One of Lake Oswego’s most iconic and historic homes!
Lake Oswego, Oregon, USA
4.5% optional seller financing available – don’t miss it! Don’t put your dreams on hold! New price to include home and 1/5 ownership in valuable shared lot.
One of Lake Oswego’s most iconic and historic homes, custom designed and built for one of the most influential drivers of Lake Oswego’s community development, is available for only the fourth time since it welcomed Osco C. Roehr and his family in 1931. Nestled among the basalt boulders of Half Moon Bay, this low-bank, Lakewood neighborhood home has been brilliantly refreshed with a commitment to honoring its heritage and achieving the goal of becoming an unmatched example of a charmingly elegant 1930s English cottage with 2023 livability.
Designed by architect Frank G. Roehr, the brother of the original owner who served as mayor of Lake Oswego from 1939-1945, this southern-facing home boasts 224 feet of no-wake frontage on one of the most sought-after streets in all of Oregon. With designations on both the National Register of Historic Places and the local Lake Oswego Landmark list, this home is not only an icon on the lake but a home of national historical significance. Since they purchased the home in 2009, the homeowners have tuned the property to perfection, keeping and often enhancing, historical details while bringing this classic home in tune with modern requirements and luxuries.
One of the major changes to the interior is the deluxe yet warm and welcoming kitchen. The homeowners worked closely with Keith Able of Keith R. Able Residential Design to move the kitchen from the interior of the home to a more prominent location. The renovation opened up the space to the flat-top vaulted ceiling, mimicking the steeply-pitched roof above and creating an open, airy space filled with natural light streaming in from six large windows. Lovely custom inset cabinetry, meaning the doors and drawers fit flush with the face of the cabinet when closed, hardware from Portland’s Chown Hardware and quartz countertops span the sides of the kitchen while the central island is topped in Calacatta marble. A beautiful Victorian Hotel Pendant from RH hangs above the island and casts a warm glow on the kitchen. The AGA Range Cooker, a cast iron range that cooks with gentle, radiant heat, takes the spotlight in the kitchen. With a century-old heritage, the AGA is not only in keeping with the home’s history, but it is also widely loved by chefs and is preferred over conventional ranges because it cooks with indirect radiant heat resulting in more flavorful food. First developed in 1922 by a Nobel Prize-winning Swedish physicist, the AGA has transformed over its 100 years and become a staple in the United Kingdom which is where the homeowners first encountered it and fell in love. A Liebherr refrigerator and a Bosch dishwasher complete the beautifully-designed space. A comfortable built-in bench with storage below is the perfect spot for friends and family to perch to keep the cook company while the finishing touches on dinner are completed. At the edge of the kitchen, the original telephone closet has been transformed into a convenient desk space creating an ideal spot to plan meals and search for recipes.
The adjacent dining room is ideal for entertaining and celebrating special occasions. The Studio VC Country Large Chandelier hangs above the space which is large enough to accommodate a table that can sit anywhere from eight to 14 guests. French doors open to the patio and frame a lovely lake view rivaled only by the other lake view through the bow windows at the end of the room. The oak floors here and throughout the home are original and they have remarkably only been refinished once and have at least another 100 years left in them.
The living room features an original bank of four windows overlooking the lake including the original brass pull-down screens still in working order. On either side, floor-to-ceiling windows serve to capture the light and the view even further. The wood-burning fireplace is surrounded by the original wood paneling with a built-in window seat on one side and bookcases on the other. The Horchow Five-Light Crystal Flush-Mount light fixture hanging above replaced the room’s original fixture which now graces the foyer. Between the living room and foyer, a sliding pocket door opens to a hallway where an original glass-front cabinet and display space was duplicated and installed to create symmetry as you pass between the rooms. Much of the foyer’s paneling is also original but where it needed to be replaced, the specific design proved impossible to find until the homeowners contacted a sawmill in southern Oregon that was able to create a custom-profile saw to exactly match the contours of the original panels. After installation, the varnish here and on the original front door was redone using a ship varnish from Fine Paints of Europe.
