Pittock Mansion

Pittock Mansion

The best view of Portland you can get for free. If you want to go inside that will cost you.

Pittock was one of those people who came to Portland young and with no money and through the years made something of himself. Pittock got into newspaper game. He first worked his way up and then took over. He made The Oregonian newspaper the dominant regional paper. I remember when taking my History of the Press class in college that they had The Oregonian list right in there with Pulitzer and New York World and Hertz and the San Francisco Examiner. He had to be made of the right stuff as he was one of the founding members of the Mazama mountaineering club and was on the first climb team to summit Mt. Hood.

Most of his life he and his wife lived in a two bedroom house in downtown Portland. That house is long gone and an office build sites there on what is now called the Pittock Block. In his later years he built this large mansion in the hills. I am sure pressured by friends to do so. Unfortunately his children and grand children were not made of the same stuff he was. I was at a party 30 years ago and talk to a gentleman who was involve in the parks department acquiring this property. A grandson was still in the place when the Columbus Day storm hit. Large trees feel on the place and the roof was badly damaged. The grandson had no money to repair the place and with rain leaking in it was falling into ruin. The grandson wanted an huge sum of money for the place even though it was a wrack. They finally negotiated a price that the city and donors could afford. Then the real work began to unwarp the wood floors after repairing the roof. Through a lot of work both paid and volunteer they brought back the splendor that once was. Compared to the mansion in Newport, Road Island this place isn’t much but considering that 50 years earlier folks around here were living in hollowed out tree stumps its pretty nice.

Today the place is staged with furnishing of the period. At times they change things up for different holidays. It is suppose to be quit nice a Christmas. I have been on the guided tour several times and guide really helps bring the story of place and the Pittock family to life.

The big draw back visiting here is that there is no public transportation near it. If you have a car it is not a problem. With the Mazama Rambles I am use to leading groups of walkers up here several times of month but if you are not in that kind of condition a Taxi, Uber or Lyft is required. But the view could be work it.