Sometimes it takes a little sleuthing to discover all that we can about a property before we begin our marketing efforts. This is especially true when it comes to selling vintage and Mid Century homes. The history of the home is often unknown to its current owner; this is where we come in.
As a follower of Portland’s Mid Century architects, I was excited to learn of the possibility that a new listing might have been designed by Kenneth Birkemeier. The house was located in Alameda, where a good number of his homes were built, and had similar features to other Birkemeier homes in the area. We reached out to Alamedahistory.org, a great resource for information about the Alameda neighborhood. The findings were inconclusive, so we moved on to the City of Portland.
Lauren waited patiently for the archived historic permits. When they were delivered, she noticed a familiar name on one of the permits: J.O. Frye. So, she dug a little deeper and asked if there were any original blueprints or plans available. Sure enough, the original “application for a new structure” from 1936 was on file, signed by J.O. Frye. The property was not a Birkemeier, but designed and constructed by J.O. Frye, best known for SW Portland’s “Spider Web Cottage,” which was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1989, and the infamous Canterbury Castle, which was sadly demolished in 2010.
We’re excited to share this information with both the current and future owners of the home, as the architectural interest adds both value and interest to the property.
Sometimes, it takes a sleuth.
For more information on J.O. Frye, please visit: http://buildingoregon.org/catalog/oregondigital:df67mv27k