Author Archives: Robert McCullough

U.S. Senator Ron Wyden Is Honoring Navy Lt. Dario Raschio This Saturday

Senator Will Present His Neighbor with Seven Medals Earned in WWII

Portland, OR – Continuing his pledge since 1996 to hold a town hall each year in each of Oregon’s counties, Senator Ron Wyden will begin the new year with town halls this week in seven counties, including a very special medals presentation to a 100-year-old Eastmoreland resident.

Senator Wyden starts his 20th year of holding annual town halls in each of Oregon’s 36 counties with his 710th town hall in Deschutes County on Jan.  2 and will hold six more town halls through Jan. 5 before traveling to Washington DC later next week for the start of the 114th Congress.

The town hall in Multnomah County on Jan. 3rd will begin with Senator Wyden presenting 100-year-old Dario Raschio with seven medals that he waited seven decades to receive for his heroism during World War II.  Raschio grew up in Portland and joined the Navy in 1941, serving as an observation plane pilot aboard the USS Chester and participating in five campaigns in the Pacific Theatre.

After one particularly harrowing mission on Easter Sunday of 1944, Raschio crash-landed in the Pacific and his plane began to capsize. Raschio and his crewman prepared for the worst, but were rescued a few hours later by a Navy destroyer.

Senator Wyden will present Raschio with the U.S. Naval Aviator Badge, the American Campaign Medal, the Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal, the World War II Victory medal, the American Defense Service Medal, the “Ruptured Duck” award and the U.S. Navy Honorable Discharge Pin. He also will present Raschio with a U.S. flag flown over the Capitol and Certificate.


Saturday, Jan. 3, 2:30 pm
PCC Southeast Campus, Mt. Tabor Hall
2305 SE 82nd and Division, Portland

****Free parking available in the PCC lot off 82nd Ave. NO parking permit will be required.****

Progress on reforming Portland’s dysfunctional demolition rules

Southeast Uplift welcomes the recommendations proposed today at the Developer Review Advisory Committee (DRAC).

Neighborhood association members reported that the DRAC has recommended the elimination of the often abused “K-1 Exemption” and a requirement that developers indicate that they will meet state and federal dangerous substance rules as part of the permitting process.  While the details are yet to be finalized, this puts Portland back on the track of being a land use friendly environmentally conscious city.

Topics slated for discussion at the next DRAC sub-committee meeting are:    1) whether there should be an additional delay period that recognized neighborhood organizations can apply for, and if so, how long should it be? 30 days? 120 days;  and 2) when does a “major remodel” cross over into being a demolition.

The proposed elimination of the “K-1 Exemption” means that all demolitions will be subject to the delay and notice rules originally set out in Portland’s city code.  Among other benefits, it will allow neighborhoods to know thirty five days in advance when major demolitions are likely to occur and provide sufficient delay to enforce rules prohibiting the release of asbestos.

These changes come from hard work at DRAC and the city’s many neighborhood associations.

Hales hands demolition fix to Fritz

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Neighbors upset by infill projects gird for tussle on city proposal

Mayor Charlie Hales has reversed course and now says Commissioner Amanda Fritz is taking the lead on the home demolition issue.

The switch, relayed by Hales’ spokesman Dana Haynes, comes after Hales told the Portland Tribune that his staff was working on the issue and that he would be making a proposal to preserve historic homes in “weeks, not months.”

The reversal also comes as neighborhood representatives have scheduled a meeting to discuss presenting their own proposal to the City Council to slow the demolition and replacement of single-family homes with one or more larger houses across the city. It is open to the public and set for 7 p.m. on Sept. 9 at the Grant Park Church, 2728 N.E. 34th Ave.

“We hope that neighborhood representatives can come together and make a proposal to the City Council that will slow the demolition and replacement of existing homes that is destroying the character of neighborhoods across the city,” says Al Ellis, former president of the Beaumont-Wilshire Neighborhood Association, which is helping to organize the meeting.

Hales made his comments to the Tribune following an emotional July 31 hearing before the council during which dozens of city residents deplored the increasing demolition of existing homes for one or more larger new houses. The Bureau of Development Services issued 273 residential emulation permits last year and is on track to issue substantially more this year.

Hales said then that he was impressed by the testimony and had assigned his staff to look into the issue and make a proposal after the hearing. But last Thursday, Haynes said Fritz was in charge of it.

“We’re not moving ahead of the commissioner on this. We try to be very respectful about the process. Commissioner Fritz is on this,” Haynes says.

Fritz oversees BDS, where a review group, the Development Review Advisory Committee, is studying what, if anything, should be done about the increasing number of residential demolitions.

Ellis says DRAC has little creditability among neighborhood activist because it is dominated by developers, however. It is chaired by Jeff Fish, who owns a company specializing in infill developments. Fish has said he does not believe demolitions are out of control, although he believes developers should do a better job notifying neighbors and making sure to mitigate such hazards as asbestos and lead paint.

Fish’s committee is expected to issue some recommendation before the end of the year. That is not soon enough for Ellis, however.

“Those of us in the neighborhood associations are hearing from residents every week who are alarmed by what is happening,” Ellis says. “Something needs to be done now.”

