February 1, 2023


Comfortable residential structure

Midcentury architectural marvel, Portland’s Wedgwood Dwelling of Tomorrow, is for sale at $639,000

A 1959 model household in Northeast Portland was dubbed the Wedgwood Property of Tomorrow when it was new, but currently the cautiously preserved residence is a spacious, livable time capsule built famous to a new era as a film locale for “Shrill,” a comedy sequence starring Aidy Bryant and streaming on Hulu.

Architects William Fletcher and Donald Blair built the dwelling seven many years back to be topped by an inventively lightweight, folded-plate roof, which was known as the “Wedgwood Wave” immediately after developer Wedgwood Households.

Beneath the Douglas fir plywood roof ended up ground-to-ceiling glass panels and prefabricated walnut-veneer panels. A suspended fire and clerestory windows incorporate to the feeling of lightness, as if factors are floating.

The handsome, then-futuristic home with indoor-outside areas, an suitable function-from-residence setup and “The Jetsons”-like developed-in gadgetry, gained a advantage award by the American Institute of Architects all through the halcyon times of midcentury architecture.

Fast ahead: The .27-acre house at 1300 N.E. 117th Ave. in Portland’s Hazelwood neighborhood was stated for sale at $639,000 on Jan. 12, 2020, by broker Lori Fenwick of Premiere Home Group.

Who will really like this property with architectural gravitas? “Someone who appreciates aesthetic and contemporary layout,” suggests Fenwick. “Someone who is energized about owning and preserving a single of the most architecturally sizeable, mid-century fashionable properties in Portland.”

The longtime owners say their dwelling was influenced by German-American architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe’s Farnsworth Property, as perfectly as summary painter Piet Mondrian’s use of colors and enjoying solids versus voids for extraordinary, simplified visible outcome.

Wedgwood Home of Tomorrow

Western Setting up devoted a address tale and two webpages to the Wedgwood House of TomorrowWestern Constructing

The household was invited to be section of Restore Oregon’s 2017 house tour spotlighting Fletcher’s exceptional residential perform.

The late architect not only served refine midcentury modern-day for the Pacific Northwest, but founded an enduring business, Fletcher Farr Ayotte (now known as FFA Architecture and Interiors, Inc.), and secured his legacy by his beautiful, ground-breaking structures.

Airbnb guests have also been equipped to examine out the Wedgwood Property of Tomorrow (normally misspelled “Wedgewood”) and “Mad Men”-period furnishings and artwork. “Live like a Jetson,” mentioned the trip remain description.

The entry is shielded by a walled and landscaped courtyard. It is a signature aspect of Fletcher’s that provides privacy and a perception of changeover from the street to the property sanctuary.

The property has 4 bedrooms, two bathrooms and 1,650 square toes of living place. It is surrounded by a Tiki deck and Japanese gardens.

See additional Portland midcentury present day properties for sale

Fletcher is credited with advancing modernist tenets of open up flooring strategies and efficient kitchens that improved the large livability of his customized residences. He added splendor with cautiously positioned skylights, warm wood louvers and other simple and sophisticated geometric types.

In the 1950s, Fletcher graduated from the University of Oregon’s Faculty of Architecture and established up shop in the basement of his Portland dwelling.

His guideline to design and style were being functions by modernist trailblazer, Mies van der Rohe, and the spare Global Design and style movement.

Although common revival architecture dominated the drawing boards at most corporations, Fletcher joined a handful of outliers developing pared-down dwellings encased by glass and native timber.

A yr into his occupation, Fletcher opened a downtown studio and attained the geographic moniker as the leader of the “14th Road Gang” of architects.

He shared the business office with Blair as properly as Saul Zaik, who also rose to prominence as an architect deft at Northwest regional modernism. Rounding out the rest of the gang have been John Reese, Frank Blachly, Alex Pierce and designer George Schwarz.

Later on, Fletcher partnered with Dale Farr and Hal Ayotte to type FFA, which continues to design and style sustainable residential and business initiatives.

Troy Ainsworth, the head of FFA who worked with Fletcher in the 1990s, believes the 14th Road Gang saw themselves as progressives, layout pioneers hunting for techniques to make Global Modernism extra consumer-welcoming and related to creating in the cloudy, perfectly-timbered Pacific Northwest.

This region’s versions of modernism have been vaulted on to the environment stage by early functions by architects John Yeon, Pietro Belluschi, John Storrs and Van Evera Bailey.

During the housing increase right after WWII, tract builders Robert Rummer in Oregon and Joseph Eichler in California also promoted the thought of a versatile ground strategy with uncomplicated access to the outdoors, a thought that suited quickly-to-establish, submit-and-beam building.

Fletcher and other folks had been rewarded for making the most of a site’s organic features, orienting openings to frame views when mirroring roof strains to the landscape. They established buildings that blended, alternatively than glance boastful.

In quite a few of Fletcher’s properties, domestically grown, crystal clear vertical-grain cedar coated ceilings that prolonged just much more than enough earlier exterior walls to deflect rain and give shade without the need of blocking organic light.

Cutting-edge light switches, intercoms and other Jet Age factors ushered in the assure of a related, large-tech environment.

Rather of rooms concealed behind inside doorways and walls, attendees stepping into one particular of Fletcher’s mild-loaded entries could scan the dwelling area and past. Glass atriums and see-by sliding doorways framed outside landscaping, and minimized the boundaries amongst inside of and out.

Peggy Moretti of Restore Oregon praised Fletcher, who lived from 1925 to 1998, for an aesthetic that translated to household and commercial jobs, which include Black Butte Ranch residential vacation resort in the vicinity of Sisters and Rex Hill winery in Newberg, the place he famously made a room for a metal sculpture by Lee Kelly.

Wedgwood Home of Tomorrow

Archive image: Architect William Fletcher was 1 of the leaders of the Pacific Northwest Modernism, planning glass-enclosed homes and properties in Portland in the 1950s.Restore Oregon

Fletcher, who was an artwork appreciator, had deep regard for Portland sculptors like Kelly and Bonnie Bronson. “His house was entire of art and normally comprehensive of artists, partaking in a dialogue and inquiry into the character of artwork and everyday living,” according to Fletcher’s biography at FFADesign.com.

The roomy partitions he designed ended up primary backdrops for up to date artwork, and they were being illuminated by correctly positioned windows drawing in sunlight.

Specific-oriented, jazz drumming Bill Fletcher labored with purchasers for additional than 4 many years, right until the very last month of his existence. By then, fashionable experienced evolved, as it was built to do, but ongoing to be overshadowed by far more frequent common style and design.

— Janet Eastman | 503-294-4072

[email protected] | @janeteastman

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