The Oregonian’s founder, Henry Pittock, constructed this stately mansion to the west of downtown Portland in 1914. Prior to his death at age 80 in 1919, Pittock only spent five years at this location.
Most people know Henry Pittock as a prosperous newspaper publisher, but he also amassed a fortune through other ventures such as banking, railroads, steamships, sheep farming, silver mine, and the paper industry. Active in the outdoors and on two wheels, he was one of the first people to summit Mount Hood. Women’s Union, the Ladies Relief Society, and the Martha Washington Home were just a few of the charitable and cultural institutions that Georgiana Pittock helped establish and fund.
In the 1960s, when the house was scheduled for demolition, the neighborhood banded together to try to persuade the City of Portland to buy it instead. The estate was brought back to its former splendour by private funding, giving tourists a chance to see this stunning and unique home.
Features such as a central vacuum system, intercoms, and indirect lighting made the Pittock Mansion stand out even for its time. The home sits on 46 acres, 1,000 feet higher than Portland, Oregon. On bright days, you can see the entire city from up here. Gardens were another feature of the mansion that garnered attention during its prime. This pattern persists to this day, and the property is also conveniently situated in close proximity to Washington Park, Hoyt Arboretum, and the numerous paths of massive Forest Park.
Through the lives and times of one of Portland’s most prominent families, Pittok Mansion narrates the city’s evolution from frontier settlement to thriving industrial center.
It took 15 months to complete the renovations necessary to turn the Mansion from a private residence into a public area. Pittock Mansion became a museum dedicated to the preservation of American history in 1965. The Pittock Mansion Society was founded in 1968 to maintain the Mansion, its collection, and its educational programming as a non-profit organization.
Portland Parks & Recreation handed over day-to-day museum operations to the Society in 2007, and the Society has been running the historic house museum ever since. It is the goal of the non-profit Pittock Mansion Society to use the Pittock Mansion as a catalyst for fostering an appreciation for and a commitment to Portland’s rich heritage. The Society collaborates with Portland Parks & Recreation to care for the historic structures. Pittock Mansion is supported by revenue generated through tours, memberships, contributions, grants, and sales made at the museum shop.