Change Comes to Alameda

We’ve learned through the Alameda Neighborhood Association about an impending change for the corner of NE 28th and Hamblet. The 1922 Frederic E. Bowman-built Spanish style home will be torn down soon, the large lot will be subdivided, and two homes built.

The William and Susan Illidge home, 3810 NE 28th Avenue. Built by Frederic E. Bowman, 1921-1922. The house, currently vacant, is to be razed and the lot subdivided.

According to Alameda Newsletter Editor George Smith, the developer is planning to construct two high-end homes: one a colonial revival facing Hamblet; the other, a craftsman facing NE 28th. George reports that the builder is sensitive to keeping the houses in scale and style with the surrounding neighborhood.

We have had a close look at the house, and recognize it has clearly seen better days and restoration is an expensive proposition. Still, it’s going to be hard to let go of this time traveler and its stately presence set back on the wide, open and prominent corner lot. It’s one of the few Mediterranean-style homes built by Bowman, who was a prominent east-side builder from 1909-1931.

We did find a news story and photo of the home that ran in the July 9, 1922 edition of The Oregonian. Take a look:

In 1930, the house was home to William and Susan Illidge, their three children and Susan’s mother. Illidge was a prominent Portland attorney. We haven’t yet undertaken our customary full study of the house and its former residents—seeking out the stories, memories and photos from their years there. What do you know about this house?

More to follow…

7 responses

  1. I went to Alameda Grade School (class of 1965) and remember a class mate named Joy Illidge. I don’t know where her family lived but being it isn’t a very common name, I’m guessing this was their residence in the mid 60s anyway.

  2. Yes, destruction on this scale is very hard to witness. It is so permanent. One of the only consoling facts, though, is that the process sounds as though it is well vetted and the hope remains that homes contributing to the historic nature of the neighborhood will come to be in its place.

  3. How is the process well-vetted? How does this decision have to do with anything other than greed? If one gets this house for $400,000 (as they did), and they were to put two, three or even four hundred thousand dollars into restoring it, they could still sell it for well-over one million. That’s a healthy profit for any reasonable developer or person. Two houses of course will net them more like a million or so. I guess that’s an equation that is a no-brainer for people more concerned with profits more than with architecture.

    Call it what it is, a tragedy that is both completely unnecessary and unforgivable.

  4. I have lived and walked the alameda streets since 1961. I went to the estate sale in this house a few years ago. my husband and I were struck with the beauty and the possibility of restoring such a beautiful home. for a couple years I have walked by it to see if any one was going to take on the restoration process. I am near tears to see that pile of sticks is all that remains. I am so sad to see these homes go one after another all over this area. the one on 21st and Ridgewood saddened me also.

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