Thursday, October 03, 2013

Oh, so good. Mama memories.

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Back story: Mama and I lived from October, 2006, until January, 2011, on the 4th floor, actually the top floor, of the Presidential Court apartment building on the corner of NW 22nd Avenue and NW Everett. We loved our apartment and many good days there, with each other and with family and friends, and our dearly departed miniature dachshund Duncan. From our kitchen window, we could see this much of a nearby multi-story, multi-family building. We always wondered what it would be like to see any of the views available from the top floor of that building, but most of all, we wondered what it would like to stand in that space we called the window room that you see in this photo. Mama died in our apartment on January 7, 2011, and getting the chance to go inside that building, much less to stand in that little room, never entered my mind again. Until I got an e-mail from the Architectural Heritage Center announcing a tour of the building, originally apartments, now condos. I immediately went online and signed up for the fundraiser. As I rode the bus in the rain last Sunday, most of what was on my mind was the renewed hope to able to stand in the window room, to look toward our kitchen window and see it from an entirely different perspective. To remember the good times with my Mama. I took this photo of the window room from our kitchen window on May 3, 2009.

So imagine my joy when I realized as I was directed to the last of seven condos on the tour and figured out that, based on where I was at that time in the building and putting it together with its views, my last stop would be the condo with the window room. I walked through the rest of the huge, single-story condo before stepping up onto the window room's raised floor. All I really cared about was finding out if I could see any of our windows, if the trees that had grown enough to block a view of the windows. Here's a cropped closeup of those windows. Our kitchen window is the only one still visible, the first one you can see on the right in the olive green painted wall--we lived in the corner of the building on the southwest side of the intersection. The tree hides the two living room windows on that eastward-facing wall.

Here's photo that I took of Mama waving at me from that kitchen window, on December 21, 2008. That was a Sunday. I must have been out walking the dog or coming back from walking to the Fred Meyer--I cannot remember. But I remember calling her on the cell phone and asking her to go open the kitchen window and wave at me so that I could take a photo. It took me quite a bit of looking through my photos until I managed to find this one--I didn't have it tagged as Mama, doofus me. Notice the snow? We Portlanders were in the midst of days and days and days of lots and lots and lots of snow. Fascinating to the two of us Mississippians-turned-Portlanders!

And here's the wide shot that I took of our building when I stood in the window room. Mission accomplished!

About the AHC Event - Centennial Celebration Tour!
Historic 705 NW Davis Apartments Sunday, September 29, 2013 Timed entries between 1:00 and 4:30 pm Members and Friends Admission: $ 25.00

A benefit for the Architectural Heritage Center, generously presented by the residents of the 705 Davis Condominiums Celebrate the centennial of one of Portland's "grande dame" apartment buildings designed by Whitehouse and Fouilhoux at a special benefit for the Architectural Heritage Center. 

Timed-entry tours begin in the courtyard with an overview by Edward Teague, head of the Architecture and Allied Arts Library at the University of Oregon. Visitors will learn about the noted building's history, architect, and architecture, and then be toured through seven one- or two-story units, and an original servant's room, along with an opportunity to learn about ongoing preservation, see historic photographs, and enjoy light refreshments.

Batchelder tiles, Honduran mahogany, and elegant moldings grace the interior, once inhabited by Julia Hoffman, a founder of what is now the Oregon College of Art and Craft, and the chief investor in the building. Other early residents included Max Hirsch, a founder of White Stag, Isabelle Gauld, Oregon chair for Bundles for Britain, Eric Ladd, "before his time" local preservationist, and Fanny and Edgar Lazarus - the latter the architect for Vista House.

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