Ellis Lawrence Estate

Price upon request
Portland, OR, USA
Status: Active

I’ve visited this Dunthorpe estate both personally and professionally and it is an absolutely enchanting combination of unique historic details with modern luxuries and comforts. It’s perfectly designed with all the elements - you can vacation together, work together and gather together and still find all the peace and quiet you need. It’s a one of a kind property, a place for friends and family to come together and feel welcome and pampered.
- Terry Sprague

Encompassing over two acres of stunning grounds in the highly prized Dunthorpe community bordering Lake Oswego, this exceptional property has been a part of the Portland landscape for just shy of 100 years. It is not only one of the most important homes in Dunthorpe but also Portland overall due to its enduring appeal and notable provenance. Just imagine the garden parties on the lush lawn when the home’s first owners, industrialist Stanley C.E. Smith and his family were in residence in the 1920s. More recently, former Portland Trailblazer Rasheed Wallace and his family called this special place home and though their lives looked very different, each family experienced the idyllic peace and privacy this home has to offer.

This unparalleled private haven features a 10,058 sq. foot Tudor Revival home with elements of Arts and Crafts, Spanish Renaissance and Mediterranean-style design throughout. The home’s original design was done by the esteemed architect and civic activist Ellis Lawrence, the co-founder and first dean of the University of Oregon School of Architecture and Allied Arts. Lawrence is known for his body of over 500 projects including much of the UO campus and many private residences throughout Oregon that, like this home, are on the National Register of Historic Places. The Smith House, as it became known, was custom designed and built for the Smith family and completed in 1924.

The world has undergone dramatic change over the 100 years this home has stood among the towering old-growth Douglas fir trees and ancient oaks that inhabit the grounds, but the quality of the original design, craftsmanship and materials of this home have withstood the test of time. Many of the original elements, including the Gary oak aka “Oregon oak” hardwood floors, Georgian-style leaded glass windows and a wrought iron balustrade leading upstairs have been painstakingly restored to their original beauty. Timeless design elements such as the Mediterranean-inspired archways and windows throughout the home are as impactful today as they were when they were built. Extensive and thoughtful renovations have brought this home into 2021 with modern features and finishes that blend with the original elements to create a classic and comfortable style. Newer additions including the resort-style pool and guest house, incredible detached home gym and concrete and turf sport court flow seamlessly with the overall classic Hamptons-style ambiance of the estate, enhancing the home’s welcoming and relaxing atmosphere.

From the gated entrance, the front drive leads to a large circular courtyard centered around a peaceful Spanish-style fountain. The home’s front door, a flawless recreation of the original heavy arched oak door (which is now guarding the entrance to the wine cellar in the basement, more on that later) sits within a brick archway topped by a wrought iron Juliet balcony and French doors leading out from the second floor landing. The exterior is is combination of stucco, bricks, shingles and half-timbering with a massive brick chimney and a steep hipped gable roof.

Step inside into a beautifully designed home with a perfect floorplan for entertaining large groups or small and every day living. The rooms on this floor are large with tall, 10 foot ceilings yet despite their size, live very intimately. The living room is a perfect example. Though its design is elevated by the addition of a plaster relief border of grapes, acorns and oak leaves twining together on the ceiling, this is not a room to be reserved only for special occasions. Its warm gas fireplace is flanked by arched alcoves and the space is flooded with light from a set of French doors inset with the original Georgian-style leaded glass windows overlooking the walled rose garden on the southern side of the home. The entire interior of the home was repainted a soothing white when the most recent refurbishment overseen by interior design firms Tony + Michael and Bedford Brown was completed about three years ago.

Next door, the sun room features a breathtaking view of the lush lawn and pool framed by a curved window wall and French doors leading out to the patio. This room gets incredible morning light and is an excellent spot for a painting studio space or to simply sit and enjoy a cup of coffee. The slate floors here are original to the home and have a lovely patina that only time can create. One of the most wonderful things about this home is its placement on the property assures that the rooms receive sunlight all day long, even on the most grey Portland days. Next door is the dining room where the ceiling has been restored to its original glory. Tracery millwork in an oversized barbed quatrefoil and diamond pattern spans the ceiling and adds a touch of formality to the space, making it perfect for holidays and special celebrations.

The nearby kitchen was redone in the early 2000s and has a unique placement in the floor plan that provides views of both the front and the back of the home. This ‘command center’ placement is indispensable in a busy household. The layout features a long, central island that houses the Thermador Professional range with six burners, a warming drawer and dual ovens under a massive hood. Other appliances include two (new) Miele dishwashers and a SubZero refrigerator. Wide granite countertops provide ample space for several cooks and helpers to work together and a huge secret pantry hidden inside a wall panel holds enough food for everyone. The kitchen also includes an informal dining space that connects to the patio and overlooks the back yard.

Just off the kitchen is the comfortable family room. The layout creates enough separation between these spaces to gain all the benefits of a great room with the added bonus of more wall space and a quieter atmosphere for both rooms. The family room was redone three years ago and built-in bookshelves and desks were added for added storage and functionality. The gas fireplace is flanked by two deep alcoves with cushions that serve as unique reading or study cubbies. French doors lead outside to the patio where a built-in Viking grill stands ready for cookouts. Though the whole property is fenced, a smaller fenced area nearby serves as a safe spot for pets and also houses the home’s generator and six newly-installed A/C units.

