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Oregon Historic Sites Database

address: historic name:Irvington Historic District
Portland vcty, Multnomah County current/other names:
assoc addresses:
block/lot/tax lot:
location descr:Roughly bound by NE Fremont , NE 27th Ave., NE Broadway, NE 7th Ave twnshp/rng/sect/qtr sect:1N 1E 26
resource type:district height (stories): total elig resources:2394 total inelig resources:419
elig evaluation: eligible/significant NR Status: Individually Listed
prim constr date:1891 second date:1948 date indiv listed:10/22/2010
primary orig use: orig use comments:
second orig use:
primary style: prim style comments:
secondary style: sec style comments:
primary siding: siding comments:
secondary siding:
plan type: architect:
builder:
comments/notes:
8-30-2016 Additional Documentation approved. NRIS# 10000850. TZ 3/8/2018 Additional Documentation approved. NRIS# AD10000850. Garage located at 3224 NE 25th Avenue changed from contributing to non-contributing. TZ 7/15/19 Additional Documentation approved NRIS# AD10000850. TC
Survey/Grouping Included In: Type of Grouping Date Listed Date Compiled
   Irvington Historic District Listed Historic District 10/22/2010 2008
NR date listed: 10/22/2010
ILS survey date:
RLS survey date:
106 Project(s)
SHPO Case Date Agency Effect Eval
14-1779 01/12/2015 no adverse effect
Special Assess Project(s): None
Federal Tax Project(s): None
(Includes expanded description of the building/property, setting, significant landscape features, outbuildings and alterations)
Summary Paragraph The summary description of the district’s physical and architectural characteristics set forth in this section is based on the more detailed descriptions contained in the publications and documents referenced in the footnotes and bibliography throughout the nomination, which are incorporated here. The more detailed studies enhance Section 7’s discussion of the historic character, architectural features, materials, and integrity of the properties within the Irvington Historic District and are intended to inform local, state, and federal reviews evaluating the properties within this district. The Irvington Historic District is a residential neighborhood composed primarily of single-family homes, located in northeast Portland, Oregon. The district is generally bounded on the north by NE Fremont Street, south by NE Broadway Street, west by NE 7th Avenue, and on the east by NE 27th Avenue. The district encompasses approximately 583 acres and consists of almost 200 long rectangular-shaped blocks. Newer multi-family residences (e.g. apartment buildings, duplexes, and triplexes) have been constructed along the southern end of the district close to the former north/south street car lines. While infill has occurred over time, Irvington maintaines its suburban setting exemplified by tree-lined streets, uniform setbacks, and the similarity of scale and design in the housing stock. The majority of homes were constructed between 1900 and 1930, but examples of early Queen Anne-style cottages still survive, and many mid-twentieth century residential buildings are located throughout the nominated area. The district is notable for its collection of Queen Anne, Period Revival (revival-style inspired cottages, English Cottage, Tudor Revival, Classical Revival, Mediterranean Revival, and Colonial Revival), Bungalow/Craftsman, and Prairie School residences. The most common alterations to buildings in the district are the application of vinyl siding, porch alterations, and the replacement of original windows. District Boundary - Physical Description The Irvington Historic District encompasses approximately 583 acres between NE Fremont Street, NE Broadway Street, NE 7th Avenue, and along the east side of NE 27th Avenue, including a small extension that includes some properties along NE 28th Avenue – see Figure 2, District Boundary and Photo Location Map and Figure 4, Irvington Historic District Map. While the district boundary is reflective of historic plat and land development patterns throughout the district, the boundary also reflects important physical differences between the nominated area and the surrounding neighborhoods in terms of geography, lot size, property use, and historical integrity. The north boundary along NE Fremont Street marks the physical division between two areas with distinct historical associations and separates the nominated district from an area of commercial intrusion. The area to the north of NE Fremont Street is related to the development of the Alameda and Albina neighborhoods. The Alameda Ridge, which lies just a couple of blocks north of NE Fremont Street, also represents an important topographic feature that precipitates changes to the orthogonal grid as streets traverse the ridge in a curvilinear fashion. Lot shapes and sizes are irregular as a result of the changes in topography and road alignments. Due to residents’ desire to take of views from ridgeline, buildings and lot sizes within the Alameda neighborhood in particular are much larger in contrast to Irvington’s lots. The west boundary along NE 7th Avenue marks the transition between the north – south orientation of the Irvington Historic District’s streets and the east – west orientation of the roads to the west. The residences to the west of NE 7th Avenue also exhibit a lesser degree of historical integrity. NE 7th Avenue and NE Fremont Street are also the north and west boundaries of the Irving Donation Land Claim and 1887 Irvington plat. The east boundary along NE 27th Avenue generally follows the eastern boundary of several plats that developed along with the original Irvington plat in the late-nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries. The lots in these plats are similarly sized and the residences follow similar architectural trends as those found within the Irvington plat. East of NE 27th Avenue, outside the district, the lot sizes become noticeably larger and are irregularly shaped. Dwelling sizes also tend to increase, and the road network deviates from Irvington’s rectilinear grid. The southern boundary along NE Broadway Street is based on a notable decrease in historical integrity in the properties on the southern side of NE Broadway Street. This lack of integrity is largely the result of commercial development that occurred in response to the construction of the Lloyd Center mall in 1960. Irvington’s Suburban Characteristics and Physical Development The Streetcar Suburb is listed as a property subtype within the “Historic Residential Suburbs in the United States, 1830-1960” Multiple Property Documentation Form, and Irvington is an excellent local example of this type of development The nominated area grew as a direct result of the expansion of the electric streetcar lines that extended from downtown Portland in the late-nineteenth century, and which by the first decade of the 1900s extended along NE Broadway Street, NE 15th, NE 22nd, and NE 24th Avenues. As an example of a streetcar suburb derived from a “gridiron plat,” Irvington’s physical development and appearance was distinctively shaped in a manner similar to streetcar suburbs located throughout the United States. The Irvington Historic District developed from south to north based upon the presence of the initial streetcar extension along NE Broadway Street evidenced by the location of many older homes (1890s) along or in close proximity to NE Tillamook Street, which is just three blocks north. Later residences (1900-1948) are distributed throughout the neighborhood and are indicative of more intensive development