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Oregon Historic Sites Database

address:3316 SE Ankeny St historic name:Green, Harry A and Ada, House
Portland, Multnomah County current/other names:
assoc addresses:
block/lot/tax lot:
location descr: twnshp/rng/sect/qtr sect:1N 1E 36
resource type:Building height (stories):2.0 total elig resources:1 total inelig resources:0
elig evaluation: eligible/significant NR Status: Individually Listed
prim constr date:1928 second date: date indiv listed:09/30/2013
primary orig use: Single Dwelling orig use comments:
second orig use:
primary style: Spanish Revival prim style comments:
secondary style: Colonial Revival sec style comments:
primary siding: Stucco siding comments:
secondary siding: Brick:Other/Undefined
plan type: architect:Brookman, Herman, Architect; Iohan Konrad Tuerck, Metal Artist
builder:Lorenz Brothers
comments/notes:
HRR completed 1/28/2013, determined eligible for listing.
Not associated with any surveys or groupings.
NR date listed: 09/30/2013
ILS survey date:
RLS survey date:
106 Project(s): None
Special Assess Project(s): None
Federal Tax Project(s): None
(Includes expanded description of the building/property, setting, significant landscape features, outbuildings and alterations)
The Harry A. and Ada Green House is located at 3316 SE Ankeny Street, just north of Laurelhurst Park in the Laurelhurst neighborhood of Southeast Portland. The site is a combination of three rectangular residential lots and a semi-circular end lot, plus half of the portion of SE Ash Street that has been vacated south of the lots, – equaling roughly 30,000 square feet. The residence was constructed in 1928, aligned with and sited toward the south property line elevating it slightly above SE Ankeny Street and at the highest point overlooking the park. The two-story house is flanked by a semi-circular bathhouse that embraces an outdoor swimming pool and a three-car garage. Both are attached to the main house by covered walkways, and are therefore considered part of the single building resource. The buildings are generally composed of a concrete foundations, stucco-clad walls, and red-tile roofs. Spanish Eclectic in style, they feature a unique variety of forms, roof shapes, openings, and ornament, including towers, curved walls, cast-relief panels, and elaborate cast window surrounds. Of particular note are the prolific use of highly decorative iron and bronze work by Portland craftsman Iohan Konrad Tuerck – including the main entrance porch, gates, and grilles – and the repeated motifs of the peacock, shell, flower, and young girl throughout the exterior and interior of the property. The site is integrally designed including, brick patios, pathways, low walls, fountains, and lawns. The 10,061 square-foot interiors are rich and ornate with custom details, innovative technologies of the time, and lavish finishes. The overall plan is divided in half, with the western half dedicated to entertainment and family spaces and the east half to service spaces. The first floor comprises a sequence of three entry spaces flanked by living, dining, and other entertaining related rooms. The east portion of the first floor includes cooking and service-related spaces. The basement is a continuation of the first floor functions – including a ballroom in the west half and laundry and other services in the east half. The second floor is comprises three bedrooms with bathrooms arranged off of a central passage and three maid's bedrooms and shared bath at the east end of the passage. The house, attached outbuildings, and site retain a high degree of integrity – both exterior and interior. Few alterations have occurred over the years and the deterioration is currently being repaired in-kind and using the original architectural plans and specifications.
