen, Carl C. and Emma H., Estate
assoc addresses:
block/lot/tax lot: / 188,189,190,191,192, 193, 194 / 1500
location descr: twnshp/rng/sect/qtr sect:2S 1E 9
resource type:Building height (stories):1.5 total elig resources:4 total inelig resources:2
elig evaluation: eligible/significant NR Status: Individually Listed
prim constr date:1929 second date:1935 date indiv listed:02/23/1990
primary orig use: Single Dwelling orig use comments:
second orig use:
primary style: Tudor Revival prim style comments:
secondary style: Craftsman sec style comments:
primary siding: Stone:Other/Undefined siding comments:
secondary siding: Stucco
plan type: architect:Sundeleaf, Richard W. and Ertz & Burns
builder:
comments/notes:
7/29/2013: Agenda and materials received at SHPO for Development Review Commission for Lake Oswego -- Public Hearing to review proposed changes to construct several new structures, a tram to the lake and exception to for accesory building. SHPO commented to Historic Resources Advisory Board and City of Lake Oswego on project back in March 2013. SHPO reccommended many changes and deletions as to not create a false sense of history on the site. See file for more detail.
Not associated with any surveys or groupings.
Farmstead/Cluster Name:Jantzen Estate
NR date listed: 02/23/1990
ILS survey date: 08/01/2014
RLS survey date:
Special Assessment
Status Term End Yr
Expired 1st Term  2005
106 Project(s): None
Federal Tax Project(s): None
(Includes expanded description of the building/property, setting, significant landscape features, outbuildings and alterations)
The Carl C. and Emma H. Jantzen Estate is located on a private island on Lake Oswego. The home’s official address in on North Shore Road, but the distance from North Shore Road to the edge of the lake is approximately 250 feet. Maps show this long drive as “Island Road.” The island is teardrop shaped and roughly 700 feet by 500 feet at its widest point. The island sits just south of the Lake Oswego Country Club. According to tax records, the island and drive from North Shore Road encompass 4.35 acres. The island is well landscaped, and a formal garden is located to the southwest of the home. There is no public right-of-way to view this home, so it was not formally surveyed. The City of Lake Oswego provided photographs from a recent site visit, which were used to describe the property. Public land use files also shed light on the home’s current renovations. The Jantzen House The Jantzen House is located on the north side of the island. After crossing the bridge, the driveway curves around the house to the east and past the home up to a garage on the west side of the house. A large grass lawn is in front of the house to the south. Mature deciduous and coniferous trees and ornamental plants are found on the island. Tax records show that the house is approximately 8,922 square feet and has four bedrooms and six bathrooms. The house has a multiple sections. The center section consists of a wide hip roof with a front gable-on-hip projection. On the center section of the home are two hip-roof wings, one on the east and one on the west. The center gable has a shed-roof dormer with a bank of leaded windows and panels of decorative half-timbering. The house has two massive chimneys—one projects from the north side of the center mass of the house and the other is a wall chimney on the south façade of the east projection. The chimneys are similar in style and have multiple brickwork flues sitting on rough-cut un-coursed stone bases. The stone rises up beyond the eave of the roofline, and the chimneys are taller than the peak. The home is constructed of un-coursed rough-cut stone, and the roof is covered with the same red tile as the boathouse. The 1989 cultural resource inventory refers to this material as red slate. The home has a variety of window shapes, but most of the windows are multilight casement windows or multilight leaded windows. A large bay window is to the west of the entrance door. The window is capped with a decorative half-timbered band, and consists of a bank of seven wood-framed, fixed, multilight leaded windows. Other windows on the façade appear to be wood-framed, multilight casement windows. The main entrance is offset to the east on the front hip projection. The entrance is recessed, and a carved wood beam is inlayed above the entryway. The heavy wood door has a lighted panel and multilight leaded sidelights. There is also a non-historic garage, guest house, and gazebo on the island. The house has many of the character-defining features of the Tudor Revival style, including its single dominant gable, half-timbered dormers, asymmetrical plan, tile roof, massive chimneys, front entryway, lattice casement windows, and other architectural features reminiscent of a late-medieval Tudor Revival–style house. Some architectural elements have been altered over time. The 1989 cultural resources inventory noted a number of changes to both the historic landscape and the building. The gazebo and garden house were added in or around 1989, before the inventory, as were stone terraces and paths. The driveway was widened in 2003. Additionally, a stream was constructed that flows through the garden in front of the house (date unknown) and a 3,000-square-foot guesthouse was added to the property after 1987. A 2013 land use file shows that three new structures (including a tram) were proposed for the site. It appears that for the final approval, the tram’s path was altered and the tram car was made smaller, the entertainment area’s size was slightly reduced, and other retaining walls were approved (City of Lake Oswego 2013). On the interior of the home, the dining room and living room remain in original form, while the remaining rooms were reportedly altered or restored after the home suffered water damage. Despite these changes and additions, the exterior’s key character-defining features remain intact.