activity and infill that occurred during that period as the streetcar lines were expanded. Post-1948 residences, apartment buildings, and commercial buildings occur throughout the neighborhood, but not in concentrations that detract from the overall integrity of the district. The distribution of housing types and styles within the neighborhood echoes the broad time span over which construction occurred within the district. The majority of buildings within the district are single-family residences. A large number of multifamily residences and apartment buildings are located along the southern and western edges of the district—particularly along NE Hancock and NE Schuyler Streets, and NE 7th and NE 8th Avenues, as well as along the various north south streetcar lines along NE 15th, NE 22nd, and NE 24th. In addition, a number of large single-family homes were subdivided into duplexes, triplexes, and quadplexes during World War II. The district also consists of forty commercial buildings, nine churches, two schools (one public and one Catholic), and one city-owned park. The Irvington Historic District contains approximately 2,813 buildings (not including ancillary buildings), of which the majority (84 percent) were constructed between 1900 and 1930. Of the 2,809 total buildings, 85 percent (or 2,390 buildings) contribute to the historical character of the district. Architectural styles from the Late 19th and 20th Century Revivals and Late 19th/Early 20th Century American Movement categories predominate the district. Twenty-eight (28) buildings are listed on the National Register of Historic Places (see Figure 7, Historic Properties in Irvington Listed in The National Register of Historic Places). These buildings include single-family dwellings, multi-family residences, and apartment buildings that exhibit distinctive styles and illustrate the work of notable architects. Of the 419 buildings that do not contribute to the district, 245 (9 percent) are historical buildings that have been substantively altered and 174 buildings (6 percent) were constructed outside of the period of significance. Outbuildings, primarily carriage houses and single-car garages, are evident on most properties. Many of the outbuildings within the district retain their physical integrity and they contribute to the suburban character and visual unity of the district. All of the streets within the district are paved with asphalt and include concrete curbs, gutters, and sidewalks. The street layout within the district is rectilinear, keeping with the dominant rectilinear grid of northeast Portland. While most of the roads within the district are sixty-feet wide, Knott Street, NE 15th and NE 21st Avenues are wider (approximately eighty-feet) because they were intended to carry more traffic. Lots within the rectangular-shaped blocks were originally platted at fifty-five-feet wide by one-hundred-feet long. While most of the houses are oriented on an east-west axis, a number of larger parcels situated on east-west streets exhibit dwellings constructed on a north-south axis. These houses tend to be clustered along sections of NE Siskiyou, NE Stanton, NE Knott, NE Brazee, NE Thompson, and NE Tillamook Streets. Most properties adhere to the 25-foot set back required by the original restrictive. Perhaps most notable about the district is its visual cohesion and regular development pattern. Late Victorian architecture is concentrated in the south, closest to the Broadway streetcar line, Period Revivals and Late 19th/Early 20th Century American Movement architecture concentrated in the center and north, and Modern period architecture scattered throughout the district as infill development. The architecture reflects the regional development of northeast Portland and the continuum of residential stylistic preferences. The historic feeling and association, which is expressed through the layout, architecture, and streetscape elements, distinguishes the Irvington Historic District from the surrounding neighborhoods. Historic infill that occurred in the 1930s and 1940s contributes, rather than detracts from the district, because the massing and scale are consistent with the earlier residences. These later buildings represent a key period in the subdivision’s history when most of the lots had been developed and only a few remained available for new construction. Some recent infill projects within Irvington have introduced large noncontributing multi-family apartments, the scale and massing of which is not in keeping with the rest of the district. Residential landscaping is present throughout the district and is characterized by large mature trees situated within the tree lawn between the sidewalk and road. Over forty Heritage Trees are located within the district, which include elm, walnut, poplar, beech, buckeye, oak, and cherry. Most of the streets are lined with Bigleaf Maples. Some properties exhibit masonry retaining walls in response to minimal changes in topography. Taller wood fences are located throughout the district and typically shield back yards. Shorter wood fences are also present along the front of properties throughout the district. One park, Irving Park, is located in the northwest corner of the neighborhood. The square-shaped 16.26 acre park is lined with trees and reinforces the residential character of Irvington. NE 8th, 9th and 10th Avenues dead-end at the Irving Park, while residences along NE 11th Avenue back up to the park. Architectural Styles, Types, and Materials In general, Irvington’s architectural styles and building types are composed of architectural details that are considered characteristic of their particular styles and period of construction. These details typically included the use and integration of natural building materials such as horizontal clapboard, double-run wood siding, shingles and shakes and other elements such as double-hung sash and fixed-pane wood windows. Window type (i.e. double hung, single hung, six-over-six, etc), fenestration and overall pattern are also typically character-defining components that contribute to a building’s stylistic composition. Some buildings utilized masonry such as regular bricks and “clinker” bricks, stone, tuff, as well as concrete block in a manner consistent with their respective stylistic traditions as well. Roof forms, likewise, varied according to stylistic traditions with gable, gambrel, and hipped roofs representing the most common roof forms. Asymmetrical hipped roofs and mansard roofs occur with lesser frequency. The Creation of the Streetcar Suburb (1870-1900) Late Victorian Era Architecture (Residential Buildings) Extant buildings from this period in the district’s history are located in the southwest end of the district. Fifty-nine (59) buildings, predominately Queen Anne, date from this period. Queen Anne Cottages include the Newton Drew House at 1137 NE Tillamook Street, the Robinson House at 2126 NE 15th Avenue, and Roome-Stearns House at 2146 NE 12th Avenue. These buildings feature asymmetrical facades with bay windows, partial first-floor porches, patterned shingles along the gable, and spindlework. There are a number of two-story Queen Anne Victorians, which include the John E.G. Povey House at 1312 NE Tillamook Street and the William O. Fouch House at 2407 NE Tillamook Street. The residences feature wooden spindlework along the first- and second-story porches. While rare, other Late Victorian architectural styles appear in the district. These styles include Gothic, Shingle, Stick, and Italianate. Perhaps the most notable of these buildings is the George