This dream home of Oregonian pioneers Henry and Georgiana Pittock features spectacular views of their beloved Portland.
British born Henry Pittock believed in America’s manifest destiny. In 1853, he took a wagon from Pennsylvania to Oregon and started working for the Weekly Oregonian newspaper. By 1860, he had married fellow pioneer Georgiana Burton and was the owner of the influential daily newspaper, the Oregonian. While Henry branched out into transportation, real estate, mining and banking, Georgiana became active in the community, devoting her time to her six children and a plethora of charitable and cultural causes.
As the frugal and hardworking couple approached their golden years, they decided to finally build a mansion befitting their stature in the community. In 1914, Pittock Mansion was completed on a 1,000 foot peak in the posh area of West Hills. Designed by architect Edward Foulkes, the French-Renaissance style mansion was made with local materials and filled with the latest in modern luxuries. These included an Otis elevator, intercoms, and a private shower that was like “a human carwash with horizontal needle sprays to reach all parts of the body, including a ‘liver spray’ and a ‘toe tester’.” The outdoor loving couple enjoyed amazing views of Mount St. Helens and Mount Hood, and delighted in the gardens and woods on the surrounding 46 acres of the property.
Sadly, the Pittocks had very little time to enjoy their new home. Georgiana, already debilitated by a series of strokes, died in 1918, and Henry followed a year later. The home was kept in the family, but it was extensively damaged by a storm in 1962. Slated to be razed by developers, it was saved by the City of Portland, who bought the estate in 1964. Today, it is open to the public, a fitting testament to the hardworking men and women who made Portland the city it is today.