The main floor also includes a large laundry room with ample counter space and storage as well as a drying area with louvered doors that allow airflow while screening clothes from view. The mudroom with easy access to and from the garage serves as the perfect landing zone after a day of work and school. The attached three car garage has built-in storage with Cherrywood doors.

Upstairs, the second floor includes five bedrooms and incredible office/library. The primary suite is a lovely serene space with a large bedroom. Built-in armoires flank a wide, arched window nook that creates an ideal spot for a comfortable chair and a good book. The furniture-like cabinets hide a television on one side and a drawer refrigerator unit on the other as well as providing additional storage. A walk-in changing room features a storage island, built-in ironing board and space for a sitting area in addition to the large recessed closets with solid wooden doors to keep things looking neat and tidy. The primary bath, featured on the MTV Cribs episode with Rasheed Wallace, has heated floors and a jacuzzi tub as well as a steam shower.

The three kids’ bedrooms each have their own ensuite baths with unique accent tiles. An additional room serves as a homework/play room with a full bath located next door. At the end of the hall upstairs is the incredible club-like office/library. Clad in dark, pine paneling, the office features two large alcoves, one with a built-in desk and the other with space for a large desk. A hidden wet bar includes a microwave, refrigerator and sink. Built-in bookshelves line the walls and flank the gas fireplace. This is a fabulous place to work from home, write the next great American novel, or even catch an afternoon nap. Its location ensures quiet and a minimum of interruptions. The third floor features a bonus room perfect for a play room or lounge space as well as huge finished storage space.

The basement is the place for recreation and entertaining with a second family room perfectly suited for movie night. Featuring a massive fireplace with a concrete surround, rustic wood mantle and soapstone hearth, this is a wonderfully cozy place to spend time. The size of this room and its fireplace have lead previous owners to speculate that this room was possibly used as a neighborhood speakeasy. Further evidence of this possible checkered past comes from the original front door which includes a leaded glass window with a spider and web design, said to be a signal that there was a speakeasy inside. The infamous door now serves as the entrance to the climate-controlled wine cellar next door which holds about 100 cases. The cellar was designed with three levels of lighting to enhance the visual experience of the room. Just across the hall is the pool room and bar where the stainless steel counter that Rasheed Wallace installed still stands. The bar includes a kegerator, fridge and sink. Just off the bar is a double sound-proofed music room where the band can play without disrupting the rest of the house.

Just to the side of the main house’s three car garage is the freestanding building used as the home gym. Originally build by Wallace to house cars, the most recent owners finished the space and added extra electric and climate control to create a huge workout space that can also be opened up to indoor/outdoor or group fitness classes. The space features exposed beams, soaring ceilings, storage cabinetry and concrete floors.

The back yard is filled with beautiful, mature landscaping including huge rhododendrons, camellias and azaleas. A recent overhaul of the grounds was overseen by Gavin Younie of Portland’s Outdoor Scenery Design who refined many of the mature plantings into a lush, manicured landscape. The property features gorgeous and well-maintained old-growth Douglas firs, Oregon oaks and one particularly gorgeous Copper Beech tree that has amazing fall colors. The homeowner also recently planted 40,000 wildflower seeds that are beginning to shoot up all over the property. The lighted sport court is a fantastic place to burn off some energy. Once an oversized basketball court, the space has been divided into a short court basketball court with the two standards originally Wallace’s and a turf pitch complete with a regulation size soccer goal.

The guest house is ideal for weekend guests, multi-generational living, or even a staycation. Inside is a full kitchen with space for a small dining table, a living room with a cozy wood-burning stove, bedroom and full bath with shower. The poolside location is five-star resort-worthy with a beautiful view of the grounds. The sparkling blue pool ranges from 3ft-12ft deep with a diving board and a newly redone pool deck. A convenient pool bathroom is located nearby in the cabana along with all new pool equipment. A crisp, white pergola provides shade to the poolside sitting area.

Nearby, a recently completed Zen garden features a soothing water feature that is an extension of of a creek that meanders down through the property. A stone bridge that stands the pond is an element from the original grounds. Two stone benches located near the rose garden were also recently restored, adding places to sit among the beautiful trees and bushes.

The Dunthorpe neighborhood is a highly sought-after community known for its beautiful homes and estates. It’s an active and friendly area with close relationships between neighbors. This home’s location is particularly advantageous because it is relatively flat, allowing for plenty of nearby biking and walking. Located just north of Lake Oswego along the scenic Oregon Route 43 leading into downtown Portland, Dunthorpe is close to all of the shopping, restaurants and community events of LO including its popular Farmer’s Market. It is home to the Riverdale School District which is consistently ranked the top academically performing schools in the state. Dunthorpe is also home to the Elk Rock Gardens of the Bishops Close, 13 acres of gardens known for its magnolias and Northwest plants.

Square Feet

Listing Agent

Terry Sprague

LIC.# 200509281

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