Earle Chamberlain House located at 1927 NE Tillamook Street. The house was constructed in the Shingle style. Other Shingle-style residences include the W.H. Walker House at 2134 NE 17th Avenue and the F.L. Lippincott House located at 2137 NE 18th Avenue. These residences often feature gambrel roofs and the use of shingles as the principal form of siding. Irvington’s Building Booms (1900-1948) The building boom years (1900-1948) resulted in the construction of approximately 87 percent of the buildings in the district. Extant buildings in the district include 409 from the 1900s, 719 from the 1910s, and 1,232 from the 1920s, 144 from the 1930s and 83 erected between 1940 and 1948. The vast majority of buildings constructed during this period fall within the Late 19th/Early 20th Century American Movement and Period Revival architectural style categories. Period Revivals styles include Colonial Revival and English Cottage, with a minimal number of Tudor, Spanish Colonial Revival, and Mediterranean Revival styles. From the Late 19th/Early 20th Century American Movement category, the district features Arts & Crafts/Craftsman, Foursquare, and Bungalows, with a minimal number of Prairie School, commercial buildings, and minimal traditional residences. Late 19th/Early 20th Century American Movements (Residential Buildings) Within this category, district buildings include Arts & Crafts/Craftsmen (352), Foursquare (305), Bungalow (817), and about forty-eight (48) Prairie School buildings. The Arts & Crafts/Craftsmen style appears throughout the neighborhood and particularly along the numbered avenues. Notable Arts & Crafts/Craftsmen residences include the Arthur McKenzie House at 2508 NE 24th Avenue, the Harry P. Palmer House at 1931 NE Brazee Street, and the duplex at 821-823 NE Tillamook Street. These residences feature a low-pitched front-gable roof with decorative braces and bargeboards. Foursquare residences are also popular. The McBride House at 2401 NE 23rd Avenue with its square plan and low-sloped roof is an excellent example of the district’s foursquare residences. Bungalows also abound in the district. While there are numerous single-family bungalows, the City of Portland Fire Engine House No. 10 is unusual as there are very few public buildings in the district. Engine House No. 10 is located at 2200 NE 24th Avenue, and like single-family bungalows features a gable front façade with extended eaves and brackets. While limited in number, the Prairie style also appears within the district. The Marcus J. Delahunt House at 1617 NE Thompson is an excellent example of the Prairie style with wide eaves and a low-sloped roof. But for the eaves and roof, Prairie style residences are usually similar in overall plan and massing to the Foursquare. Expressions of these styles range from modest to ornate, and many of these buildings incorporate design elements from the period-revival styles, especially Colonial Revival, English Cottage, and Tudor. Late 19th/Early 20th Century Revivals (Residential Buildings) This category includes Colonial Revival (371) and English Cottage (365) -style buildings with a minimal number of Tudor (65), Mediterranean Revival (44), and Spanish Colonial Revival (24) -styles. The 41 Other Revival-styled buildings represented a more plain architectural aesthetic, but features elements, such as porch roofs with cornice returns and bilaterally symmetrical fenestration, which suggest the Colonial Revival style. Size and complexity of the designs vary, and it is not uncommon to see multiple stylistic elelments from different traditions on the same building. The one-story Hedrick House at 2437 NE 10th Avenue is exemplary of the more modest end of the 931 Period Revival buildings in the district. Overall, these more modest buildings exhibit details from a variety of revival styles in bungalow volumes, but often lack the massing and ornamentation to be attributed to a particular style. Colonial Revival is typified by the John Sinot House at 2215 NE 25th Avenue, the Adam D. Carlock House at 2429 NE Thompson Street, and the Chester and Pauline Sorensen House at 3040 NE 14th Avenue. These residences feature a symmetrical fenestration with a prominent central entrance accented with pediment and columns. These details are often accompanied by the use of a broad plain frieze or dentils beneath a box cornice. The English Cottage, another popular Irvington style, is exemplified by two residences on NE 22nd Avenue. The Robert L. Aldrich House at 3034 NE 22nd Avenue features a steeply pitched gable roof, while the A.L. Carson House at 2517 NE 22nd Avenue features a steeply-pitched hip roof. Both residences use wall coverings, windows, and other details to achieve an English country house appearance. Another characteristic of the style is the use of rolled eaves. The Tudor, Mediterranean, and Spanish Revival styles are also present in the district. While wealthy residents selected homes constructed in these styles, many smaller cottages constructed during the 1930s also utilized these styles. The range of the Tudor style can readily be seen from the grand Loyal E. Kern House at 1748 NE Tillamook Street to the smaller H.W. McIntosh House at 2714 NE 20th Avenue. The Tudor style is marked by the use of faux half timbering, stucco, asymmetrical plans and massing, as well as the use of projecting gable roofs. The Ervin and Della Horr House at 3324 NE 21st Avenue is a good example of the Spanish Revival style with an asymmetrical façade, tower, red tile roof, and stucco walls. The Spanish Colonial style is also marked by the use of wrought iron skirts around upper story windows. The La Bonita Apartments at 2502-2524 NE 11th Avenue (1931) reveals how the Spanish Colonial style was applied to a set of one-story court apartments. The C.W. Olsen and Lisle Weygandt building at 1421-1441 NE Broadway Street is a good example of the Mediterranean Revival style applied to a commercial building with its tile roof, corner tower, arched leaded glass windows, and inset tile detailing. Multi-family Residences and Apartments Near Streetcar Lines Several multi-family residences in Irvington exhibit the stylistic influences of the period and are reflective of the desire to be located near mass transit. Interestingly, many of these buildings were designed to be unobtrusive, if not illusory in terms of their real multi-family function. Several duplexes and fourplexes, for instance, feature single or side (or garden) entrances and even recessed doorways successfully obscure multiple enties. They were also designed to be unique as very few of these buildings were constructed in similar styles or plans. Several of the best examples appear on NE 15th, NE 24th, and NE 25th Avenues and between NE Tillamook and Broadway Streets. Structures at 2525 NE 15th Avenue, 1731 NE 25th Avenue, 2111 NE Hancock Street, 2201-2211 NE 21st, 2400-2402 NE 15th, 2420 NE 15th, and 2746-2748 NE 24th Avenues are all examples of this building type. Other apartments in Irvington were more overt in terms of their overall purpose and function. The Irvington Bowman Apartments at 1825 and 1835 NE 16th Avenue (National Register listed), designed in the Arts and Crafts Style, and the F.E. Bowman Flats at 1624-1636 NE Tillamook Street (National Register listed) represent two of the best examples of apartment housing in the Irvington Historic District. Extended Storefronts and Alterations During Period of Significance Towards the end of the building boom, buildings along the southern edge of the district were altered into multi-family residences or received commercial