Pittock Mansion

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Pittock Mansion
Pittock Mansion is located in Portland, Oregon
Pittock Mansion
Location Portland, Oregon
Coordinates 45°31′30″N 122°42′59″W / 45.52500°N 122.71639°W / 45.52500; -122.71639Coordinates: 45°31′30″N 122°42′59″W / 45.52500°N 122.71639°W / 45.52500; -122.71639
Built 1909
Architect Edward T. Foulkes
Architectural style Italianate, Renaissance
Governing body City of Portland
NRHP Reference # 74001709
Added to NRHP November 21, 1974
The rear of the Pittock Mansion

The Pittock Mansion is a French Renaissance-style "château" in the West Hills of Portland, Oregon, USA, originally built as a private home for The Oregonian publisher Henry Pittock and his wife, Georgiana. It is a 23-room estate built of Tenino Sandstone situated on 46 acres (190,000 m2) that is now owned by the city's Bureau of Parks and Recreation and open for touring.[1] In addition, the grounds provide panoramic views of Downtown Portland.

The home was at the center of a political scandal in 1911 when Portland City Council member, Will H. Daly, brought public attention to Pittock having arranged for a water line to the construction project entirely at city expense, despite it being located a half mile outside of the city limits at the time. The incident contributed to a longstanding feud between Pittock's paper and Daly which ultimately led to the end of the councilman's political career.[2]

Georgiana, one of the founders of the Portland Rose Festival, died in 1918 at the age of 72, and Henry in 1919 at 84. The Pittock family remained in residence at the mansion until 1958, when Eric Ladd, who had stayed in the mansion for four years,[3] and Peter Gantenbein, a Pittock grandson who had been born in the house, put the estate on the market and were unsuccessful in selling it. Extensive damage caused by the Columbus Day Storm in 1962 caused the owners to consider demolishing the building. The community raised $75,000 in three months in order to help the city purchase the property.[4] Seeing this popular support, and agreeing that the house had tremendous value as a unique historic resource, the City of Portland purchased the estate in 1964 for $225,000.

Fifteen months were spent restoring it. The mansion opened to the public in 1965, and has been a community landmark ever since. Roughly 80,000 people visit the Pittock Mansion each year.[5]

Due to the location of the site 1,000 feet (300 m) above sea level, the mansion is one of the best places for birdwatching in Portland.[6]

The building was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1974.[7]

The City of Portland estimates that $6–8 million worth of restorations are needed.[8]

In popular media[edit]

The mansion made its first known appearance in the 1977 romance film First Love, starring Susan Dey and William Katt. The house was the main character's family home and had an important scene in this film.

The second appearance was in the 1982 slasher film Unhinged. The film has become infamous since its release due to being banned in various countries as a video nasty. The house is used as the main location in the film and is used prominently throughout. The people of the city of Portland are thanked gratefully during the end credits for their participation during the films's production.

This location was used in the 1989 movie, The Haunting of Sarah Hardy starring Sela Ward and Morgan Fairchild. This location was also used prominently in the 1993 film Body of Evidence starring Madonna and Willem Dafoe.

This location was used as the finish line for the 13th season of the 6-time Emmy-winning reality game show, The Amazing Race.

View from Pittock Mansion's grounds looking eastward towards central and east Portland and Mount Hood

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Hall, Christopher (November 2004). "Estate of the Art". Via Magazine. Archived from the original on 2006-10-17. Retrieved 2006-11-22. 
  2. ^ Terry, John; citing Robert D. Johnston, Oregon Historical Quarterly, Fall, 1998 (July 24, 2005). "Oregon's Trails: Important labor leader fails to garner credit he's due". The Oregonian (Newspaper) (Portland, Oregon: Oregonian Publishing). pp. A21. 
  3. ^ Sullivan, Ann (1992-05-21). "PRESERVATIONIST, ORGANIZATIONS GET AWARDS". The Oregonian. pp. G02. 
  4. ^ Johns, Anna (July 15, 2005). "Pittock seeks new funding source". Portland Tribune. Retrieved 2006-11-22. 
  5. ^ "State of the Parks: 2020 Vision". City of Portland Parks Department. Retrieved 2006-11-22. 
  6. ^ Houck, Michael C.; Cody, M.J. (2000). Wild in the City. Oregon Historical Society. p. 116. ISBN 0-87595-273-9. 
  7. ^ "Oregon - Multnomah County". National Register of Historic Places. Retrieved 2006-11-22. 
  8. ^ Johns, Anna (October 9, 2006). "Pittock Mansion slowly changes hands". Portland Tribune. Retrieved 2006-11-22. 

External links[edit]