Portland, Oregon’s historical Pittock Mansion turns 100 this year and honors its anniversary with free admission now through February 10, 2014. Visitors may tour 23 of Pittock’s rooms and its grounds on their own or with a guide. The original property included the 16,000 square-foot mansion, terraced garden, greenhouse, three-car garage, the groundskeeper’s Gate Lodge and servants’ residence. It featured progressive amenities like an intercom system, indirect lighting, an elevator, and a central vacuum system. The Museum Store currently resides in the former garage. The Pittock Mansion sits at an elevation of 1000 feet on 46 acres and overlooks downtown Portland, the Cascade Mountain Range, and the Willamette River.
Portland Pioneers Henry and Georgiana Pittock hired local craftsmen and used Pacific Northwest materials to build the house that they resided in from 1914 until their deaths in 1918 and 1919. They shared this residence with some of their six children and 18 grandchildren. The Pittocks deeply connected with their community and spent their time improving the lives of local residents.
Henry’s entrepreneurial spirit led him into a variety of industries such as transportation, paper, mining, ranching, banking, and real estate. He worked his way up to becoming Publisher of the Weekly Oregonian newspaper, now named the Oregonian, and changed it to its current daily format. Georgiana’s community service to mothers, children, and single women in the workplace involved her in the founding of the Ladies Relief Society, a Children’s Home, and the Martha Washington Home. Both of the Pittocks relished the outdoors. Henry joined the first party to climb Mt. Hood, the very mountain that he viewed from his home. Georgiana enjoyed her garden and decorated her home with cut flowers. Her botanical experience led to the founding of the Portland Rose Festival. She watched Henry ride his beloved horses in its annual parades.
Pittock relatives remained in the house until a grandson—who was born there—moved out in 1958 and sold the dilapidated property to the City of Portland in 1964. The City of Portland saved the Pittock Mansion from demolition, restored it, and opened it to the public in 1965. The Bureau of Portland Parks and Recreation owns Pittock Acres Park. Hiking Trails originating from the parking lot connect Washington Park to Forest Park, one of the largest urban forest reserves in the United States. Picnickers find panoramic views of the metropolis and distant mountains from the expansive yard.
The Pittock Mansion holds special events, tours, and camps throughout the year. Behind the Scenes Tours are on February 22 and March 22 of 2014. These guided tours reveal areas of the mansion unavailable to the public. Tours include Henry’s private den on the third floor, servants’ bedrooms and bathroom, the massive attic, underground halls, the original underground furnace room, the vault, electrical panels, and the 1914 elevator maintenance room. Tours begin every hour between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. and last approximately 45 minutes, require reservations and prepayment, and cost $19 per person or $7 per member. Tours are not recommended for children under 10.
The Pittock Mansion is open daily from 11 a.m.- 4 p.m., and from 10 a.m.- 5 p.m. July 1-September 2. The Museum Store is open from 11:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. daily. General admission costs $9.50 for adults, $8.50 for seniors 65 and over, $6.50 for youth ages 6-18, and is free for children under 6 and members. General tours are partially wheelchair and stroller accessible. Staff can assist with the elevator and can provide wheelchairs. Oversized and motorized wheelchairs do not fit in certain spaces within the mansion. The Pittock Mansion is located at 3229 NW Pittock Drive in Portland, Oregon 97210. For additional information, contact the office at (503) 823-3623 or pittockmansion.org. Whether you visit during this free week or not, it’s worth the trek up to the Pittock Mansion.
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