storefronts. Several residential buildings were also demolished during the latter part of the period. The widening of NE Broadway Street from 60 to 80 feet in 1930 precipitated a gradual transition of former single-family residences on the road. In several instances, foursquare-styled homes on the north side of NE Broadway Street received a one-story commercial addition that extended (usually at basement level) to the property border with the sidewalk. The residences behind these one-story additions, meanwhile, mostly retained their residential uses and appearances. In addition to the widening of NE Broadway Street, several residences were converted for use as boarding houses in the 1940s. The houses at 2116 NE 18th and 2512 21st Avenues, and 1927 NE Tillamook Street, for instance, were used intermittently as either boarding houses or multi-family residences in the 1930s and 1940s and were often altered through the installation of additional bathrooms or even interior partitions rather than exterior additions. Overall, these alterations reveal how changes to the district occurred during this period, but in a modest ways that reflectived the extension of Portland’s streetcar network. Redevelopment and Infill (post-1948) Extant buildings from this period in the district’s history are scattered throughout the nominated area. One hundred and seventy-four buildings (174), predominately Minimal Traditional-style dwellings, duplexes, churches, and apartments are noncontributing properties that lie outside of the period of significance. The Modern Period category characterizes single- and multi-family residences, as well as religious and government buildings in the district. The most significant building erected during this period is the Central Lutheran Church which was designed by Pietro Belluschi. The brick Holladay Park Church of God at 2120 NE Tillamook Street is another good example of the mid-twentieth century church. Several of the churches erected during this period resulted in the demolition of residences. The Minimal Traditional style includes the wooden- and brick-clad residences at 3117 NE 10th, 3441 NE 18th, and 2206-2208 NE 19th Avenues, Minimal Traditional buildings were also constructed within older sections of the district, such as the single-family residence at 904 NE Tillamook Street. While erected of more modern materials and styles, these residences typically feature similar setbacks and are of a similar scale as neighboring houses. Several larger apartment and commercial buildings were also erected during this period. The apartment buildings range in style from being courtyard style apartments to “motel-like” apartments with exterior walkways and parking lots for residents. Contributing and Noncontributing Status A contributing building adds to the historic associations and architectural qualities for which a district is significant. To be a contributing building to the Irvington Historic District, a building had to be constructed during the period of significance, relate to the documented significance of the property, and retain historic integrity or independently meet the National Register criteria. A noncontributing building does not add to the historic associations or architectural qualities for which a district is significant because it was not present during the period of significance, does not relate to the documented significance of the property, or due to alterations, additions, or other changes it no longer possesses historic integrity. In order to determine contributing and non-contributing status, the preparers of the nomination completed a 100-resource test survey of randomly selected blocks to determine the extent and nature of alterations to resources situated throughout the district. This information formed a baseline from which the integrity of materials, workmanship, feeling, setting, design, location, and association could be gauged. A reconnaissance level survey (RLS) was subsequently completed. To ensure that all contributing buildings fell within the period of significance, dates for all buildings were confirmed through a variety of sources including newspapers, tax records, and on-site field observations. By collecting information on architectural styles and lot development, conducting plat research, and drafting a historic context for the neighborhood, the RLS confirmed that all contributing resources related directly to the documented significance of the Irvington Historic District. The RLS was also used to determine the integrity of contributing resources. Given the large number of resources, a profile for “in period” noncontributing resources was developed that field workers could use to determine integrity. In general, a resource was found to be noncontributing if alterations blurred its historical associations with the larger district. In many cases, rather than one type of alteration, it was the totality of alterations that determined whether a resource was noncontributing. These alterations included the replacement (or resizing) of more than 25 percent of visible windows, re-fenestration of the house, addition of oversize dormers that diminished a building’s stylistic attribution, one- and two-story additions to the house that visually compete or engulf the original residence, the addition of a complete second floor, removal of an original porch, and addition of features that are not consistent with the date of the house and that diminish its original appearance. Contributing outbuildings were noted at the same time, particularly garages. Contributing garages are noted with “CG” in the comments section within the individual building listing in Figure 5, Irvington Historic District Data Sheets. Buildings with noncontributing garages are noted as “NCG.” Some building alterations that occurred during the period of significance included the one-story commercial extensions from residences along NE Broadway Street in the 1930s and 1940s, as well as the movement of intact houses from neighboring subdivisions. These changes do not preclude a resource from being considered contributing building because the changes occurred within the period of significance. Summary The Irvington Historic District comprises one of the most comprehensive collections of Late 19th/Early 20th Century American Movement and Period Revival residential architecture in northeast Portland. The architectural styles reflect the period over which the district development and the booms in new housing occurred. Continuous development of the subdivision throughout the historic period (from 1891-1948) lends a visual cohesiveness to the neighborhood, as the transition from earlier to later architectural designs is visible in the district’s housing stock. A strong majority of buildings that date from the historic period are contributing resources to the historic district. Both historic and modern infill is present in the district. The historic examples illustrate how the district evolved over time and how development went through cyclical periods of initial lot sales, building booms, and infill which contribute to the district’s overall character. The overall architectural integrity of the district is reinforced by the uniformity of the primary land use as a residential subdivision. The streetscape and siting of buildings reinforces the residential character of the district. The presence of historic commercial buildings on the fringes of the historic district helps to convey the lingering influence of deed restrictions upon the neighborhood’s development and the streetcar lines that ran through the neighborhood.
