Buy or sell your home with Kathryn Madison

Midcentury Cool or Money Pit?

Tuesday, February 28th, 2012

You have to forgive me. I’ve walked through hundreds of homes and viewed many many thousands.  Because of this home saturation, I appreciate the qualities in a home that make it unique, and given my penchant for vintage and mid-century homes, I had to visit this new listing and wonder who its new owners will be.

Living room fireplace and beamed ceiling.

The home was built in 1947, and obviously an architect designed place in the Vermont Hills area of SW Portland, situated beautifully on a half acre+ lot, a cross between NW regional and Eichler. The home is divided into two wings, which is interesting because the main wing holding the master and living room has a roof that breaks in the center and wings out to either direction. When you first enter the home through the other wing by the carport, where the kitchen, dining room and extra bedrooms lay immediately to the right. This architectural detail was often used in this era providing separation between the adults and children- unseen in todays layouts. To get to the living room and master, you pass through a long, dark entry hallway with clerestory windows that gently inclines for about 60 feet. Suddenly the huge living room opens up before you,  church-like with a massive vaulted ceiling with a floor to ceiling fireplace facing a floor to ceiling window. On either side of the fireplace double entries lead up to the master and office, with a wet bar on the back side of the fireplace. Of course, this makes sense- who wants to carry a martini up that hallway?

Living room window opposite fireplace.

The living room is a fabulous entertaining area that is begging for some great multiple lighting fixtures- various Nelson lamps? The tiny slider’s scale seems off, but it opens to a great patio. Some of the materials used were not the best quality (the sheathing under the eaves is falling apart), but others, like the organic tile in a shower and by the copper fireplace are first rate.

Nautilus tile pattern in shower.

The kitchen and dining area need a re-design- I’m positive this architect was not a cook, but the shared space could translate to intimate dinners for 12 as the dining area is generous but cozy.

Formica with "atomic" motif.

Detail, copper fireplace.

The home is sold as-is with 3,300 square feet which may not include additional square footage below grade. Could still be priced high for the condition at $339,000.  You tell me, masterpiece or money pit? I’ll tell you, I wish I could remodel it myself. More photos.

4 Responses to “Midcentury Cool or Money Pit?”

  1. February 29th, 2012 at 11:42 am Pam Kueber:

    What a gorgeous house! Masterpiece, for sure!

  2. February 29th, 2012 at 12:58 pm kmadison:

    Let’s hope someone else thinks so, and the house goes to good hands. My evil goal is to be invited to a summer party in that gorgeous living room.

  3. February 29th, 2012 at 3:13 pm Ana:

    This house is amazing. I love the kitchen, and is that a sunken bathtub with steps/railing?! Crazy! Beautiful lot, too.

  4. March 4th, 2012 at 1:34 pm kmadison:

    The house verges on over the top in the bathroom with the sunken bathtub and the bright blue tile. The lot is amazing- the house is sited perfectly on it.

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