A historic Craftsman-style household in downtown Bend is remaining renovated to its authentic early 1900s style when it was the home to just one of city’s most influential couples. George Palmer Putnam, an early operator and publisher of The Bulletin and Bend mayor, developed the house in 1911 for his bride, Dorothy Binney Putnam, heiress to the Crayola crayon fortune who spent her time in Bend top efforts in the suffrage motion.
The pair lived in the residence at 606 Congress St. till 1919, when they still left Bend for New York. Putnam afterwards divorced Binney Putnam and married famed aviator Amelia Earhart, who hardly ever arrived to Bend.
“George was the 1 who place his heart and soul into it, and our aim is to get it back again to the way that he would have found it when he and his wife were there,” mentioned Dan Winey, a California architect, who bought the residence in 2019 and is overseeing the renovation.
Winey, 68, a associate at the San Francisco-centered architecture company Gensler, programs to commit $2 million in the renovation, right after acquiring the 3,000-square-foot home for $1.15 million. He wants to use only authentic materials, these types of as vintage home windows and light-weight fixtures.
Winey reported he has a enthusiasm for restoring previous structures and sees the historical worth in the Putnam residence, which has sat mainly vacant for various decades. Lately, the house was applied for site visitors via the getaway rental services Airbnb, Winey explained.
“The idea is to provide it back to beyond its original glory,” Winey mentioned. “At the time, it was an high priced house, but by today’s requirements it demands a lot of structural upgrades and a whole lot of other improvements.”
Fully restoring the Putnam house will get extra than a year to total, Winey mentioned. He is beginning with developing a new lava rock foundation, which has expected lifting the property 10-feet off the floor.
In addition, Winey plans to eliminate a back porch that was extra in the 1940s and take away and change a brick chimney. The Bend Landmarks Commission has approved the initial operate.
“This specific home has gone through 50 yrs of neglect and deferred servicing,” Winey explained to the landmarks commission in October. “There is a pretty considerable change and a good deal of settling on the first and 2nd flooring.”
Cynthia Putnam, the granddaughter of George and Dorothy Putnam, mentioned she is thrilled with the renovation plans. The 70-yr-old retired English teacher from southeast Florida visited the residence in 1997 and in 2017.
“I’m just so delighted they selected this dwelling to renovate mainly because they recognize the heritage guiding it,” Putnam stated in a cellphone contact.
Putnam thinks her grandparents would be honored to know their very first house alongside one another is even now standing these days. Putnam by no means knew her grandfather, who died the 12 months she was born, but she appreciates how a lot Bend intended to him.
Putnam appreciates how the town remembers her grandfather for all he attained, somewhat than how he is remembered nationally as the widower to Amelia Earhart.
“I cannot emphasize more than enough what a great, nice way Bend, Oregon presents George Palmer Putnam,” she reported. “It’s as opposed to any place else. He was an incredible guy, particularly for the West.”
A lot of guides and movies about Earhart, who disappeared on a flight throughout the Pacific Ocean July 2, 1937, depict Putnam in a adverse mild, as a person who used Earhart for his have individual obtain, his granddaughter claimed.
But she reminds men and women that her grandfather is the a single who hand-picked Earhart to become the very first female aviator to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean.
“It was his achievements that created her the icon that she is to this day,” Putnam stated.
As for all the theories encompassing Earhart’s mysterious disappearance, Putnam has a easy explanation.
“It’s not alluring to say she ran out of gasoline and fell in the ocean and died,” she reported. “That’s not sensational. That does not market. But that is what transpired.”
Earhart did not know Putnam when he was in Bend. She by no means frequented his property on Congress Road.
It was Putnam’s influence as a newspaper publisher, mayor and town promoter that led to his residence currently being outlined in 1998 on the National Register of Historic Locations.
“His need to do superior aided shape the growing town of Bend during the initial part of the twentieth century,” reads the software for the nationwide sign up.
After the Putnam dwelling is restored, Winey and his spouse program to move in and retire.
Winey stated the dwelling will be his past challenge, soon after a extensive vocation of architecture get the job done about the globe.
He sees the residence as a obstacle and a residence that can be a jewel in Bend.
“If you had been a builder and seeking at it, you would say tear it down,” Winey reported. “But which is not why we purchased it. We purchased it for the reason that it is distinctive and it implies a lot of the neighborhood.”