(Chronological, descriptive history of the property from its construction through at least the historic period - preferably to the present)
Statement of Significance Summary Paragraph The Irvington Historic District, located in northeast Portland, Multnomah County, Oregon, is locally significant under National Register Criterion A and under National Register Criterion C in the areas of Community Planning and Development and Architecture as an excellent example of a “streetcar suburb” that used restrictive covenants and for its exemplary collection of residential architecture constructed from 1891 to 1948. At least 23 prominent architects and builders—such as Robert Beat, Frederick Bowman, Robert Rice, Edward Mautz, Ellis Lawrence, Joseph Jacobberger, H.L. Camp, Marcus Delahunt Luther Bailey, and Henry Lambert—designed and/or constructed buildings in the district. Originally platted in 1887, the Irvington Historic District clearly reflects the development patterns and architectural traditions endemic to suburban neighborhoods that emerged and grew on urban fringes in the United States as a result of the popularity of the streetcar. Due to these historical associations, the Irvington Historic District is being nominated under the “Residential Suburbs in the United States, 1830-1960” Multiple Property Documentation (MPD) Form. The historic district meets the guidelines for evaluation and registration as set forth in the MPD as an example of a historic residential suburb (a property type contained within the MPD) but more specifically as a “streetcar suburb” property subtype. The Irvington Historic District is therefore directly associated with the MPD’s Historic Context “Suburbanization of Metropolitan Areas in the United States, 1830-1960.” The period of significance begins in 1891 with the opening of land in Irvington for sale and construction of the first residences and ends in 1948 with the conversion of the Broadway streetcar line to buses. Narrative Statement of Significance An early example of a streetcar suburb, Irvington is significant as one of the earliest real estate developments in Oregon to use privately imposed and enforced restrictive covenants as a means of controlling unwanted land uses and guiding residential development. These restrictions included street setbacks, establishment of baseline house values, use restrictions, and race-based exclusions. Other late-nineteenth and early-twentieth century subdivisions that used covenants to guide development included the Piedmont neighborhood and Ladd’s Addition (1905, National Register listed). First platted in 1887 and opened for sale in 1891, Irvington’s developers sought to impose restrictive deed covenants upon lots within the neighborhood to bring a modicum of social and architectural uniformity as well as predictability to the overall development process. Irvington’s extensive use of these restrictions was replicated in other subsequent residential developments in Portland such as Laurelhurst and Alameda Park. These explicit rules reveal how trends in restrictive covenants had palpable and long-lasting impacts upon the architectural character of streetcar suburbs in the late-nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries and served as a prelude to the advent of comprehensive land-use planning in early-twentieth century Portland. Irvington therefore is locally significant under National Register Criterion A in the area of Community Planning and Development as an example of how restrictive covenants were utilized to stabilize and control the development process of streetcar suburbs during this period. The Irvington Historic District also contains one of the most eclectic collections of Queen Anne, Arts and Crafts, Colonial Revival, and Period Revival-style residences in the City of Portland. Designed and erected by many of Portland’s master architects and builders, the neighborhood captures the diverse design influences of late-nineteenth and early- to mid-twentieth century residential design and architectural thought in the Pacific Northwest. The Arts and Crafts-era dwellings, in particular, reflect a mixing or blending of forms and materials from a broad spectrum of stylistic traditions to create an eclectic collection of architectural compositions. For these reasons, Irvington is locally significant under National Register Criterion C, Architecture. The Creation of a Streetcar Suburb, 1870-1900 The impetus for development of Portland’s “East Side” was intimately tied to the construction of the Oregon Central Railroad terminus on the east side of the Willamette River in 1868. The community of Albina formed immediately above the east bank of the Willamette River to service the railroads and steamboat docks that lined the river’s edge. While ferry service between the east and west sides provided a link between Portland and Albina, bridges were soon constructed to facilitate commerce. A railroad bridge at the current location of the Steel Bridge was erected in 1888. The very next year, the first electric railway crossed the Steel Bridge into Albina and East Portland (which were incorporated into Portland in 1889). The incorporation of Albina boosted the population of Portland and further diversified the city’s economy. By bringing in the rail yards of Albina, the City of Portland improved the transportation of goods and services. The inclusion of farmland beyond Albina would allow for additional residential development and boost the taxpaying population. The land on the eastside of the Willamette was more level than the “West Hills” on the other side of the river and away from the bustling downtown, making the area ideal for suburban housing. Streetcar lines would also help Albina assimilate into the larger transportation network of late-nineteenth century Portland and would eventually extend beyond to Irvington gradually transforming this former farmland into an urban residential enclave. The streetcar allowed those who wished to distance themselves from the city to reside in residential areas sheltered from the day-to-day business of the city center. Connecting service along interurban routes linked Irvington residents to communities outside of the city as well. The impact of the streetcar on Portland’s eastside was dramatic. In 1891, 25 percent of the greater metropolitan population resided on the east side. By the 1910s, that figure rose to 50 percent. Portland was following a larger national trend in urban to suburban migration. As historian Alan Gowans noted “by the 1890s, most of the well-to-do were gone from inner cities, and by 1900 the middle class was well on its way out also – away from all this, out to the suburbs.” In Portland and elsewhere, the streetcar thus permitted the urban middle class to work in city centers and reside in more sylvan suburbs. In 1851 Captain William Irving and his wife, Elizabeth Dixon Irving, settled on and later acquired a 644 acre Donation Land Claim (DLC) that largely encompasses the Irvington neighborhood. By 1880, in anticipation of growth and the associated housing need, portions of the east side donation land claims, including that of Captain William and Elizabeth Irving, were subdivided into a grid of blocks and streets for residential development (See Figure 6, Plats within the Irvington Historic District). Following Captain Irving’s death in 1872, his daughter Elizabeth Irving Spencer and son John Irving, sold significant portions of their father’s share of the DLC. On March 1, 1882, John Irving filed a plat for “John Irvings First Addition to East Portland” and on April 21, 1882, he and Elizabeth Irving sold 288 acres of the DLC to business partners David P. Thompson, Ellis G. Hughes, and John W. Brazee for $62,109. Elizabeth Irving and Thompson, Hughes, and Brazee, and subsequent investors such as Charles Prescott, would work together to develop the area in a relatively uniform fashion. In 1887, when the plat for Irvington was filed, it included the property owned by the partnership and Elizabeth Irving’s share of the DLC were both included. The 1887 plat forms the core of present-day Irvington (See Figure 6, Plats within the Irvington Historic District and Figure 11, Plat of Irvington). Due to slow growth in residential sales on the eastside, lots were not actively marketed until 1890-1891. In fact, 90 acres of undeveloped blocks in the northwest corner of Irvington were leased to the Multnomah Fair Association for construction as a racetrack, grandstands, and paddocks. Many early residents kept their horses in stables located along the north side of the track—stables were not permitted within Irvington as stipulated in covenants. The “Irvington Park Track” was extremely popular due, in large part, to good streetcar connections. In 1898 the track was requisitioned as Camp McKinley, an encampment for Oregon troops being sent off to the Spanish American War. As early as 1904, in John Olmsted’s plan for Portland, the area was considered as a source for open space and a potential public park. The track was demolished in 1907 and in 1914 16.26 acres of the former racetrack were dedicated as Irving Park. The public park is not considered a contributing resource in the district because much of it has been leveled for modern playing fields and newer recreational buildings have been erected. As Thompson, Hughes, and Brazee gradually sold off their shares of the original development to subsequent real estate developers, plats for these smaller portions of the neighborhood were often re-filed once the new developers recognized a market for the land. The 1906 Portland plat map reveals how the original Irvington plat had been replatted by different owners who named the new plats East Irvington, Wild Rose and Edgemont (See Figure 6, Plats Within the Irvington Historic District) Despite this fracturing of ownership of the neighborhood, the original grid pattern of the neighborhood was retained. The current grid network of roads conveys a spatial hierarchy indicative of the planning associated with the original platting of Irvington in 1887. While a large majority of the neighborhood streets contain a sixty-foot right-of-way, NE Knott Street, NE 15th and NE 21st Avenues were intended to carry more traffic through the neighborhood as they feature an eighty-foot right-of-way. The rectangular-shaped blocks, with the longer sides running north to south, are generally composed of twenty fifty-foot by one-hundred-foot parcels. While most of the houses are oriented on an east-west axis, a number of larger parcels situated on east-west streets exhibit dwellings constructed on a north-south axis. These houses tend to be clustered along sections of NE Siskiyou, NE Stanton, NE Knott, NE Brazee, NE Thompson, and NE Tillamook Streets. The grid network of streets was not uncommon during the streetcar-suburb development era as developers platted rectilinear subdivisions where homes were built within walking distance of the streetcar line. As with Irvington, these subdivisions were often extensions of the pre-existing urban “gridiron.” This common form of subdividing land made land surveys easier, facilitated the sale of individual parcels, and arguably promoted speculative land development across cities in the United States. Other neighborhoods such as Ladd’s Addition took a much more conspicuous approach to street layout by creating diagonal streets that radiated out from circles in the Beaux Arts tradition. Another subdivision, Laurelhurst featured a curvilinear street network that appears more intimately associated with the City Beautiful Movement’s emphasis on conforming to more naturally-inspired street layouts that followed the landscape. Irvington, Ladd’s Addition, and Laurelhurst provide an interesting comparison of how Portland’s suburbs reflected competing visions for suburban life. Key to Irvington’s development was the use of deed restrictions. Both Elizabeth Irving and the partnership held a common vision for Irvington that included the use of restrictive covenants as a term of sale that was attached to the recorded deed. A seller could abrogate the contract of sale and/or enforce the conditions if the owner failed to abide by the contract. Owing its origins to mid-eighteenth century efforts by British nobility to retain control of properties sold off of noble estates, restrictive covenants were still very much the exception in the United States in the 1880s. In the face of uncontrolled and largely unregulated urban development occurring throughout the United States, real estate investors and developers resorted to limited duration covenants in an effort to protect their investment until sales of lots were completed. Covenants also protected lot values for those who had already purchased and/or occupied lots within the subdivision. The covenants used in Irvington were similar to those used at Ladds Addition and the Piedmont neighborhood. Deeds for property in Irvington typically included the following restrictions. During the period of 25 years from and after the first day of July 1891 and until after the first day of July 1916, no intoxicating liquors shall be manufactured, sold or otherwise disposed of as beverage in any place of public resort on the premises…nor shall said premises at any time during said period be occupied or used for any shop factory, or other place of business, or be used for the carrying of any livery stable, laundry, foundry, or of any trade or business whatsoever, not for use other than residence purposes, nor be in any manner used or occupied by Chinese other than as the said Chinese may be employed by residents thereon as house servants, no building to be within 25 feet of the street and no building to cost less than $2500 under penalty of forfeiture. While the baseline value of the improvements to a lot vacillated between $1,000 and $2,500 ensuring a certain quality of structures, other restrictions ensured a degree of conformity to the residential architectural forms, property use, and socio-economic status of the neighborhood. Ladd’s Addition (1891, National Register listed) and the Piedmont Subdivision (1889) were two roughly contemporary subdivisions that employed restrictive covenants. While first platted in 1891, Ladd’s Addition did was not substantively improved until around 1905 when the first homes were erected. The earliest land sales at that time included very similar restrictions on property. Interestingly, both Japanese and Chinese citizens were excluded from purchasing property in Ladd’s Addition. The Piedmont Subdivision may be the earliest example of the use of restrictive covenants in Portland as lot sales began almost immediately after it was first platted in 1889; although, there were fewer conditions on development. Similar restrictions were placed on properties in subsequent developments in Portland in Alameda Park (1909) and Laurelhurst (1909). All of these communities were linked in that they were all well served by streetcars when they were platted and built. Irvington’s extensive use of restrictive covenants, therefore, was part of a significant trend in the emergence of the city’s streetcar suburbs and the city’s residential development that would eventually be replicated elsewhere. Despite the initiation of marketing in 1891 as well as the construction of water mains, gravelling of the streets and laying of plank sidewalks, lot sales in Irvington proved slow as the early developers opened up lots largely located in the southwest quadrant of the neighborhood between NE 7th and 14th Avenues and NE Tillamook and NE Thompson Streets. This is attributed to the subdivision’s relative isolation prior to the construction of streetcar lines that served the neighborhood. The stock market crash of 1893 all but stopped lot sales in Irvington until 1898 when investors opened up lots for sale to the public again. Just prior to the 1893 crash, the early real estate investors of Irvington managed the risks of their real estate venture by gradually releasing parcels within the neighborhood to individual property owners or to small-scale speculators who often constructed homes on individual lots rather than entire blocks. The Portland Cottage Building Association (PCBA), for instance, was one of the earliest homebuilding speculators in Irvington. Under company president Henry M. Lambert, the PCBA developed several parcels in West Irvington between NE 12th and NE 16th Avenues. Lambert was also the owner of the East Portland Mill and Fixture Company, “a planing mill and house parts producer that made mouldings, window sashes, and other interior fixtures and hardware.” Sensing a logical extension to his building-parts business, Lambert applied his company’s architectural products to a number of homes that the company constructed in Irvington. Lambert’s business model consisted of purchasing properties from one of the original investors, erecting a home, and selling the property. In some instances, the company also extended a mortgage to the new owner. In at least one instance, the company erected a duplex; one of the earliest remaining in Portland at 2134-2136 NE 19th Avenue in 1892. In most instances, however, the PCBA constructed one-story frame dwellings with Queen Anne architectural detailing that placed an emphasis on varying textures and form elaboration. This was accomplished through the use of varying shingle patterns with sawtooth, square, and fishscale treatments. Building corners on visible elevations were often clipped and eaves were emphasized through the use of turned- and jig-sawn woodwork. The roof types were often complex featuring clipped-gable roofs with projecting gable extensions. The plans of these early homes often lacked hallways but focused more public spaces such as the parlor and dining room to the front of the house with kitchen, bathrooms, and bedrooms to the rear. The Roome-Stearns House at 2146 NE 12thAvenue (National Register listed) is a particularly well-preserved example of a PCBA cottage that retains many of these characteristics. The number of these cottages constructed would be limited; however, for by 1894 the PBCA dissolved as a result of the financial troubles that emerged during the Bank Panic of 1893. Not every home in Irvington was erected as speculative venture, as exemplified by one of the earliest residences remaining from the 1890s, the John E. Povey House at 1312 NE Tillamook (National Register listed). Probably constructed by Peter Hobkirk of the contracting firm of Hobkirk and McKenzie, the Queen Anne-style house represented one of the more ornate houses on the eastside of Portland during the period, but it was most known for the extensive use of stained glass from Povey’s own glass works. The Povey Brothers Art Glass Works were widely known as the leading manufacturers of “art” glass in the region between 1890 and 1920. Perhaps the largest residence erected in Irvington during this period was the George Earle Chamberlain House, 1927 NE Tillamook (National Register listed). Designed by the prestigious architectural firm of Whidden and Lewis, the house represents a relatively uncommon example of the Shingle style in East Portland. Both Whidden and Lewis once worked for nationally significant architectural firms in the East prior to their arrival in Portland; McKim, Mead, & White and Peabody & Stearns respectively. The pair would have a significant impact upon domestic and commercial architecture in Portland in the late-nineteenth century. The early development of Irvington in the 1880s and 1890s conveys the challenges facing real estate developers and housing speculators during the period. Due to fluctuating housing and financial markets, much of Irvington lay undeveloped by the turn of the century. As the 1894 Paving Map of Portland relates, grading and gravelling of the subdivision’s roads had not occurred north of Thompson Street. Indeed, of the 2,813 buildings located within the Irvington Historic District, only about 60 predate 1900. All of this would change, however, with the expansion of Portland’s streetcar system. Irvington would become one of the most well served residential neighborhoods in east Portland by the 1920s. Irvington’s Building Booms and the End of the Streetcar, 1900-1948 In 1899, a new streetcar line was installed down NE Broadway Broadway and up NE 22nd Avenue to Tillamook Street, which dramatically improved the commute time between downtown Portland and Irvington. Soon after the line was completed lot sales increased within Irvington. Between 1909 and 1912, several different streetcar lines were extended into Irvington along NE Broadway Street as well as 15th, 22nd, and 24th Avenues that connected the neighborhood to an extensive network of routes that served much of the city (See Figure 16, Portland Streetcar Map). With the expansion of the streetcar lines, many residents were able to work in the city but live comfortably in suburban homes. When reviewing residents’ occupations and their places of employment in Polk’s City Directories between 1900 and 1930, many of Irvington’s residents worked either in the city center on the west side of the Willamette River or in the commercial areas of Albina. Both of these areas were well served by the city’s streetcar system that emphasized east-west travel. By the 1930s, far more eastside Portlanders used the streetcar than their counterparts on the westside. By the 1930s, 56 million passengers rode streetcars on the eastside while only 12 million rode the Westside lines. The Irvington line was a part of the system that fed the downtown each day with workers from Irvington whose occupations ranged from lumbermen to bankers and builders to dentists. Other developments south of the original plat within the current neighborhood of Sullivan’s Gulch, such as John Irving’s 1st Addition and the Holladay Park Addition, were also opened for development and were considered by real estate agents during the period as part of Irvington. Both of these new developments also used restrictive covenants as a means of controlling how individual lots were developed. To provide the growing greater Irvington area with the necessary utilities and amenities, the City of Portland spent $250,000 to develop water mains, gas lines, sewers, and street paving. The first major expansion of Irvington occurred after the 1905 Lewis and Clark Centennial Exposition in Portland. Many people who attended the fair relocated to Portland after witnessing first hand the amenities of the Pacific Northwest, including its extensive natural resource base that made Portland the largest lumber manufacturing city in the United States as well as its bulding, shipping, wholesale distributing, construction, and finance industries. Even before the Exposition, however, Portland was in the midst of becoming an important railroad crossroads and river port. Starting in 1905, James Hill’s inexpensive shipping rates coincided with a huge increase in timber production throughout Oregon and Washington. Timber-associated industries flourished in Portland and subsequently resulted in a spurt in wealth. Between 1900 and 1910, the population more than doubled from 90,426 to 207,214 thus ushering in a period of dramatic growth for the city. The increase in population would make Portland the fourth most populous city on the West Coast behind San Francisco (416,912), Los Angeles (319,198), and Seattle (237,194). Despite its fourth-place ranking, Pacific Builder and Engineer reported in 1907 and 1908 that new building construction value exceeded all cities in the country except Chicago and New York. Between 1900 and 1910, at least 405 of the 2,811 buildings that currently exist in Irvington were constructed. World War I and the economic adjustments of the 1910s did not stunt the pace of house construction in Irvington as 719 of the buildings within