(Chronological, descriptive history of the property from its construction through at least the historic period - preferably to the present)
The Carl C. and Emma H. Jantzen Estate, located at 1850 North Shore Road in Lake Oswego, is architecturally significant as an outstanding example of the Tudor Revival style. It is also historically significant for its association with its original owner, Carl C. Jantzen, the co-founder of what is now Jantzen, an internationally popular producer of swimwear and other sports apparel. The estate consists of the house, boathouse, and bridge and landscape. The landscape was designed in 1929 by Tommy Tomson and the landscaping appears to have been mostly finished by ca.1931. The boathouse and bridge were completed in 1931, and were designed by Richard Sundeleaf in the Gothic Revival style. The house was designed in the Tudor Revival style by Ertz, Burns, & Co. and was completed by 1936. These three structures are listed together on the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP); although, different construction dates are provided in the nomination document. Carl Christian Jantzen was born on March 8, 1883, in Aarhus, Denmark. He immigrated to the United States in 1890 with his parents, Carl C. and Maria Jantzen (U.S. Bureau of the Census 1900; U.S. Selective Service 1917). As a teenager, he worked at Portland’s Meier & Frank department store; later, he joined his family in Hood River to work on his father’s newly acquired apple orchard (Lockley 1928:843). He worked on the apple orchard for 7 years, and it was reported that he took high school and college courses at night to further his education during this time (The Oregonian 1939). Jantzen married Emma H. Pregge in 1909. She was the daughter of pioneer settlers from Hood River. The couple had three children—Helen, Oneita, and Carl Jr. (Lockley 1928). Helen Jantzen drowned near Corbett Station on the Columbia River on Sunday August 26, 1917, at the age of 7 (The Oregonian 1917). While Carl Jantzen lived in Hood River, he became acquainted with John and C. Roy Zehntbauer. Jantzen and the Zehntbauer brothers founded the Portland Knitting Company, the predecessor of the influential Jantzen Knitting Mills Company. Together in 1913 they designed what would eventually become the prototype for the rib-stitch swimsuit (Muldoon 2010). The Jantzen “Diving Girl” logo became world famous during the early twentieth century (Muldoon 2010). The wealth that this revolutionary new invention generated funded the Carl C. and Emma H. Jantzen Estate, a private island that included the Jantzen home, designed by Charles Ertz in 1935 (construction was completed by 1936), and the Richard Sundeleaf–designed boathouse and a bridge (both constructed by August of 1931), all three of which are listed on the NRHP (The Sunday Oregonian 1931; Tess and Ritz 1990). Jantzen purchased the island on September 17, 1929, from the Ladd Estate Company. The Sunday Oregonian reported that the island would be used as the site for a “beautiful summer home” (The Sunday Oregonian 1929). At the time, it was reported that Jantzen had plans to “connect the island with the mainland by a suspension bridge.” Early plans also called for the island to be “elaborately landscaped.” It was estimated that the cost for erecting the home and conducting other improvements would be $150,000 (The Sunday Oregonian 1929). According to the NRHP nomination form, in 1929 Jantzen hired landscape architect Tommy Tomson to prepare landscape plans for the island prior to the house’s design. Tomson became well known for his landscape designs throughout California and for helping to establish and design the city of Palm Desert, California (Tess and Ritz 1990). The Sunday Oregonian reported in August 1931 that the boathouse and bridge were constructed and much had been completed on the initial landscape design. Sundeleaf initially prepared the design for the house, and a perspective drawing was published in The Sunday Oregonian in August 1931 (The Sunday Oregonian 1931). Sundeleaf’s house plans were never realized, as the Jantzens decided, for reasons unclear, to replace him and his more elaborate design with the work of the architectural firm Ertz, Burns, & Co. (Tess and Ritz 1990). The August 1931 article reported that the Ladd Estate Company lowered the waters of Oswego Lake by 12 feet during the construction of the boathouse and retaining wall to assist in the construction process. The original landscape plan included a large vegetable garden, with fruit trees, “a sweeping lawn,” and five putting greens. The Sunday Oregonian also reported that a crew of 20 people had been working on the 5-acre site for approximately a year starting in August of 1930, when construction started on the Sundeleaf-designed bridge (The Sunday Oregonian 1931). On August 17, 1932, Oneita Jantzen, the Jantzens’ daughter, married Edgar McLellan on the island. The garden estate was referred to as “Carneita Isle” and was described as a center of “much entertainment” (The Sunday Oregonian 1932). It was not until June of 1935 that The Oregonian reported that grading had begun for the construction of the Jantzen home designed by Ertz, Burns, & Co. (The Oregonian 1935). The Carl C. and Emma H. Jantzen Estate NRHP nomination file erroneously reports that the house was completed in 1935 (Tess and Ritz 1990). In fact, it appears the house was still under construction, at an estimated cost of $90,000, in February of 1936 (The Sunday Oregonian 1936). The article proves difficult to read, but appears to say (illegible words are shown as [xxx]): “The largest of the homes, Mr. and [xxx] Carl Jantzen’s $90,000 home is on [xxx] island in Lake Oswego, is [xxx] to be finished in early [xxx].” It seems likely that the article said “…is to be finished in early spring” (The Sunday Oregonian 1936). Furthermore, The