Back in the day, Peter Kerr built this house on his estate and spent a lot of time creating an amazing garden. When he died in 1957, his daughters gave it to the Episcopal Diocese with the stipulation that the public could visit the grounds.
The Diocese has decided to sell the property, which means that if I wanted to see Elk Rock Garden (I’d been meaning to visit for 20 years) I’d better get going. The problem? It’s open Monday through Friday during the same hours I work.
My first plan was to visit on Martin Luther King Day in January, but that weekend became to busy. So President’s Day was my best bet.
The fancy house:
We haven’t had any February fake-out this year, so the garden is just beginning to wake up. There were a lot of budding things.
Here is the view from the upper edge of the property. I think the original parcel went all the way to the river.
An area for services.
The caretaker’s cottage. I spied a cat tree inside.
February isn’t quite peak moss month, but it’s close.
The seal on the gate.
Looking back at the house from the gardens.
I’m glad I got the opportunity to visit this garden. Hopefully the next owner will take delight in the gardens, or even keep them public.
Unfortunately we had to cancel In-Portland Vacation Restaurant Experience No. 2. I was very ill for about three hours on Sunday afternoon, and so we were not able to attend our tasting meal. I think the illness was probably food poisoning, but from food I made, not food the Firehouse Restaurant made. Matt ate the exact same thing as me at the Firehouse Restaurant and he was fine.
We also missed out on the Everett House, so no soaking for us during this vacation. But now we are back on track.
Matt wanted to introduce me to Carioca Bowls and so we got some before our movie. It was my first açaí bowl. My experience wasn’t great as I requested no bananas on the Ultra bowl I ordered. The clerk confirmed no bananas, then went in the back and made my bowl with bananas. When I reminded her no banana, she offered to remake the bowl. I suggested she just take off the bananas and she did, but there was also banana in the Ipa blend that was part of that bowl. She told me about it, and offered to remake the bowl, but we were headed off to pick up shave ice and I felt we didn’t have time. Also that maybe she should have thought of that and mentioned it when I ordered. I ate around the glop with the banana in it and Matt finished off my bowl.
His order was a very big bowl and he quite enjoyed it.
Having experienced shave ice in Hawaii, we opted to make Waihua Shave Ice part of our day. We ordered online ahead of time and stopped by to pick up our shave ice.
While waiting, we discovered that I’m just the right height to wait in this particular spot.
I got the Almond Joy and it was delicious! Matt got Da Mango One and liked it. Unfortunately, he wasn’t able to each much due to eating 1.5 açaí bowls.
From there we headed to the Laurelhurst to see Vengance, which was the kind of film that we had things to discuss on the way home and the next day.
I took two days off of work, and on the first day I had a bunch of fun thing planned: a massage, exploring the shops on 42nd Street, a lunch out, and embroidery lesson. Plus biking to get to all those places. Alas, I did not take my real camera along, so I only have one picture from the day itself.
I admired this shop on 42nd, partially because the paint job looked so nice, and partially because it had been in business for more than 100 years.
It was only when walking back that I noticed the realtor’s sign. Apparently J.H. Clifton and Sons is no more.
Walking by what used to be The Emerson School at the corner of SW Park and Couch, I saw that that building will soon be no more. It’s slated to be torn down.
Interestingly, this project doesn’t appear on the NextPortland Map. But I was able to find out about it on the city’s website.
Type III Design Review for a new, approximately 69-foot tall, six story hotel with 178 guest units. A large lobby/reception area and combined lounge/restaurant/bar area are found at the central portion of the ground floor facing NW Park Ave. A 1,700 square foot retail space at the ground floor anchors the corner of NW Park Ave and Couch St. A 1,400 square foot multi-purpose room will be located at the corner of NW Park Ave and Davis St. One Modification is requested to the Required Building Lines standard, and one Adjustment is requested to the number of loading spaces provided.
It looks from the plans like both the Emerson School building and the building on NW Park and Davis will be torn down. It’s not a surprise. When I worked for the school, we kept our fingers crossed that the very elderly owner wouldn’t die, because we figured his heirs would want to knock down both buildings to make way for something more lucrative. And both buildings are the types that won’t deal well with a massive earthquake. When I worked there, I had my earthquake plan all figured out. It involved hiding under my very sturdy 60s metal desk and hoping that the much taller building on the other side of the block collapsed away from my building.
There are huge old-growth timbers on supporting the ceiling of the second story of my old building. I hope they find a new home.
Back in the early pandemic when Portland hosted nightly protests, Keen boarded up its windows and has never taken the boards down. I don’t love the look, but I think these pinwheels make a nice addition.
There are some parts of the country where snow on April 11 isn’t weird. But Portland is not one of those places!
And unlike every other Portland snowstorm where forecasted snow is the talk of the town for a week straight, I had no idea this was coming. The morning of, I somehow missed noticing the snow when I opened my bedroom shade, and even as the radio announcer was saying “Snow in Portland right now,” I though he just meant the West Hills.
So you can imagine my surprise when I opened the curtains and, Wow! Snow! In April!
That bush in the picture leaned right over. I think it was the weight of the snow on the leafed-out limbs plus the fact that the ground wasn’t frozen. Once the snow melted, we hammered in a post and pulled it right back into place, so no harm done there.
Needless to say, I put off my plan to go back to the office until the next Tuesday.
I’ve always liked this house at the corner of Montana and Liberty Street. But it looks like the days are waning.
Next Portland tells me that there are 18 units coming soon.
PortlandMaps.com isn’t connecting so I have no details about the house at this moment.
And now PortlandMaps is working! It was built in 1948 and the main level is just over 1000 square feet, plus the basement. It was sold in January of this year for $556,675. The previous sale was in March of 2021 for $555,000. Before that it last sold in 2002 for $138,000 (those were the prices when I first moved here! Affordable!) And prior to that, someone bought it in 1996 for $82,000.
No word on who built the concrete planter out front, though.