Every Tuesday, Portland Metro realtors open the doors of newly listed homes to other members of the trade. The idea is to attract agents with clients looking for a property like the one on tour, and to offer the chance to preview it. I don’t have any buyers with a $3.75 million ceiling at the moment, but I was excited to see 2728 SW Greenway Ave on this week’s west side tour list.
According to the Oregon Historical Society, the house is one of the finest examples of Roscoe Hemenway’s work. A graduate of Grant High and the U of O’s School of Architecture, Hemenway designed some 300 buildings over his 36-year career in Portland. He became best known for homes in the Colonial Revival style.
Dunthorpe neighborhood has the most “Hemenway Colonials.” But as I say, Portland Heights has the best. Built in 1951 on two-thirds of an acre, 2728 Greenway bears all the hallmarks of the style. Well-screened from the street by thick shrubs and tall trees, the façade – and its key architectural elements – are shown in the exterior photo.
Inside is just as grand. The house runs to over 12,000 square feet with 6 bedrooms, 5 full baths, 2 half baths, 3 stories, a home theater and library/bar on the top floor, a wing for live-in staff served by back stairs, and an elevator. The master suite is the size of an average 1-bedroom apartment (625 SF). The living room is the size of a small starter home (1000 SF). And at $58K per year, property taxes are also outsize – just $10K less than the average Portlander’s annual income. Utility costs must be formidable too. Newly required as part of the city’s effort to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 80 percent by 2050, the energy score for the house is 1 on a 10-point scale.
Back at my desk, I wondered who lives in such luxury. The owner is normally shown on the listing, but not in this case. So I looked up the tax report for the property in the Regional Multiple Listing Service. Turns out, he is just as prominent in today’s civic life as the architect was generations back.
Co-founder of the ad agency that began as a start-up and is now a global brand in its own right, Dan Wieden has called the property home since 1993, when he bought it for $1.225 million.
It’s a far cry from the Wieden+Kennedy headquarters in the Pearl – a once abandoned 1908 warehouse with an atrium carved out of its middle, modern industrial finishes, and some wildly creative touches. But the two buildings have historic character (and preservation) in common. As the listing notes, the house has been “meticulously cared for.” Still a young 67, it may eventually join the warehouse on the National Register of Historic Places.
For now, 2728 Greenway needs a new owner. A 25-year appreciation of 300 percent seems reasonable, but it will be interesting to track the listing, which is on my RMLS watch list.
Postscript: As I was putting the finishing touches on this blog post, OregonLive published an article about the house. You can read Janet Eastman’s take here.