As One House is Saved from the Wrecking Ball, Another Takes Its Place

by Val Ballestrem

Last week it seemed Portland would lose yet another wonderful, if not designated, historic house – this time in Willamette Heights. Thankfully, neighbors of the Montague House on NW 32nd stepped in and purchased the home at the 11th hour.

But just as the dust began to settle in the West Hills, comes word of another troubling demolition – this time in Laurelhurst. The home at 3206 NE Glisan is sort of an unofficial landmark, literally standing at the gate to one of Portland’s most beautiful east side neighborhoods. The home has seen better days, that’s for sure, but it is both architecturally and historically significant. It was one of the earliest homes in Laurelhurst, a development that was once farmland owned by the well-known Ladd family. The home was initially built to serve as both an office and residence for the head real estate agent working in Laurelhurst.

Image of 3206 NE Glisan from 1912 Laurelhurst real estate brochure. Source: Architectural Heritage Center library

Image of 3206 NE Glisan from 1912 Laurelhurst real estate brochure. Source: Architectural Heritage Center library

According to this document, the house may soon be demolished and replaced by two new homes facing Glisan. It is unclear what this would mean for the landmark Gateway that is adjacent to the home and which was damaged during the construction of a wall at the house several years ago. Here’s a link to the Google street view of the house.


Image of 3206 NE Glisan from 1916 Laurelhurst real estate booklet. Source: Architectural Heritage Center library.

Image of 3206 NE Glisan from 1916 Laurelhurst real estate booklet. Source: Architectural Heritage Center library


On another note, just down the street is another possible demolition – not of a house, but of one of the few remaining buildings from the era when Sandy Blvd. was dotted with quirky architecture. Club 21, a sort of dive bar at NE 21st and Glisan (just off of Sandy), is faced with possible demolition as plans are in the works  for that entire block to be redeveloped with 200 apartment units. It’s perhaps a little-known fact, but this little building was once a second location for Portland’s historic Jake’s restaurant – just as the Great Depression hit Portland in the early 1930s. Here’s a link to the Google street view of the resturant.

Advertisement for Jake's East Side Bungalow. Source: Oregonian June 11, 1930.

Advertisement for Jake’s East Side Bungalow. Source: Oregonian June 11, 1930.

We continue to raise awareness of demolitions that are damaging the historic character of Portland neighborhoods, but unless we see action from the City or through legislation at the State level, it will be a nearly impossible battle to save many wonderful buildings from being destroyed.  We hope you will help us as we continue spreading the word.



Filed under Historic Preservation, Infill Development

11 responses to “As One House is Saved from the Wrecking Ball, Another Takes Its Place

  1. Brad

    Where’s the petition to save it?

    • Brad – although we generally have been supportive of petitions generated by others related to preservation and demolition issues, as a policy, we do not create single issue petitions of our own. Our work at the Architectural Heritage Center mostly focuses on the broader issues that are the root cause of the demolition activity. Because there are so many demolitions it is impractical for us to create and manage a petition for each individual issue that arises. We do however, use this blog, as well as Facebook and other communications as tools to spread the word about preservation and demolition issues in the Portland area and hope that you and others will contnue to help us get the word out. Thanks!

  2. Elie

    ^^ What brad said!

  3. Brad

    OK, well then we’ll put one together today…. thanks.

  4. Adam

    Interestingly, when I was browsing Portland real estate pages just for the hell of it, I noticed this Glisan house was listed for sale recently (as in, it was listed in the past couple of months). I remember it was a very unique looking property, and also that the listing made it quite clear the property needed a lot of work and renovation.
    Do you think it just didn’t sell, hence the plan to tear it down? Or is it the new owner who purchased the property in the past few months that is planning the demolition?

  5. Michelle

    I have driven by this landmark house often over the years, and watched as it suffered considerable questionable exterior reconstruction. (who knows what has gone on inside) I hope someone is able to save it.

  6. Laurelhurst Native

    I find it ironic that your petition is at while your intent is clearly not to allow any change.

  7. Guild's Lake Native

    Ah, let us examine the post left by “Laurelhurst Native,” who, first and foremost, is obviously not a native of Laurelhurst, or s/he would be concerned indeed about the bulldozing of a landmark historic residence in a neighborhood chock full of beautiful historic residences and mature treed streets.
    The complaint that the petition is located at is revealing indeed. is essentially the go-to location for petitions, and no other petition site comes close. Only someone with their head deeply buried in the sand about issues in the world around them would not be familiar enough with petition sites to think this was a cutting, barbed comment to lob at the petitioner. To the rest of us it’s just laughable in a sad way.
    Next, obviously the growing movement to prevent developers from lining their own pockets by destroying Portland’s beautiful historic housing stock is the exact definition of change. We as citizens of this beautiful city have almost no protections for its many irreplaceable properties, and we’re working on getting them.
    Now, why would ‘Laurelhurst Native’ bother to show up here, act like they live anywhere near Laurelhurst, and try to issue nasty little remarks aimed at historical preservationists? Aside from a personality disorder, I’m going to go ahead and say s/he has a stake in the outcome. Whether a developer him/herself, s/he makes money off of razing Portland’s history and building something (that doesn’t fit) in its place. What do you say, ‘Laurelhurst Native’? What is the particular benefit you get out of razing Portland’s history? And are you (under another name, or this one) going to come back and say wow, you can’t believe someone would spend soo much time picking apart your statement, and deflect the question?

  8. Pingback: Demolition Derby Continues | Portland Preservation

  9. There is a gofundme site dedicated to raising enough money to save the house and keep the developer from changing it or tearing it down. Link is Donate!!!!

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