Touring Pittock Mansion Museum
Pittock Mansion was the home of Georgiana and Henry Pittock. It is a grand estate located in the West Hills of Portland with spectacular views of the city and the Cascade Mountains off in the distance.
Georgiana and Henry built this amazing home, but only lived in it 4-5 years before they died. It stayed in the family until the 1950’s when the upkeep just got to be too much. With the help of local citizens, eventually the city of Portland purchased the property. In 1965 it was opened to the public as a museum.
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Walking up to the mansion from the parking lot, you see the back of the building first.
The grounds are open to the public at no charge and many people visit for the amazing views of Mount Hood and the city. For a fee, you can take a tour and get a glimpse of an early 1900’s era mansion.
A quick history of Henry Pittock:
• Born in 1835 in England
• In 1853, at the age of 19, traveled the Oregon Trail to Portland.
• Henry worked for the Weekly Oregonian newspaper. The Oregonian is still around today.
• Savvy business man partnering, investing & operating a variety of business ventures
• Married Georgiana in 1860
• One of the first recorded people to summit Mt. Hood; and one of the founders of the Mazamas mountaineering club
• Died at the age of 83 in 1919
A quick history of Georgiana Pittock:
• Arrived in Oregon at the age of 9
• At 15, married Henry
• Involved with lots of philanthropic work
• Enjoyed gardening
• Helped found the Portland Rose Society & Portland Rose Festival. Portland still hosts the annual Rose Festival and is known as the City of Roses.
• Died in 1918, one year prior to Henry
The Main Hall, or Stair Hall
The double doors in the middle are the elevator doors, which can still be used today.
In the Library above the fireplace. The woodwork includes the Pittock Family Crest.
Georgiana was a very social woman. While living in the heart of Portland she was close to her friends. She agreed to move up on the hill if she could have a chauffeur to bring her to her friends and social engagements. The chauffeur would also bring guests to the mansion. Every morning she met with the chauffeur, often in the library, to go over the days outings.
Smoking Room decorated in a Turkish Style
Many of the ceilings in the house were elaborate, especially the domed patterned ceiling in this room.
Formal Dining Room
I was told the family ate here only on special occasions.
Statue in the Dining Room
Many of the pieces in the house are period pieces – those similar to ones the Pittock’s would have had. Most of their original furnishings were sold. Although, there are a few Pittock pieces on display.
The kitchen wasn’t just one room. There is an entire kitchen area. How awesome would that be?! There was the main kitchen, as well as a Butler’s Pantry, Store Room and Refrigeration Room.
The floor is rubber and soft to walk on. I know there was a lot of work done recently to redo the floor. However I thought it was ugly and didn’t really go with the house.
The family typically ate their meals in here.
Pittock family paintings of Henry & Georgiana
Henry & Georgiana’s daughter, Kate, and her husband, Lockwood Hebard, occupied this room.
Every window of the house has a great view, including this one in Kate’s bedroom.
Sleeping Porch off Kate’s room
The sleeping porch’s were used when the weather got hot or if someone was ill.
Hanging above the bed in the sleeping porch was this poster of the Lewis & Clark Exposition held in Portland in 1905.
The event happened before the mansion was even built & I kind of doubt a poster such as this would have been in the house. But, I did enjoy looking at it.
Louise Gallien and Helen Van Houten, Georgiana’s orphaned nieces, shared this room
Henry Pittock’s Bedroom
Seems a bit boring for the King of the Castle. Although, I was told they were very down to earth people. They didn’t even really want to build such a fancy home, but as high class members of society they were kind of pressured into building something grand.
The Sewing Room is beautiful!
In 1914 many Portland homes didn’t have indoor bathrooms. Pittock Mansion had 6.
Henry and Georgiana’s daughter, Lucy, and her husband, Edward Gantenbein, slept in this room. Out their window was the view of the Lewis & Clark Exposition location.
Had the house been built when the Exposition in 1905 occurred, the view out this window would have overlooked the event.
Sleeping Porch off Lucy’s room
Pittock grandchildren used this Child’s Room.
The man in the photo was the guide. He was very informative and obviously has passion for the Pittock Mansion. Here, he’s showing us a 1914 drawing of the landscape architects ideas for the property. None of the ideas were used. I enjoyed seeing the different view of Portland as it was so many years ago. Guild’s Lake, where the Lewis & Clark Exposition was held, is now filled in and Mt. St. Helens still has its top. I was only 2 1/2 when the volcano erupted, so a domeless mountain is all I remember.
A little section showcasing the materials used to build the mansion.
In the old Billiard Room are many artifacts and information about Pittock Mansion.
Pittock Mansion is beautifully landscaped. There are many shrubs, perennials and, of course, roses.
Besides the fabulous house, the other draw to Pittock Mansion are the views of Portland. On clear days many mountains in the Cascade Range are visible including Mt. Hood and Mt. St. Helens. It was a hazy day I took the museum tour, so the mountains weren’t clearly visible, but it was still a nice view of the city.
The adventure series Wildwood Chronicles takes place in Forest Park and even uses Pittock Mansion throughout the story. The books are a fun read and I especially like the familiar setting.