|The Waverley Country-Club Clubhouse, located in unincorporated Clackamas County, Oregon, is significant locally and eligible for listing in the National Register under Criterion C in the category of Architecture. The building embodies the distinctive characteristics of a building type as an excellent and largely intact example of the country-club clubhouse. In the mid-to-late 19th century, social clubs appeared in most major cities; Portland had the Arlington Club (1867) and later the University Club (1897). In some instances, clubs were associated with sports; in Portland, the example is the Multnomah Athletic Club, founded in 1891. By the turn of the century, with the confluence of new transportation modes, particularly the automobile, and the rise of the popularity of golf, the club concept was translated into a summer club or more appropriately titled, “the country club.” Typically, these clubs were organized along the lines of city clubs, combining exclusive membership, social activities, and sport activities. Unlike the city clubs, however, women and families were not excluded but often actively involved. As the concept blossomed, the clubhouse became the keystone of the club, with facilities not only to support the sporting activities but also dining-rooms, ballrooms, card rooms, and the like. Typically, these clubhouses also included guest rooms to accommodate members and their families for overnight stays. As the country-club grew in prestige, new clubhouses required the skills and reputation of professional architects. Waverley, built in 1913, fully embodies this building type and is the earliest extant example of the clubhouse in Oregon.
The Waverley Clubhouse is also important locally as the work of a master. In the words of architectural historian Richard Ritz, the Whitehouse firm “designed many of the most important buildings in Portland and the state capitol during the first half of the century.” At Whitehouse’s death, the Oregonian offered, “many of Oregon’s most beautiful buildings were designed by him. He was associate architect in the designing and construction of such Portland buildings as Temple Beth Israel, Sixth Church of Christ Scientist, Federal Courthouse, Lincoln and Jefferson high schools, Multnomah Athletic Club and Multnomah Stadium, University Club, and Waverley Country-Club.” The Oregon State Historic Preservation Office’s database of historic resources identifies Whitehouse as the architect of 46 notable buildings in the state. Fifteen of these are listed in the National Register, including the Oregon State Capitol, Columbia Gorge Hotel, Wickersham Apartment Building, the U. S. Courthouse, and University Club. Despite this prolific career of high-quality work, only two resources have been identified in Clackamas County: The first is the Waverley Country-Club; the second is the c. 1930 Elizabeth Clark House, in Oregon City. The Waverley Clubhouse has a high degree of integrity and Whitehouse was not only responsible for the 1913 design of Waverley but the 1930 addition and alterations.
The property is listed in the Cultural Resources of Clackamas County and was surveyed subsequently by Clackamas County Historic Landmarks in 1986 and 2007. It has been determined eligible for individual listing in the National Register.
Criterion C: Architecture: Building Type: The Waverley Country-Club Clubhouse is significant locally and eligible for the National Register under Criterion C as the earliest extant example of the country-club clubhouse within the Portland metropolitan region and within Clackamas County. The building embodies the distinctive characteristics of the building type and is largely intact.
In the mid-to-late 19th century, exclusive social clubs appeared in most major cities. At their beginning, these were men’s clubs located in the city core. The first recorded club was the "State of the Schuylkill," a Philadelphia eating and drinking club founded in 1732. Other early examples include the Hasty Pudding Institute, formed at Harvard in 1770, and the “Skull and Bones," formed at Yale in 1832. The first non-university clubs arrived with the Philadelphia Club in 1832 and the Union Club of New York in 1836. Through the century, such clubs continued to be formed throughout the country. In Portland, these clubs found expression first in the Arlington Club, formed in 1867, and later in the University Club, established after Waverley in 1897. The goal of these clubs was to create a place of civility and business. Such clubs were also the avenue to social honor in a community. Membership carried with it the mark of being "upper crust", of being a gentleman in the most civilized sense of the word.
At this same time, society saw the rise in sports as acceptable, if not honorable, activity. Games with growing popularity included tennis, bowling, cycling, and polo. This interest gave expression to sports clubs. City-based athletic clubs appeared in New York in 1868 and Chicago in the1890s. Portland saw the appearance of the Multnomah Athletic Club in 1891. Within a year, membership there totaled more than 300, and the club embraced not only indoor physical conditioning but also such outdoor sports, such as track and field, football, and cycling. In 1893, the club moved to a specially built clubhouse at 10th Avenue and Yamhill Street, the site of today’s downtown public library, where it remained until a new and much larger facility was built on Chapman Street in 1900. That new structure, located at the northeast corner of the club’s playing fields (today’s Jeld-Wen Park), was destroyed in a massive fire in July 1910 that leveled several surrounding blocks. The club then built an even larger facility on Salmon Street, this one designed by the firm of architect and club member Morris Whitehouse.
