In 2008 we completed a whole house remodel of a gorgeous historic home in the Alphabet district in NW Portland. The house came with a rich, partial history which was conveyed to us by the people who occupied it between 1941 and 2008. That part of the story was masterfully recounted by Bridget Otto in her article in the Oregonian’s H&G issue of April 2, 2009.
Then, in January of this year, we were approached by the original owner’s granddaughter, Caroline Strong Pond, age 85. Her grandfather, George Strong, had built the house in 1901 and lived in it until 1941. When Caroline toured the home, share shared with us some of the special memories that came flooding back of her own childhood and young adolescence in the house. She was so impressed with our restoration of the home – it looked much the way she remembered it – that she returned a week later with photos of her grandparents, in front of the original house with their open air automobile, circa 1915 (above).
Caroline told us of the extra bedrooms and an open air porch that had been added in 1910 to provide an isolated space where her grandfather could recover after contracting tuberculosis. Today, that space is a wonderful indoor garden and sanctuary.
Meeting Caroline and getting the bigger picture of this historical home is truly a full circle experience, and a wonderful testament to the longevity and legacy of a well-crafted and solidly constructed home. Below, the Strong house (circa 2012), looks ready for another century as one of Portland’s best.
Until next time,