Historic Turn of the Century Homes for Sale in Portland, Oregon

Portland was one of the largest and most influential cities in the Northwest at the end of the 19th century. It had a busy port and railway station, attracting both tourism and business. However, Seattle was still a powerful rival, especially at the turn of the century. This rivalry helped make the early 20th century an exciting time in Portland history, as its leaders brainstormed ways to keep up with Seattle’s success.
At least one of their plans was amazingly effective. In 1905, Portland became the host city for the Lewis and Clark Exposition, a huge fair that attracted almost 1.6 million visitors. Many of those visitors ended up staying, too. Between 1900 and 1910, the city’s population more than doubled from 90,426 to 207,214. The Exposition undoubtedly contributed to this population boom, raising Portland’s fame and appeal.
The newcomers weren’t poor immigrants, either. Portland had plenty to offer wealthier classes. For example, you could get ornate, high-quality gowns made by May and Anne Shogren, whose dressmaking skills brought clients from all over the Northwest. There were two amusement parks, Oaks Park and Council Crest Amusement Park, which both opened at the turn of the century. Even the city’s streetcar system was famous for its scenic views and efficiency.
In addition to great fashion and entertainment, Portland had many beautiful houses built for the exploding population. These homes from the turn of the century have a level of artistry and attention to detail rarely seen nowadays. They’re city treasures worth preserving.
If you’re looking for a unique home in Portland, check out these four beautiful houses from the turn of the century. They’ve all been updated with modern wiring and appliances, but their original craftsmanship and integrity has been kept intact.

1. Portland Heights

Built in 1904, this 4-bedroom house has hit the right balance between feeling modern and retaining its historical charm. For example, the bathrooms look pristine yet classic, with elegant touches like a clawfoot bathtub. The house also has gorgeous box beam ceilings—dark and cozy in the dining room, light and fresh in the living room. The Master Suite is especially nice. It has a walk-in closet, lots of light, and a front deck, so you can take in the fresh Portland air and scenery every morning and evening.
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Portland Heights home
Portland Heights home dining
Portland Heights home kitchen

2. Alberta Arts

This two-bedroom house was part of the burst of activity that flourished around Alberta Street after 1903, when streetcars began servicing the area. The Alberta Arts District, as it was later called, was born when businesses started operating along Alberta, following the busy streetcar. By 1907, when this house was built, residential neighborhoods were quickly being established near the commercial district. Now, Alberta Arts is still a fantastic place to live. When you walk out the door of this home, you can easily reach the park, community garden, and many restaurants and cafes. Besides, the house itself has enough charm for you to love it on its own.
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Alberta Arts home
Alberta Arts
Alberta Arts

3. Richmond-Hawthorne

The turn of the century saw the end of the Victorian era, but such a classic style didn’t easily lose its popularity. This lovingly restored 3-bedroom Victorian home is a perfect example of how homeowners resisted the transition to modern architecture at the beginning of the 20th century. The house was built in 1904, but virtually every feature has been updated, from the incredible gourmet kitchen and hardwood floors to the spacious 2-car garage and English gardens. It’s clear how much each owner has really cared for this house.
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Richmond-Hawthorne home
Richmond-Hawthorne kitchen
Richmond-Hawthorne entry

4. Buckman-Hawthorne

This light and bright 4-bedroom home was built in 1906 and is still filled with period detail and charm. From the beautiful grand entry to the formal living and dining room with soaring box beam ceilings, pocket doors, and exquisite period lighting, this home has just the right balance of modern amenities and classic finishes.
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Buckman-Hawthorne home
Buckman-Hawthorne porch
Buckman-Hawthorne entry
Looking for a historic home in the Portland area? Browse our listings to find a turn of the century house that’s perfect for you.