One sport that gained particular favor in the late 19th century was golf. With roots in the harsh glacially formed terrain of Scotland, golf first appeared in the United States in the late 18th century, but did not become popular here until nearly a century later. The New York Times ran its first major article on the sport on October 4, 1891. This article, entitled, “Golf is Growing in Favor,” both explained and extolled the game: “An outdoor pastime which appears to be gaining favor in this country . . . is the Scottish national game of golf. There appears to be only one reason why it is not among the most popular of outdoor sports, and that is that it is not understood as it might be.” “ It is specially commended . . . as a first-class substitute for the more violent sports like baseball, tennis, cricket, football, lacrosse and the like.” At the time of publication, New York City had three golf clubs: the Yonkers, Meadowbrook and Shinnecock.
By the early 1890s, the sport gained a foothold in the Pacific Northwest, first with clubs in Tacoma and then Seattle. In July 1893, the Oregonian published an article similar to that in the Times, explaining and promoting the game: Entitled “Summer Lawn Games.” The article offered, “The lawn game newest to us is golf. It is played extensively in England and it has always been a national sport in Scotland. It will be tried here this season at various country houses, and it will probably become popular.” In February 1895, the Oregonian again featured an article explaining the game and noting the establishment of a golf “link” in Piedmont. Finally, on April 1, 1895, the Oregonian declared “Golf to be the Rage,” announcing that the Multnomah Club designated the sport as one of its standard sports for the summer. Beginning that spring, the newspaper ran regular and continuing articles about matches, tournaments, and other events.
With the rise of the automobile and interest in touring, summer or “country” clubs also now appeared. The first known country-club was the Myopia Club in Boston, formed in 1879. According to James Mayo in The American Country Club, “The club combined elite sport with a clubhouse facility. The Myopia Club took the city club method of organizational structure and membership selection beyond the city limits.” Out of the Myopia Club came the Country-Club in Brookline, Massachusetts, in 1882. Over the next decade country-clubs appeared across the country. St. Andrews Golf Club, established in 1888, is considered to be the first country golf club in the United States. Other early examples include Buffalo (1889) and Tuxedo (1886), both in New York State, and Town & Country (1888) in St. Paul, Minnesota. By 1901, there were more than a thousand golf country-clubs with at least one in each of the 48 states.
In Portland, Waverley became one of the first golf links when it established a course near what is now Cleveland High School in 1896. Shortly thereafter it moved to its current location and included a clubhouse as part of its facilities. It was the first true country-club clubhouse in the metropolitan area. The architect is unknown but the building is attributed to William Whidden. That clubhouse featured dining-rooms, locker-rooms, and showers.
According to Mayo, the country-club clubhouse was a new building type. Apart from engineering, aesthetics were the driving force in clubhouse design, with particular attention to vistas. It also became important to have architect-designed clubhouses; as one landscape architect of the era put it: “The flannel shirt has disappeared from the country club . . . Dame Fashion has set another standard, and the country-club shows it both in its membership and architecture.” At the same time, such stylings needed to be sufficiently austere, so as to not be ostentatious. Spatial arrangements were driven by the need for public social spaces, such as ballrooms, dining-rooms, card rooms, and cafes. Typically, clubhouses also had guest rooms for members to overnight. And much like a first-class hotel, the clubhouse needed back-of-the-house service areas, such as kitchens, pantries, and offices. Clubhouses also required locker-rooms, showers, and appropriate and varied lounge areas for members. The country-clubs had locker-rooms for women, in contrast to the city-based athletic facilities, which typically only had accommodations for men. Interestingly too, in contrast to the city clubs, country-clubs typically did not have a library.
The Waverley Country-Club Clubhouse is an outstanding example of this construct. It was designed by one of Portland’s premier architectural firms, Whitehouse & Fouilhoux. It was designed in the Colonial Revival style, reflecting the highest values of elegance and austerity in American design. The clubhouse is sited dramatically on a rise overlooking the Willamette River, which allows for prominent views from around the area, particularly across the river, and also wonderful views from the building’s most public rooms. The first floor, as designed and today, features a reception hall, dining-room, ballroom, and lounge, all supported by back-of-the-house facilities. The lower floor originally was devoted to the men’s locker-room and casual restaurant; today, it is still a locker-room and casual restaurant. The upper floor had rooms for overnight guests along with the women’s locker facilities. In 1930, the clubhouse was expanded with an addition to provide a larger men’s locker-room. The one-time men’s area was then adapted for women’s use.