The walls throughout the home have a smooth coat finish and are painted Seeded Pearl by Pratt & Lambert. The home is heated with radiant heat via radiators resulting in even, moist heat that does not require a blower which is helpful for allergy and asthma sufferers. The home also has a Unico SDHV system for central air conditioning. This whisper-quiet Small Duct High Velocity system is often used to retrofit older homes that don’t have a duct system. This type of HVAC is the most efficient system available and delivers a temperature differential no greater than two degrees throughout the home.
Extending off the foyer is the 1990 addition which was originally the garage that was converted to a family room by Roehr in the 1940s. Now a fantastic studio apartment/family room, this inviting space includes a queen-size custom-built Murphy bed with a deluxe mattress, a closet for a full-size washer/dryer, and a cozy wood burning stove set into a white, painted-brick surround with a thick, reclaimed wood mantle piece. The full kitchen features walnut butcher block countertops, a Bertazzoni range with an Ann Sacks tile backsplash, a Bosch dishwasher and SubZero refrigerator and freezer drawers. Floating shelves made of rustic, reclaimed wood and supported by antique brackets sourced from Hippo Hardware & Trading Co. take the place of upper cabinetry creating a more open design enhanced by a trio of windows framing a lake view over the farmhouse sink. The full bath features a frameless glass walk-in shower and shiplap walls. A Dutch door provides private access to the apartment from the side of the home where there is also a brick patio where guests can enjoy a cup of coffee and enjoy the view.
The home’s main patio is also brick and extends out from the kitchen and dining room. This wonderfully private spot is the perfect place to sit and watch the boats putter by in the no-wake zone. Surrounded by basalt boulders, tall Douglas firs and lush shrubs, the patio is large enough for a table and a sitting area making it ideal for entertaining overlooking the lake without feeling on display for all to see. From this vantage point, you can see all the way down the lake to downtown Lake Oswego and, when the mood strikes, take the boat or SUP board and have dinner at Stickmen Brewing Company or coffee at St. Honoré Boulangerie. Landscape lighting illuminates the stairs leading down past the beds of perennial bulbs where lilies, irises, daffodils, peonies and roses provide a riot of color and centerpiece-ready blooms in the spring and summer.
A stately lamp post acts as a landmark and a beacon for visitors arriving by boat to the waterside dock and the adjacent level, grass lawn. The property includes water rights from the lake for irrigation, making the lush landscape as budget-friendly as it is beautiful. The stone patio and dock feature the original wood-burning fireplace that was reclaimed from overgrown vegetation, refurbished and topped with a copper top. Stone benches span the patio creating the perfect spot for watching the fireworks over the lake on the 4th of July. Convenient paddle board and kayak storage sits to the side of the dock close to a set of steps leading into the water for easy putting to water. This quiet zone of the lake is exceedingly safe for swimming and was even the site of water polo practice for Lake Oswego High School’s team during COVID.
With 224 feet of waterfront, the lakeside features don’t stop at the dock. A lushly edged gravel pathway bordered with fig and mulberry trees leads to the covered boat lift and the garden beyond. Composed of four substantial raised beds with automatic watering, the lakeside garden has produced a bounty of strawberries, shelling peas, tomatoes, lettuce and herbs including a mint garden nestled under a nearby persimmon tree. Continue along the path to the inlet leading to the two-slip boathouse. Another original structure, the boathouse/garage was designed before boats had wakeboard towers. Currently, one slip is covered for convenient off-season storage of paddle boards and boat equipment.
