1917 mansion with unfinished restoration in southwest Portland for sale for $1 million
Real estate photos of an architecturally significant mansion for sale in Southwest Portland can be off-putting or present an opportunity.
There is something missing in every room of the house with 6,222 square feet of living space. Ceilings feature exposed wood roof joists, and century-old glass doors, heat registers, and hardware have been removed.
Finishing work is needed around the fireplaces and the kitchen is a restoration project frozen in time, stripped of cabinets, appliances and flooring.
Squint past the 1917 Colonial Revival-style home at 2331 SW Cactus Dr., however, and potential buyers may be able to view the once stately residence architect Morris Whitehouse designed for retail entrepreneur Julius Lippitt.
Behind the faded paint are classic architectural elements, including an entrance portico bounded by columns and fixed decorative shutters along the windows.
The asking price is also attractive. At $1,050,000, or $169 per square foot, it’s half the median price of $332 per square foot in his King’s Hill neighborhood, according to real estate market Redfin.
“The house has been carefully deconstructed to preserve the authenticity of the period and retain the original building materials to be reused for reconstruction,” said listing agent Kate Kennedy of Windermere Realty Trust.
Waiting to be reinstalled are original cabinetry in the butler’s library and pantry, built-in window benches and a mirror frame in the lobby, Kennedy said. A clawfoot tub and pedestal sink await completion in one of the three bathrooms.
Deconstructed 1917 Colonial Revival
The Julius Lippitt House, located above the street and near Washington Park, has weathered tough economic times in its 105-year history.
It started out, however, as a success story. Born in Poland in 1851, Julius Lippitt was 16 when he arrived in the United States. Over time, he acquired general stores in Silverton, Oregon, and Colfax, Washington. He served as mayor of Colfax and donated a fountain for the city’s Eells Park in memory of his young daughter.
The self-proclaimed “pioneer merchant” lured customers by advertising “surprise sales” and leftover carpets, clothes and dry goods. “Come early and make your choice before all the choice plums run out,” newspaper advertisements proclaimed.
Lippitt moved to Portland in 1906 and continued to build his empire in Washington state by founding banks and investing in real estate, according to his 1930 obituary in The Oregonian.
For his Portland residence, Lippitt in 1910 purchased a sloping 6,534 square foot lot with city, mountain, and river views. He hired the architect Whitehouse, whose companies for eight decades have designed country clubs for high schools as well as trophy residences for the city’s most influential families.
After years of planning and building, Lippitt and his family moved into the three-story home with high ceilings and hardwood floors.
His widow, Flora, sold the property in 1930.
Since then, historians have considered the Julius and Flora Lippitt House a contributor to the architectural qualities of the King’s Hill Historic District, which has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
According to public records, ownership changed hands during economic ups and downs:
- It sold in December 1989 for $241,000.
- Two years later, in December 1991, the deed went to a new owner for $300,000.
- Nine years later, in April 2000, the sale price was $695,000, an annual increase of more than 10%.
- In July 2014 the property was listed by the lender willing to accept less than the repayment amount of the defaulted mortgage. The price was $800,000. A short sell offer failed in October 2014 and the price fell to $625,000 in December 2014.
- In June 2015, the property was sold to the current owner for $750,000.
- Seven years and a tight real estate market later, on July 12, 2022, the property hit the market at $1,050,000.
“Here is an opportunity to restore a historically significant and rare Morris Whitehouse residential home,” the marketing material said.
The sale comes with city-approved plans for a two-car garage, Kennedy added.
— Janet Eastman | 503-294-4072
Learn more about the Portland and Oregon real estate market:
• The 1926 Arts and Crafts house of the pioneering Flemish sisters of Portland is on sale for $2,375,000
• The 1908 Colonial Revival home in Portland Heights where Eleanor Roosevelt stayed is up for sale at $2.7million
• Rummer-built mid-century modern home sells for $1.2 million, $205,000 above asking price
• Prohibition-era Portland Tudor Revival home with speakeasy is on sale for $1.3 million
• From homework to building a house: East Oregon high school students sell eighth “Street of Dreams”-style home
• 1894 Queen Anne home, restored and upgraded with modern luxuries tucked away in northeast Portland, sells for $799,000
• Big House, Small Price: More bang for your buck in square footage?
• Rebuilt West Hills repairman with ‘defund the police’ and graffiti on crumbling walls is up for sale for $2million
• Architect Richard Campbell’s modern 1966 cottage in southwest Portland is on sale for $1,465,000
• Modernist architect Neutra’s rare restored Oregon home is on sale for $3,750,000