When Waverley built its current clubhouse, no other country-club clubhouses existed in the Portland region. Within two years, two competitors appeared: the Tualatin Golf Club and the Portland Golf Club. The Tualatin Club Clubhouse was first replaced in 1940 and today is a modern facility. The Portland Golf Clubhouse burned the year after construction. It was replaced shortly thereafter and then again in 1927. The Lake Oswego Country-Club was created in 1924, but as a device to sell residential lots bordering the course and not as a true club in the vein of Waverley. In time, golf’s popularity extended with cities creating municipal courses that featured their own version of a clubhouse. In Portland, early examples included the Eastmoreland Golf Course (1922) and the Rose City Golf Clubhouse (1932). While both had clubhouses, these buildings were distinct in design from the type of private country clubhouse as Waverley. More specifically, while municipal golf courses featured restaurants, locker-rooms and lounges, they did not have membership-driven features such as formal reception rooms, ballrooms, and overnight guest accommodations. Only the heritage and architecture of Waverley truly reflects the dynamics that gave rise to the elite country-club.
Criterion C: Architecture: Work of a Master: The Waverley Country-Club Clubhouse is one of two works produced by the architectural firm of Whitehouse & Fouilhoux in Clackamas County. It is fundamentally intact and a full expression of the architect’s skill.
Whitehouse & Fouilhoux was one of the state’s most prominent firms headed by one of its most prominent architects. As described by Richard Ritz, “Morris Whitehouse founded an architectural firm in Portland which continued under successors for 80 years, the longest lived architectural firm in the history of architecture in Oregon. This firm designed many of the most important buildings in Portland and the State Capitol during the first half of the 20th century.”
Raised in Portland and trained at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Whitehouse completed his architectural studies in 1905 and was the first student to receive the Guy Lowell Traveling Fellowship, granting him a year’s study at the American Academy in Rome. Whitehouse returned to Portland in 1907 to practice architecture. In 1909, Whitehouse entered a partnership with Edgar M. Lazarus and Jacques Andre Fouilhoux. The following year, Lazarus left the firm and Whitehouse continued the partnership with Fouilhoux until 1919. Paris-born Fouilhoux studied architecture at Ecole Centrale des Arts et Manufactures. Upon coming to the United States in 1904, he stopped in Detroit to work for Albert Kahn. In 1908 he came to Portland and shortly thereafter joined with Whitehouse. This partnership was very successful, and the firm carried out many important commissions in Portland. In addition to the Waverley Clubhouse, notable works include Jefferson High School (1910), Mann Home (1910), Multnomah Athletic Club (1912), the University Club (1913), the Platt Building (1912), and 705 Davis Street Apartments (1913).
Fouilhoux was absent for service in the U.S. Army in France from 1917 to 1919, and then left the partnership to practice in New York City. Whitehouse practiced without a partner until 1926 when he made Glenn Stanton and Walter Church associates. Whitehouse remained active until his death in 1944, a career spanning nearly four decades. Later successful works include the Columbia Gorge Hotel (1922), Temple Beth Israel (with Herman Bookman) (1926), Multnomah Athletic Club Stadium (now Jeld-Wen Field) (1926), and the United States Courthouse (1930). In 1917, he was the associate architect for the City Auditorium, working with New York architects J. H. Freelander and A. D. Seymour, and in 1936, worked with New York architects Trowbridge & Livingston and Francis Keally of New York in the design and construction of Oregon’s new state capitol building.
As a premier architecture firm, Whitehouse & Fouilhoux has been responsible for many wonderful and superior designs. These include residences, churches, courthouses, apartments, schools, and hotels. The firm produced consistent designs of superior quality. The National Register lists fifteen properties by Whitehouse & Fouilhoux and Whitehouse’s successor firms. These include the Oregon State Capitol (1930), the Columbia Gorge Hotel (1920), two apartment house (dated 1910 and 1913), and five residences ranging in date between 1910 and 1930. The list also includes the University Club (1913) and the US Courthouse (1930). It is perhaps his obituary that identifies Whitehouse’s most important buildings in the eyes of his contemporaries. In chronological order, these are Jefferson High School (1909), Lincoln High School (1910), Multnomah Athletic Club (1912; demolished), University Club (1913; NR), Waverley (1913), Temple Beth Israel (1926; NR), United States Courthouse (1930;NR), Sixth Church of Christ Scientist (1931; NR), Multnomah Stadium (now Jeld-Wen Park)(1926) and the Oregon State Capitol (1936)(NR).
As recognized by noted local architectural historian Richard Ritz and by the Oregonian, the Waverley Country-Club Clubhouse is an outstanding example of the firm’s work. Coming in 1912, it was an important commission early in Whitehouse & Fouilhoux’s career. His work was scrutinized and assessed by Waverley’s leadership that included many of the city’s most important businessmen, and one of the City’s most senior, respected and influential architects (William Whidden). Seventeen years later, when well established in his profession, Whitehouse was also responsible for the 1930 addition and alterations. That building stands today largely intact.