A Weeping Willow sits to the side of the boathouse where a truly special gem has been brought back to, and possibly beyond, its original glory. Originally built in the 1930s, this sophisticated greenhouse had water, electricity and even heat. Today’s version, restored at the hands of two talented craftsmen, has water, electricity, copper gutters and an ornamental iron ridge on the top that matches the cast iron railing on the deck and balcony off the upstairs bedrooms. This custom ironwork was made in an Oklahoma foundry and shipped across the country for installation. Inspired by the Georgian metal works made popular in 18th-century Britain, the railings feature spiked heads and curving scrolls. In order to replicate the greenhouse’s original structure, the artisans measured every inch of the structure, and built everything, including the brick floor, walls and roof, in their shop before disassembling it, bringing it to the property and reassembling it. Though it can absolutely be put to use as a greenhouse, its current iteration is a quiet retreat with a comfortable spot for reading and relaxing while enjoying a cup of tea or a cocktail. The structure is built into the side of the garage which forms the ground level of the boathouse. With enough space for two cars, the detached garage was rebuilt to accommodate the weight of the floor and enlarged for added garage door height. The attic above the garage is unfinished but this large, 400+ square foot space could be a fantastic art studio, home office, or hobby space.
Back inside the home, overlooking the lake and the lush surroundings of the property, is the second floor where two bedrooms and the spectacular primary suite are located. Take the staircase where the original carved balusters, handrails and floor-to-ceiling newel post guide the way up. The luxurious primary suite, reimagined in 2019, sits at the end of the hall. The bedroom features a soaring, flat-top vaulted ceiling and a spectacular view of the lake framed by French doors, flanked by side windows, that open to a Juliet balcony. One side of the bedroom includes built-in custom cabinetry and an inviting bench seat alongside a built-in beverage fridge and coffee station. The bedroom cabinetry augments the large walk-in closet located across the suite’s short entry hall from the ensuite bath. Step through the French doors into a gorgeous bath there a show-stopping, cast iron Waterworks tub sits atop a heated hexagonal floor tile. The polished nickel Kallista fixtures are recessed into the wall, preserving an overall sleek design. The frameless glass shower is curbless and features a herringbone tile feature wall and control valves wisely located at the entrance. The shower fixtures include a rain shower head and a handheld wand.
Down the hall are two additional bedrooms that share a spacious hall bath with dual sinks and a frameless glass shower featuring a copper penny tile floor. The first bedroom has a corner location and enjoys a treetop version of the lake view from both sides. It also includes an electric fireplace heater for an added level of coziness and easy access to the sunny upstairs deck. The second bedroom features two Sierra Pacific dormer windows, some of the few that have been replaced in the home. Further down the hall is a laundry closet with space for a full-size washer/dryer.
The basement level is easily accessed both from the kitchen and from an exterior door near the dock. This space really demonstrates how the home was built into the basalt bedrock with partial rock walls making up the main room. Partially used for storage, this flexible space houses an AGA beverage fridge for easy dock access and has enough room for a ping pong table.
From the gorgeous landscape to the beautiful finishes inside, the home is the completed effort to restore and honor an important heritage. Along with the prestige that comes with an official historic designation, there is also the benefit of a state tax incentive for a 10-year term. This home’s term is set to expire in 2023 but there is an option to apply for a second term which may offer a significant tax reduction. Additionally, the five homes on this special portion of one of the most prestigious streets in Oregon are the co-owners of the adjacent grass lot, a small private park, often used for neighborhood gatherings. That 1/5 ownership share is included in the sale.
All the essential elements of what was designed to be an English Cottage-style home for Osco Roehr, whose legacy includes the beginnings of the city’s park system, remain today with a carefully considered overlay of the features that enhance modern living. The current homeowners spent the last 15 years dreaming of their vision of what this historic home could be so that the next owners can live in their dream come true.
Just a five-minute drive, or a lovely paddle on the lake, from downtown Lake Oswego, this location is one of the best in the state. Though you might not want to bring your bounty from the popular Farmer’s Market home on your paddle board, this spot offers a rare opportunity to not only access the lake but also take the opportunity to enjoy the journey to brunch, coffee, drinks and even the movies clustered along the downtown lakefront. Located in the top-rated Lake Oswego school district, this home is ready to be the backdrop of another 100 years of memories.