“Well, I must endure the presence of two or three caterpillars if I wish to become acquainted with the butterflies. It seems that they are very beautiful. And if not the butterflies—and the caterpillars—who will call upon me? You will be far away… as for the large animals—I am not at all afraid of any of them. I have my claws.”
– Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Little Prince
Up, up, up above Portland, Oregon in the tony environs surrounding Washington Park’s International Rose Test Garden and august Japanese Garden, a setting awash in delicate, ephemeral scents, engineered water features, naturalistic plantings, and immense rock compositions encircled by lush, verdant, primeval-esque forest is 2875 SW Fairview Boulevard: a true Pacific Northwest home anchored by a monolithic red brick chimney. This home conveys a sense of permanence, of stability, of quiet authority, which are enabled through the extensive use of natural materials, such as the wooden shingles and shake, all the while imbedded in sumptuous green, green foliage and deep brown boughs. Yet, even in this naturalistic composition, the human hand can still be seen in the design details, most prominently in the wonderfully art nouveau door knocker, complete with a miniature fist. This home was hewn by hand and placed in a landscape cleared by human hands, a manufactured landscape that extends from the front door to the surrounding gardens, roses, and water features imported from each corner of the world. This home, 2875 SW Fairview Boulevard, is a discreet testament to human ingenuity and design.
Once inside this home, a light, bright, yet substantial interior unfolds before you; light wood floors, delicate finials, deeply inset fireplaces, and plentiful windows abound throughout the ground floor of the home. Each room is consciously human scaled—a true sign this home is a Northwestern invention—allowing for deliberate, intimate interactions between each space and person within them.
Spread out over four levels, this home provides a multitude of private and public spaces, of which the two most impressive are the expansive master bedroom suite and the fourth floor space directly under the eaves, accessibly only by winding spiral staircase. These spaces continue the human scale of the first floor spaces and transmute them into even more intimate, personal spaces, as such privileged rooms should hold; they are accessible to the few and even more extraordinary for this fact.
The rear elevation of the home is hidden and bound by a thick forest of evergreens—the perfect setting for such a delicate home, a rose within the City of Roses. The intimacy of this home is tantamount, creating a homey, uniquely Portland atmosphere and reprieve from the active city below.
2875 SW Fairview Boulevard is currently listed by Margie Wood and Elizabeth Ellegood of Windermere Realty for $1,575,000. This 1928 home includes 4 bedrooms and 3 bathrooms within 5,299 square feet of living space on a roughly 13,500 square foot elevated, forested lot.
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