What’s up guys? Today I want to talk about a house located in Portland Oregon. I have never been to portland but my college roommate was from there, so I feel like there is a little connection.
This episode is going to be about the the Baruh-Zell House. I’m just going to call it the Baruh house, because they were the original owners. It’s located at 3131 Talbot Road in Portland.
The house was designed by a prominent local architect named Herman Brookman.
The owner Leo Baruh grew up on NW Marshall what is known today as the Pearl district in Portland just south of the Willamette River that runs through Portland.
Leo was born in Pendleton on March 27, 1896, and at the age of four moved to Portland. As he grew older he worked with his father at Wadhams and Co., wholesale grocers located on East Morrison and 2nd Avenue in Portland.
His father passed away suddenly in 1923 and Leo lived with his mother Hannah until his marriage to his wife Olga in 1930 at the age of 34.
After Leo married Olga, they moved around a lot before finally planning to settling down in the southwest hills of Portland Heights.
They had a daughter, Babette. In order to make his families dream of building a home come true, he worked a second job as a manager at Hahn and Friede Investment Company. This allowed him to save extra money for the construction.
Olga and Leo hired their architect Herman Brookman after meeting him through his design of the Temple Beth Israel, where they went to temple.
Brookman was initially hired in the summer of 1936 after the Baruhs purchased the property in the Orchard Highlands subdivision. Two years later the work was completed in 1938.
Now that the house was complete, Baruh quit his second job, but continued working with the Grocer for another forty years and became Secretary and Treasurer like his father.
He was active in the community and a member of various organizations.
Leo’s wife Olga was born in Carthage Missouri.
She was a dietician in a Portland hospital and a professional social worker in Seattle. After her marriage to Leo Baruh she was active in community service and organization activities.
She helped at the Neighborhood House, a South Portland Community Center. This center served as a educational center when a significant number of immigrants required citizenship classes.
She died suddenly in 1946, leaving her daughter Babette who was only thirteen years old.
After Olga’s death, Leo remarried and continued to lived at this house until 1959.
The House is 5,244 square feet over three stories with a daylight basement opening to the north.
The exterior is clad in red Roman brick with the roof being cedar shingles.
The entrance is centered in a sunken courtyard. The front door is recessed and covered with an interesting copper canopy.
Windows on either side of the entrance have decorative wrought-iron grilles and the remainder of the windows on the main facade are wood casements.
They are stacked and set in decorative brick panels, each topped with a segmental arch.
Constructed towards the end of the great depression in 1937, the Baruh House is a great example of a transitional style.
The home has the characteristics of a Tudor style home, but is not traditional. The traditional ornamentation of a tudor was removed and what is left is the basic form of the tudor style.
The traditional European details were being replaced with more simplified interpretations. So much of the ornamentation has been removed that it looks stern.
This simplified Tudor style became known as the Tudor Revival style. The home is symmetrically arranged in an “H”-plan. Something similar to a 17th century English cross-wing farmhouse.
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