Oregonian advertised the sale of the Jantzens’ Portland home on October 1, 1936, stating that Jantzen had just “moved to his Oswego estate” (The Oregonian 1936). According to its NRHP nomination, the house was occupied by Carl Jantzen and his family until his death on May 30, 1939 (Tess and Ritz 1990). Jantzen died on a Union Pacific Streamliner in North Powder, Oregon, after suffering a heart attack while passing through Sherman Hill, Idaho. Jantzen was returning from a round-the-world tour (The Oregonian 1939). It is unclear how long Emma and Carl Jr. Jantzen continued to live in the house after Carl Jantzen’s death, but the 1940 federal census listed both at the address (U.S. Bureau of the Census 1940). Deed records show that Harry K. Coffey purchased the house in 1952 (Koler and Morrison 1989). An article published in The Oregonian in June of 1954 describes a plane crash near Hood River that caused Coffey’s death; it also lists a maintenance worker/gardener of Coffey’s, Sam Camp, as being one of the victims. The article states “Sam Camp had been Coffey’s gardener on his Lake Oswego estate for 13 years” (The Oregonian 1954). This suggests that the Coffeys began their residence on Jantzen Island in 1941, shortly after Carl Jantzen’s death. More research should be conducted to discover the year Coffey first resided at the estate. Coffey was the head of Harry K. Coffey & Associates, a company of general agents for Mutual of Omaha and United Benefit Life Insurance (The National Underwriter 1954). He was also known for being one of the nation’s “pioneer pilots,” who received his pilot’s license in 1914, but had “built and flown a glider in 1911.” Coffey was the president of the Aero Club of Oregon for many years and twice was the president of the National Aeronautics Association (The Oregonian 1954). After Coffey’s death, Carl and Virginia Halvorsen bought the property (in 1956), and it remained under their ownership for approximately the next 30 years (until 1987) (Tess and Ritz 1990). Charles Walter Ertz (November 18, 1887–April 8, 1979) practiced architecture chiefly in the Portland area and in Beverly Hills, California, for more than 40 years. Ertz was employed as a draftsman in the offices of Joseph Jacobberger for several years before becoming an architect. The majority of Ertz’s career was as a sole proprietor, with numerous references found to his work as an architect beginning in 1910 (The Oregonian 1910). He established Ertz, Burns, & Co. with his long-time employee Tom Burns in 1935, around the time the Jantzen Estate house was designed. Among the many works of Charles W. Ertz and Ertz, Burns, & Co., aside from the Janzten house, are the Lloyd Golf Course Clubhouse and Restaurant and the Behnke-Walker Building, both in Portland (Ritz 2003:124–125). Richard Sundeleaf (1900–1987) was one of Portland’s most significant and prolific architects. Sundeleaf was born and raised in Portland, and graduated from the University of Oregon’s School of Architecture in 1923. Sundeleaf held Oregon Architecture License No. 201 (Ritz 2003), and began his career working as a draftsman for the famed Portland architectural firm A.E. Doyle & Associates. He also worked for a time as a draftsman for Wade Pipes, another prominent Portland architect, and the firm Sutton and Whitney, also a Portland firm (The Oregonian 1987). Sundeleaf started his own firm in 1928, and designed numerous residences in Lake Oswego and in the greater Portland area. During the Great Depression, Sundeleaf worked for the Historic American Building Survey (Richard Sundeleaf 1924–1984). With its single dominant gable, stone construction, half-timbered and stucco dormers, asymmetrical plan, lattice steel casement windows, tile roof, and other architectural features reminiscent of a late-medieval English manor, the Carl C. and Emma H. Jantzen Estate is, stylistically, an impressive example of a Tudor Revival–style house. English influences are combined with characteristics attributed to the Arts and Crafts architectural style, which was popular at the time of the house’s construction. While certain architectural elements have been altered over time (including the addition of new stone walls, a 3,000-square-foot guesthouse, and significant alterations to the interior), the exterior’s key character-defining features are intact, and the overall historic integrity of the property remains high (Muldoon 2010). A 2013 land use file shows that three new structures (including a tram) were proposed for the site, and the City of Lake Oswego determined that they would not diminish the integrity of the historic structures. However, The Historic Resources Advisory Board (HRAB), the North Shore/Country Club Neighborhood Association and the State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) all concurred that the tram would overwhelm the historic setting and house. Ultimately, it appears, the final approval showed the trams path was altered and the tram car was made smaller, the entertainment area’s size was slightly reduced a and other the retaining walls were approved (City of Lake Oswego 2013). Even without its fine stylistic features, the Carl C. and Emma H. Jantzen Estate is an important local and national landmark for its direct association with its original owners, Carl and Emma Jantzen. It is not only a fitting monument to Jantzen’s internationally known industry but is also one of Lake Oswego’s and the Pacific Northwest’s most impressive historic architectural landmarks.
Title Records Census Records Property Tax Records Local Histories
Sanborn Maps Biographical Sources SHPO Files Interviews
Obituaries Newspapers State Archives Historic Photographs
City Directories Building Permits State Library
Local Library:Lake Oswego Public Library University Library:University of Oregon
Historical Society: Other Respository:
Bibliography: