Real Estate

Property Watch: An Uncommon Victorian for Sale in Irvington

Spectacular bathrooms and shiny details highlight this remodeled nineteenth-century home built in the Shingle style, a simpler version of Queen Anne.

By Melissa Dalton June 20, 2023

When it comes to Victorians, we often think of those showy Queen Annes with all their scrollwork, stained glass, and gingerbread trim. Queen Annes were built in Portland starting in 1880, with many still standing today, and were definitely popular in their time. But as with all trends, there was eventual pushback, says architectural historian Jack Bookwalter. Enter Shingle style, a stripped-down version of Victorian architecture, wherein the same interior volumes and tall ceilings were celebrated, but without quite as much decorative fuss.

Shingle-style homes were generally built between 1880 and 1900, and are more common in coastal New England than anywhere else in the country, but did spread through fashionable architectural magazines at the time. This particular Victorian in a quiet pocket of Irvington was built in 1896 and is of an even rarer breed of the style, thanks to a prominent, off-center gambrel roof. (The gambrel roof subtype accounts for only 25 percent of Shingle houses nationally.) Additional markers include the exterior shingles across the upper stories and the deep front porch.

While we don’t have any history on the original owners—were they East Coast transplants perhaps? avid magazine readers?—we have plenty of information on the home’s most recent remodeled interiors. Buckenmeyer Architecture and contractor Hammer and Hand joined the owner in an extensive remodel that maintains much of the home’s original ornament, like the white oak and walnut inlaid floors in the foyer, to combine them with new decorative flair.

The remodel opened up the main floor to give it a flowing circular plan with the staircase at the center. Through folding glass doors off the entry is the living room, a long and linear space that can accommodate several seating clusters, and with views into the leafy backyard. A rear mudroom/vestibule has double glass doors to the shaded exterior patio, and also connects to the enlarged kitchen.

There, find custom cabinetry and a large central island bejeweled with a dramatic porcelain slab and brass accents in the lighting, hardware, and faucet. Even the appliances are gilded, like the pretty La Cornue range with its brass detailing. A comfortable seating area in front of the windows is a laid-back counterpoint.

That glam, it turns out, can be found throughout, from the glimmering painted picture rail in the dining room to the gold grout in several of the gorgeous bathrooms. It’s hard to choose a favorite bathroom, as each of the four has artisan tile, pops of pattern, and lush colors, like the soft rose palette in the upstairs hallway loo and the teal and marble combo in the basement bathroom, plus deco vibes in the primary en suite.

The home has 4,174 square feet in total, across four floors, with lots of nooks and crannies to steal away from the main living spaces, whether that’s in the finished attic/bonus space up top, the sunroom turned crowd-favorite guest bedroom on the second floor, or the finished basement, where recycled wood from the old kitchen floor covers a feature wall. Meaning, from top to bottom, the home is still as one-of-a-kind as the day it was built.

Listing Fast Facts

  • Address: 2134 NE 17th Ave, Portland, OR 97212
  • Size: 4,174 square feet, 5 bed/4 bath
  • List Date: 6/10/2023
  • List Price: $1,750,000
  • Listing Agent: Stacy Stokes and Ana de la Rua Domenech, Like Kind Realty

Melissa Dalton is a freelance writer who has focused on Pacific Northwest design and lifestyle since 2008. She is based in Portland, Oregon. Contact Dalton here. 

Editor’s Note: Portland Monthly’s “Property Watch” column takes a weekly look at an interesting home in Portland’s real estate market (with periodic ventures to the burbs and points beyond, for good measure). Got a home you think would work for this column? Get in touch at [email protected].