Naming Portland’s everyday houses: From bungalow to ‘Minimal-traditional’

Thomas Hubka | Special to The Oregonian by Thomas Hubka | Special to The Oregonian 

on August 29, 2014 at 8:24 AM, updated August 29, 2014 at 8:37 AM

Gable-entry house: Far more common than Victorian mansions, these small vernacular houses with doors in either the gable-end or the long-side, were some of Portland’s most numerous single-family houses before 1900. Photo by Thomas Hubka.


(Additional photos are at the end of the article.)


Portland is known for its distinctive neighborhoods and substantial housing but it’s not easy to categorize or even name most of the city’s 150,000 houses. Loose terms like ranch, Cape and bungalow are broadly used but are highly generalized and are often not very helpful.

While older “historic” homes are often identified by architectural styles such as Queen Anne, Colonial and Italianate, most common houses in a variety of modest stylistic mixtures are not so easily identified.

Yet Portland’s common houses can be named and classified. Whatever they are called: popular, common, vernacular, developer-built, everyday homes, they constitute the largest portion of Portland’s housing in any period or neighborhood of the city.

Without a means of naming and classifying them, these dwellings tend to be left out of the histories of Portland’s architecture, neglected in preservation and historic surveys and politely marginalized when considering their significant contribution to the over quality of our city’s quality of life.

In a series of articles on individual neighborhoods, we will focus on a neighborhood’s most popular types of houses that consistently give unique character to every district of the city, such as Buckman’s creative porch gables, Hilldale’s varieties of the split levels, Kerns’ working-class doubles and Eastmoreland’s  brick, corbelled-gable, storybook houses.

Rather than focusing on a neighborhood’s oldest or most ornate houses, every Portland neighborhood also has distinctive types of common houses that help to define its dominant residential character. We will examine how and why these common houses were made and the reasons they look the way they do.

Eras/Periods of Portland’s Common House Construction

In the late 19th century, most Portlanders did not reside in grand Victorian mansions usually photographed but instead lived in either multi-unit tenement and boarding houses or small, two-and-three room wooden houses and workers cottages. Most of these structures, however, have either been destroyed or remodeled beyond recognition.

In the housing boom that followed the Lewis and Clark Exposition of 1905, Portland builders produced early modern houses, like the four-square, the four-room “pyramid” and the gable-and-wing that still exist in most neighborhoods. But Portland’s most popular house of the first half of the 20th century was the common bungalow produced in many varieties but most popularly in a one-story, asymmetrical, porch and gable-to-the-street style.

Although usually recognized by its craftsman-bungalow style with large eave boards and wooden brackets, it also contained the first modern kitchens, dining rooms and baths for the working classes.

By the late 1920s, the bungalow style was gradually replaced by common houses in more historic styles, often labeled “period revivals.” It is a confusing group of styles but there were two dominant influences: American Colonial sources, like the Cape Cod house, and European sources, primarily English, often called “Tudor” and imitating English cottages.

The end of WWII began a housing boom that transformed Portland and the nation. Although the ranch house is the symbol of this era, it is difficult to precisely name Portland’s most popular mid-century houses because they typically combine elements of the ranch with more traditional features like shutters and more steeply peaked roofs.

“Minimal-traditional” is a way to describe these most common houses, which combined modern materials (like plywood) and modern aesthetics (like corner windows) with older traditions features.

During the last 20 or 30 years, new types of, as yet unnamed, popular houses have dominated the Portland housing market. We might label them wide-lot and a narrow lot suburban house types.

The houses in the photo gallery represent some of Portland’s most popular houses through successive eras. In the following weeks, will be examining Portland most common houses in different neighborhoods where variations on these standard types always provides unique residential character.

— Thomas Hubka

Thomas Hubka is a Portland-based author, architectural historian and Professor Emeritus from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee who has recently taught architecture courses at the University of Oregon, Portland State University and Portland Community College and offers neighborhood tours for the Architecture Heritage Center.

© 2014 All rights reserved.



Four-square: Named for its four major ground-floor rooms in its square plan, the four-square was one of Portland’s most popular middle-upper class residences following the Lewis and Clark Expedition housing boom at the turn of the last century. Photo by Thomas Hubka.


Bungalow: Portland’s most popular house before WWII, the bungalow was constructed in several distinctive local variations in Portland’s neighborhoods. Photo by Thomas Hubka.


Cape (Cod) house: Following the Depression, this popular Cape (Cod) house, associated with the Colonial Revival, supplanted the bungalow as Portland’s most popular house type. Photo by Thomas Hubka.


Tudor (English cottage) house: In many local variations, these picturesque houses borrowed from an English and European vernacular, country house tradition and vied with the Cape Cod, Colonial revival houses, like the Cape Cod, in a battle of the styles for Portland popular housing market. Photo by Thomas Hubka.


Ranch house: America’s most popular single-family house type, the typical ranch was the first house to fully unite the garage within the structure of the house. Photo by Thomas Hubka.


Minimal-tradition house: There is no name for this most common, post-WWII Portland house that combined modern ranch house features with traditional historical elements of the Cape, such as steeper roofs, shutters, and historical molding and trim. Photo by Thomas Hubka.