Our recent post about the old gravel pit and landfill at NE 33rd and Fremont produced some interesting mail and conversation that helps complete the picture of the house that once stood at the southwest corner of that intersection.
First, a photo from frequent AH source and long-time neighborhood resident John Hamnett showing the house. John and his father were out in the neighborhood with a camera on the sunny day following the great Columbus Day Storm of Friday, October 12, 1962 documenting damage and downed trees. John remembers they came upon this toppled fence and wall on the south side of the house. The blue and white enclosure surrounded the swimming pool. The Oregon Encyclopedia entry about the storm reports wind speeds were clocked as high as 170 mph.
Looking north at the southwest corner of NE 33rd and Fremont, October 13, 1962. Photo courtesy of John Hamnett.
Next, we re-discovered this 1954 photo looking north up the hill toward Fremont from the corner with Klickitat. When you click into this image, you can see both the mid-century modern house that was eventually removed from the site, and the house behind it, which still stands. Looks like a vacant lot just downslope.
Photo Courtesy of City of Portland Archives, image A2005-001.955. Click to enlarge.
And last, this helpful comment from Judy Wathen, who used to own the house, and remembers it from its heyday of the 1950s.
My husband and I were the ones who bought the house with the swimming pool on the corner of 33rd and Fremont in the ’90’s. Before we bought it we had two different geological engineering firms test the soil and evaluate it’s stability. Both said that it was stable and leveling the house could easily be done. Both were wrong. The cost to stabilize the house was beyond our resources. Fortunately, a grade school classmate, Terry Emmert, offered to buy the house and move it to become the first remolded home on the Street of Dreams. We sold the lot with all the engineering studies to a builder who hopefully did what was required to stabilize the land before he build what is there today.
A little bit more history about the house. I grew up in Laurelhurst in the 50’s-60’s. Our family drove by that house regularly on the way to Riverside Country Club, where we were members. My father told us about the house. My father’s friend, who owned the well known Fox Furniture Co., built the house with the swimming pool as a wedding gift to his daughter and her husband and that it was built and finished to the highest quality. That certainly was true, except for understanding the engineering of the foundation.