the Irvington Historic District were erected between 1910 and 1920. Other developments such as Laurelhurst, Rose City Park, as well as Eastmoreland experienced growth during this period and the competition appears to have caused house and lot prices in Irvington to level off if not fall. The second building boom occurred in the 1920s when 1,232 of the existing 2,813 buildings were erected in Irvington. Money spent citywide between 1921 and 1925 on building permits alone rose from $17 million to $38 million. During this period builders in Portland erected an average of 3,400 new houses a year and by 1930 the population had expanded to nearly 300,000. Responding to expanding consumer markets elsewhere in the United States, Portland become a major manufacturing and banking center. Beginning during the first building boom, NE Broadway Street gradually assumed a commercial role. Due to the restrictions on commercial activities within Irvington, NE Broadway Street became a logical outlet for commerce and more dense development. In 1912 Frederic Bowman, for instance, designed the Irvington Bowman Apartments, 1825 and 1835 NE 16th Avenue (listed in the National Register), in the Arts and Crafts style, and the well appointed F.E. Bowman Flats at 1624-1636 NE Tillamook Street (listed in the National Register) conveniently close to the new streetcar lines but on the outskirts of the Irvington Neighborhood. Commercial enterprises along Broadway were scattered amongst residences in the early 1900s and 1910s, but by the 1920s more intensive commercial development began to emerge once the restrictive covenants had expired. This included the 1927 Olsen and Weygandt Building, 1421-1441 NE Broadway Street (listed in the National Register), that exhibited modest Mediterranean ornament along its multiple storefronts. While other auto-oriented garages and parking expanded along Broadway, formerly residential properties were converted into stores. These conversions began soon after 1930 when NE Broadway was expanded from 60 to 80 feet to accommodate increased traffic, which included both streetcars and automobiles. Between 1930 and 1948, several foursquare residences constructed one-story additions to the front (south) elevations to accommodate business space as NE Broadway became an increasingly important corridor. The houses to the rear of the store typically remained residential in use and architectural character as many still retain their architectural features. These conversions contribute to an understanding of how the Irvington neighborhood accommodated commercial development but on a modest scale through the period of significance. By 1950, this process of commercial conversion was well underway. This gradual evolution from residential to commercial in the southern area of Irvington was typical of the type of development that occurred in streetcar suburbs in the early-twentieth century. Despite demand for commercial and multi-family property in the area, the expansion of these businesses was often controversial. In 1916 prospects arose for more widespread commercial development as the first of the restrictive covenants were set to expire and merchants stood ready to take advantage of the lapse. In a sign of just how important these covenants were to the residents of Irvington, 450 concerned citizens attended a meeting to discuss the issue after a rumor emerged that a small grocery store was set to be built in the middle of Irvington. Despite citizen threats of a boycott, the Schafer & Vinton grocery store was erected, but it was designed to look like a house in response to citizen concerns (see Figure 25, Photograph, The Schafer and Vinton Grocery Store in Irvington). In order to minimize the threat of commercial development in the future, citizens devised a scheme to re-issue their deeds through a trust company with another set of restrictive provisions. Even though not all owners in Irvington took this step, the Schafer & Vinton store would have a profound effect upon residential development in the neighborhood. In another incident in 1918-1919, in one of the first matters handled by the newly formed Portland Planning Commission, an auto garage planned to open in the middle of Irvington. After holding public meetings, the Planning Commission managed to convince the garage developer to move to another location outside of the residential neighborhood. The conflicts over the grocery store and auto garage symbolized a broad recognition within the community of a need to segregate land uses in order to preserve property values and neighborhood character. When the grocery store was designed to look like a house it reflected the profound impact of citizen involvement in Irvington and the prevailing desire for architectural design to minimize changes in land use. Other subtle expressions of architectural illusion emerged throughout the 1910s and 1920s as other buildings throughout the neighborhood were designed to look like homes. The fire department, for instance, met resistance when a fire house was planned on NE 24th Avenue. The firehouse was subsequently designed to look like a Bungalow (see Figure 24, Photograph, Irvington Fire Station). A two-story telephone exchange on NE 24th Avenue built in 1920-1921 was designed to look like a Mediterranean villa. Even the Madeleine Church and School featured a building form and style consistent with the surrounding scale and architectural character of the neighborhood through its distinctive Tudor style and Collegiate Gothic exterior. Several large homes near the streetcar lines in the neighborhood were actually duplexes or quadplexes consciously designed with hidden or ancillary entrances that obscured their multi-family function. As Figure 32, Color-Coded Map from Albina Community Plan, 1989, relates, multi-family residential housing remains clustered near the former streetcar lines. Due to the stigmas associated with multi-family residential housing during the period and the neighborhood’s pressure to build in an appropriate style, most of these forms of housing were uniquely designed to mask their multi-unit character – particularly those in the center of the neighborhood. Duplexes and quadplexes were designed in the prevailing architectural style of the period but with distinct and unique compositions that hid the building’s real use, such as the incorporation of recessed doorways that hid multiple entries. Also used were single doorways that led into central hallways with stairwells to residents’ respective apartment, or garden or side entries in some cases. Despite citizen interest in maintaining the single-family residential character of Irvington, apartment buildings were nonetheless constructed along the edges of the neighborhood in the 1920s and 1930s. The La Bonita Apartments (2502 NE 11th Ave), constructed in 1930 by developer Charles Fulton exhibited Spanish Colonial ornament through its abbreviated pantile roof and stucco exterior and followed a familiar courtyard plan. The building offered relatively inexpensive housing that consisted of one bedroom apartments. While a more intensive form of housing, this courtyard-style apartment building was of a style and scale that did not necessarily detract from the overall character of the neighborhood. The Builders and Buildings of Irvington’s Expansion, 1900-1948 Due to the large numbers of buildings erected during the building booms of the 1910s and 1920s, Irvington contains the largest, most intact collection of early-twentieth century residential architecture found in Portland. Designs were created and influenced by a profound group of real estate developers, speculators, design-build contractors, as well as architects. The neighborhood represents a laboratory of architectural design for the period and conveys how builders and architects alike negotiated the desires of their clients, a competitive housing market, a
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