This Richard Neutra-designed home in Portland has been listed for $3.5 million – Rob Report
Bradley Chandler of Wayfarer Photos by Cascade Hasson Sotheby’s International Realty
In the treetops above the Willamette River, with open views of Mount St. Helens and the downtown Portland skyline, one of only two private residences in Oregon designed by prominent modernist architect Richard Neutra is now available for $3.55 million.
Born and raised a New York City department store heiress, Peggy Hess — her grandfather, Isidore Strauss, was a co-owner of Macy’s and died with his wife Ida in 1912 aboard the Titanic — married gardener Jan de Graaf in 1931. In 1931. He moved to Oregon. They created a successful bulb farm, and de Graaf created more tulip hybrids, including the famous Stargazer and Enchantment varieties, than anyone else.
A decade later, the sophisticated couple commissioned Los Angeles-based Richard Neutra to design a spacious home for their family in a wooded neighborhood six miles south of downtown Portland. The result, located at the end of a long private driveway on two elevated lots totaling about an acre, brought international style architecture to the City of Roses. The house was completed in 1941, and was featured in House & Garden magazine the following year.
The de Graaf family moved to New York City in 1970, and by the 1980s, their former home had been renovated beyond recognition. The current owners purchased the property in 2003 for about $1.3 million and, in collaboration with Ryan Walsh of Green Gables (now Light House), restored many of the home’s original design elements while simultaneously updating it for a comfortable modern lifestyle.
The house today doesn’t look exactly as Neutra designed it nearly 85 years ago, but it stays true to the architect’s original vision. The long horizontal lines of the exterior are balanced by vertical cedar cladding. The simply decorated interior features bands of picture windows offering lush views of the surrounding foliage; Sliding glass doors allow the home to transition seamlessly to a bi-level terrace nestled in the treetops with a built-in barbecue and outdoor fireplace.
Inside, a double-sided fireplace separates the living room from a cozy room with built-in banquet sofas and floating shelves, while the dining room is sandwiched between the living room and the open-plan kitchen with a casual dining area and seating area. With another built-in banquette below the windows.
In total, there are five bedrooms and 5.5 bathrooms in 6,887 square feet over three floors. Two of the bedrooms and a shared bathroom are located downstairs, as well as several large storage rooms and a covered patio, while the other three rooms are located upstairs. The two guest bedrooms upstairs each have a private bathroom, while the master bedroom has a fireplace, walk-in closet and split double bathrooms that share a large shower. The master suite also shares a large balcony with an oversized laundry room that can be used as a home office.
Other highlights of the private property include four fireplaces, an attached three-car garage topped by a 600-square-foot rec room (which originally served as a playpen for the Graff children), and a large oval-shaped field of grass surrounded by mature trees.
Tracy Hasson of Sotheby’s International Realty holds the listing.
Click here for more photos of 1901 South Comus Street.