(Chronological, descriptive history of the property from its construction through at least the historic period - preferably to the present)
The Harry A. and Ada Green House is eligible for the National Register at the statewide level under Criterion C in the area of Architecture as a significant work of master architect Herman Brookman. It is unique among Brookman's body of work – exhibiting signature features such as curving walls, casement windows, ornamental ironwork, intricate detail, but in the high-style Spanish Eclectic style. The house was constructed in 1928 for Portland furniture magnate Harry Green – second president of Doernbecher Furniture Manufacturing Co. – and included all the latest modern conveniences and the highest quality materials and craftsmanship. Every detail was carefully designed by Brookman – from the overall form and massing of the building to the highly crafted interiors and detailed site design. Specialty craftsmen – such as metal artist Iohan Konrad Tuerck – were commissioned for the elaborate wrought-iron work, wood carvings, stone and plaster castings, and light fixtures. Unique to this particular residence are the exotic details – including imported African faience tiles, Egyptian shell, leaf, and flower motifs, and Moorish patterns and forms. The property retains a high degree of historic integrity – including the site, attached bathhouse and garage, and main residence exterior and interior. The period of significance is the original construction date of 1928. The Green House is a unique early example of Herman Brookman's exploration of architectural style, ingenuity, and personalization of details, and commitment to fine craftsmanship beyond his typical bounds and those of his contemporaries in Oregon. Herman Brookman had few equals in Oregon. As described in Classic Houses of Portland, Oregon 1850-1950, "the energy that he committed to the mastery of architecture as an art, his sense of composition and site-planning, and the execution of joyously beautiful detail produced results as fine as could be found anywhere in the country." Brookman's 40-year career in Portland included some notable commercial and public work – such as the National Register-listed Temple Beth Israel in 1927 – but primarily focused on residential design. He is identified as "one of Portland's most important designers of fine houses" by Richard Ritz in Architects of Oregon, A Biographical Dictionary of Architects Deceased – 19th and 20th Centuries. His body of work can be divided into three distinct periods identified by shifts in style and level of ornament. Prior to 1940, Brookman worked primarily in traditional revival styles – mostly along the classical and colonial lines. His revival period can be further divided into early (1920s) and transitional (1930s). Brookman’s early revival work began with his first and most ambitious commission – the Frank Estate (listed on the National Register in 1978). The Tudor-style Frank Estate (or Fir Acres) is a superlative example of the high-style mansions and grounds enjoyed by the wealthy prior to the Great Depression. This period is marked by elaborate lavish detail at no expense spared. The transitional period, as defined by Classic Houses of Portland, Oregon 1850-1950, was a time when Portland's residential architects explored simplifying traditional architecture without elaborate ornamentation. This simplification eventually led to the modern styles that developed after WWII. Brookman designed many mid-size residences during this period. After 1940 Brookman's work shifted from transitional to a more modern aesthetic, in line with the developing Pacific Northwest style. The Harry A. and Ada Green House was commissioned in 1927 on the heels of the Frank Estate and by a wealthy social climber. The house is one of few that falls into the early revival period of Brookman's work, as the stock market crash of 1929 brought the lavish spending of the 1920s to an end. It is the only design of that period to fully explore the Spanish, Mediterranean, and African influences during the height of the Spanish revival craze that was fueled by the Panama-California Exposition of 1915 – which brought the architecture of Southern California, Mexico, Spain, and Italy, as well as Muslim details to national attention as a contrast to the formal Renaissance and Neo-Classical styles that had been typical of the expositions since the 1893 World Columbian Exposition in Chicago. Brookman typically buried himself in his designs – devoting attention to every aspect, including site design, massing, materials, ornament, and details of craftsmanship. Each design was specific to his client and their site; however, commonalities can be found among his designs reflecting Brookman's personal preferences – including embellished entries, curving elements, casement and leaded-glass windows, wrought-iron work, custom lighting, and detailed carvings or castings. Brookman uniquely reinterpreted his signature elements in the Spanish Eclectic style for the Green House design, resulting in a stucco-clad round stair tower, curved bay windows on the south façade, and arched casement and leaded-glass windows surrounded by elaborate cast Spanish-style surrounds. The Spanish Eclectic style allowed Brookman to use elaborate ironwork more prolifically than any other revival style. It also allowed him to expand his previous use of wood carvings at the Frank Estate to plaster carvings and castings as evidenced by the ornate window and door surrounds, interior panels above doors, and carvings in the Stair Hall. His propensity for rich materials was expanded to include faience tile – employed in Moorish-influenced designs below the second floor window on the west elevation and as an interior finish in both the Entry Porch and the Flower Room, and in more modern Art Deco influenced patterns and colors in the various bathrooms throughout the house. While Brookman utilized some of the Spanish influenced elements developed while designing the Green House in later transitional period designs such as the Jorgensen House, no other Depression-era or Post-War residence came close to the Green House in grandeur, level of detail, and completeness of execution, making the Green House equal to and as unique as the Frank Estate among Herman Brookman's lifetime body of work. Beyond the initial design process, Brookman was heavily involved in the construction of his projects providing highly detailed construction documents and specifications. He selected and worked directly with craftsmen on carving and ironwork details. He provided I.K. Tuerck with sketches of motifs and centerpieces of designs for window grills, gates, stair railings, interior vents, and, most impressively, for an enclosed entry porch complete with peacocks and the owner's initials "HG." Brookman had a reputation for expecting perfection and rejecting work that did not meet his high standards. The Green House was built by the Lorenz Brothers at a cost of $410,000 and the grounds were landscaped at a cost of $30,000.
