Follow the Willamette River south from Portland, Oregon, and you come to the picture-postcard community of Lake Oswego, one of the wealthiest places in the state. It’s 15 minutes from the city but feels light years away.
That also was true a century ago when many of the stately lakeside homes were built.
“Lake Oswego, a hundred years ago, was the Northwest example of the Hamptons’ getaway weekend,” says Sprague, referring to the tony seaside communities on the east end of Long Island.
Now one of Lake Oswego’s classic waterfront homes is on the market for only the fourth time since it was built in 1931.
The English cottage-style home at 128 Northshore Circle was owned by one-time mayor Oscar Roehr, who championed parks development and green space during his tenure. His brother, Portland architect Frank Roehr, designed the south-facing house with three bedrooms and three-and-a-half bathrooms to capitalize on the woodsy, lake setting.
Its well-preserved style and connection to the city’s early days have made it a cultural touchstone. The house carries a local landmark designation and National Register of Historic Places listing. It retains many original features, such as oak floors throughout, as well as floor-to-ceiling windows with brass pull-down screens in the living room.
The current owners reimagined parts of the house over the last 14 years while staying true to its historic state. The kitchen, for example, was enlarged and modernized, with an AGA radiant heat stove, quartz countertops and marble-topped island.
They were also meticulous about blending old and new. When some paneling in the foyer needed to be replaced, they hired a sawmill to create a custom saw that could match the contours of the historic wood pieces. “It’s difficult to see what was original and what was most recently crafted,” Sprague says.
The formal dining room has French doors that open out to a large patio surrounded by boulders, Douglas fir trees and shrubs. It’s a private spot that can be used for entertaining or kicking back. The three bedrooms, including the primary, are located upstairs.
Outside, the home has 224 feet of waterfront footage and a covered boathouse with two slips, including one that can accommodate a vessel up to 22 feet long. There’s also a garden and an original greenhouse that can be used for plants or as a quiet retreat.
Other features include a 1990 addition that has been turned into a studio apartment with a full kitchen and basement.
Who’s the likely buyer? “The perfect buyer has a great appreciation for the nostalgic feeling and the warmth, the character of architecture,” Sprague says.
The house sits on Half Moon Bay in the Lakewood neighborhood. The price is $4.99 million. Terry Sprague is the listing agent.
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