More builder & architect profiles

Our house history research practice provides a steady stream of insight about neighborhood development while also allowing us to get to know the builders, the buildings they built, the early residents, and the times they all lived through.

From The Oregonian, September 9, 1923

In addition to the recent piece on florist-turned-builder Carl F. Ruef, we’ve added 10 new names to The Builders page, joining background on more than 20 other builders. Below is a synopsis of these newly added crafts people. Click each name to see their stories and the addresses they’ve designed and built…you might find your home or one you know!

Forrest W. Ayers

Builder of eastside Craftsman bungalows in the teens and 1920s.

Willis Chandler

From 1926-1928, Chandler built more than a dozen homes in Beaumont near the intersection of NE 41st and Alameda.

Ernest L. Graves

Part booster, part builder, Graves parlayed his experience as an engineer in World War 1 into an ability to manage large projects, building more than 70 bungalows in Irvington during the height of the building boom 1925-1926. Graves worked with architect H.H. Menges whose motto was “You furnish the lot, and I’ll furnish the plans.”

Orlo Ray William Hossack

Architect of stately homes in the Irvington and Dolph Park neighborhoods and beyond, and large government and institutional buildings like the Washington County Courthouse and Masonic lodges throughout the region, Hossack paused his successful architectural practice in the mid 1930s to go to work for the Civilian Conservation Corps and died on remote assignment in Idaho.

Emil Nelson

Advertising himself as “Master Builder” and Builder of Finer Homes,” this Swedish immigrant built dozens of homes in Alameda, Rose City Park and Eastmoreland.

Ralph Panhorst

Architect Ralph Panhorst grew up in Northeast Portland in the 19-teens and opened his own architectural practice at the age of 26, focusing on homes and apartment buildings. He was later known for his mid-century modern designs.

Ewald Theodore Pape

While not a registered architect, German immigrant E.T. Pape designed classic residences in Alameda, Laurelhurst, Eastmoreland and Dolph Park and a half-dozen mid-sized apartment buildings, three of which today are on the National Register of Historic Places.

James L. Quinn

This Scottish immigrant builder started out building bungalows in Montavilla and a four-square on NE Broadway before building Grant High School and multiple large projects in Portland and in the Klamath Falls area.

Charles C. Rich

A practicing architect in Portland and on the faculty at the University of Oregon School of Architecture in 1916-1917, Rich designed public buildings, wrote columns on architecture for The Oregonian, and finished a high profile Alameda home before leaving architecture and Oregon for good in 1918.

6 responses

  1. Love these and appreciate all the legwork! Would love to see Robert Beat featured. He designed our 1913 Craftsman and some 400 other homes in Portland. Thank you!

    • Robert B. Beat was a giant. Such a talented builder and designer. His untimely end in a fall from the roof of a Southwest Portland apartment building he had underway abruptly ended a remarkable career. He was truly a builders builder. I’ll add him to the list.

  2. Hello Doug, The Portland Real Estate Atlas Revised 1913 shows a “C.C. Crow” living or owningmy house and COULD also be the James Crew of “True-Crew (Crow??) Brothers who built my house in 1911. Could builder possibly be also/or “EWA Peake”?? Thank-You, John Cameron

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