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: University Library:
Historical Society: Other Respository:Architecture magazines and books
Bibliography:
"Court Awards $320,000 to Wife of Harry Green." The Oregonian, 13 Jul 1950. "Elaborate Green Mansion Sold for Indicated $60,000." The Oregonian, 11 November 1951. Green, Harry A. House, Herman Brookman Photographs, PH114 Box 3, Special Collections & University Archives, University of Oregon Libraries, Eugene, OR. Harris, Cyril M. Illustrated Dictionary of Historic Architecture. New York: Dover Publications, 1977. Hawkins, William J. and William F. Willingham. Classic Houses of Portland, Oregon, 1850-1950. Portland, OR: Timber Press, 1999. "Honor Paid Craftsman – Oregon Architects Praise Work of Tuerck." The Oregonian, 1 Jul 1928. Jaquiss, Nigel. "Bad Neighbor." Willamette Weekly, 2011. "Mabel Sarah Bitar Obituary." The Oregonian, 30 Nov 2003. MacColl, E. Kimbark. The Growth of A City – Power and Politics in Portland, Oregon, 1915-1950. Portland, OR: Georgian Press, 1979. "Making the Dollar…Barker Manufacturing Rises from the Corpse of Doernbecher Furn." The Oregonian, 2 Dec 1960. McAlester, Virginia and Lee. A Field Guide to American Houses. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1986. National Park Service. Twentieth Century Building Materials – History and Conservation. Washington, D.C.: McGraw Hill, 1995. "New Chance Seen to Save Factory." The Oregonian, 23 Mar 1936. "Portland Businessman Robert A. Bitar Dies." The Oregonian, 16 Jan 2000. Record #8-020-03316: 3316 SE Ankeny Street, Historic Resource Inventory, City of Portland, 1984. Residence for Harry A. Green, Esq., Portland, Oregon Architecture Plans and Specifications, Herman Brookman Architecture Files, BTabb Folders 31,32,33, & 36, Special Collections & University Archives, University of Oregon Libraries, Eugene, OR. Ritz, Richard E., Architects of Oregon, A Biographical Dictionary of Architects Deceased – 19th and 20th Centuries. Portland, OR: Lair Hill Publishing, 2002. Sanborn Map Company. 1924-1928, 1924-Nov. 1950 Portland Sanborn Maps. Multnomah County Public Library (online). Retrieved December 2012. "The Residence of Harry A. and Ada Green, Portland, Ore.," Architecture, September, 1928. "Tuerck Leads in Art Metal Work." The Oregonian, 15 Oct 1905. National Register Nominations Elwyn, Reed and Jon Horn. "Frank (M. Lloyd) Estate." Oregon SHPO,1978. Fitzgerald, Kimberli, and Amy McFeeters-Krone. "Baruh-Zell House." Oregon SHPO, 2006. McFeeters-Krone, Amy. "Jorgensen, Victor H. and Marta House." Oregon SHPO, 2008.