What is a Victorian Style Home in Portland?

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Updated 05/2024.

Portland is full of old, historic homes, many of which were Victorians, some of the first to help establish the area as a city. There are also plenty of newer Victorians, designed and built during revival periods for those who love the romantic whimsy found in much of this style of architecture.

Most of the features found in Victorians are attributed to the Victorian era, specifically (1837-1901) when Queen Victoria was in power. Her love of beautiful excess is evident in the features of this architectural style. Maybe one of the more pervasive styles in history, its reach extended all across the UK, New Zealand, Australia, and North America.

What are the Features of a Victorian Style Home?

See all the Victorian homes for sale in Portland.

5713 SW Salmon St

How Did Victorian Style Get its Name?

What are the Features of a Victorian Style Home?

Victorian style extends from the exterior to the interior. Let’s look at both.



Take a look below at the interior of the home shown in the featured image above, built in 1894.

What are the Types of Victorian Style Homes?

A wide variety of styles fall under the broader Victorian umbrella, not all of which you’ll find in Portland. Those built in the city’s early days between 1840 and 1910 are described below. Designs not found to any great degree in Portland are the Gothic (inspired by Medieval churches) and the Stick-Eastlake (simple and made primarily of wood). However, Herman Trenkmann built a small grouping of the latter on NW 17th and Hoyt in Portland, where they remain today.

Italiante (1840 – 1885)

One characteristic of Italianate homes is their low pitched roofs and moderate to wide overhangs, decorative architectural features, and arched top windows with strong vertical orientations.

An excellent example of the Italiante style is the second Morris Marks House, located in the Goose Hollow neighborhood. (The first Marks House was on SW 12th and was moved to SW Grant and Broadway for renovation in 2017.)

Morris Marks House

Second Empire (1855 – 1885)

Second Empire Victorian refers to a Victorian architectural style popularized in France during Emperor Napoleon III’s reign from 1852 to 1870. This French-inspired take on the Victorian style might remind you of Paris with its mansard roofs (four sloping sides), eaves with decorative brackets, molded cornices, and design elements that simulate carved stone.

The Jacob Kamm House, completed in 1871, was moved from its original SW 14th and Main location to a temporary location in July 1950 to make room for the new Lincoln High School campus. The move was initiated when preservationist Eric Ladd bought the home for $1,000 at an auction. The home found its final resting place at 1425 SW 20th Avenue Portland with two other homes Ladd intended to preserve. He called the group of homes “the colony.”

Jacob Kamm House

Queen Anne Revival (1880 – 1910)

Queen Anne Revivals were inspired by the Queen Anne era from the early 1700s, a period that inspired the whimsical aspects of the Victorian style. This is where the turrets, towers, spindle work, bright colors, and asymmetrical facades come in.

A perfect example of this type of architecture in Portland is the Johan Poulsen House at 3040 SE McLoughlin Blvd. Now painted bright blue, you can catch a view of it on the hillside as you cross the Ross Island Bridge.

Johan Poulsen House

Queen Annes are the most popular Victorian homes in Portland, and they love attention. Many homes feature ornamentation and bold colors, making them easy to spot. The style is used for grand residences of the wealthy to middle and working-class homes. Though many were demolished during Portland’s growth, many still stand proudly today.

Victorian Farm House (aka Folk Victorian) (1880 – 1910)

The Victorian Farm House is characterized by its simplicity, with the two main defining features being its simple, steeply pitched roofs and long, vertical windows.

A local example of this type of Victorian architecture is the Augustus Fanno House in Beaverton.

Augustus Fanno Farm House—Beaverton

When Did Victorian Style Homes Come to Portland?

Where Can You Find Victorian Style Homes in Portland?

Sellwood is a neighborhood with many original Victorians. It was initially set on being its own community separate from Portland but was eventually annexed in 1893. Giddeon Tibbets built his family home and mill in what is now known as the Brooklyn neighborhood in 1851. He subsequently subdivided, and many of the Victorians that came after remain. You’ll find more Victorian homes in Portland’s Irvington neighborhood.

Looking to Buy or Sell Victorian Style Home in Portland?

If you’ve been looking for one of these treasures, our top 1% buyer’s team can help you find what you want. Likewise, if you have one to sell, our top 1% seller’s team can list it and make sure you get the best price possible. We have over 20 years invested in helping people find their next perfect home across the Portland metro area, and we’d love to help you. Call our direct lines or chat with the bot on our site. We’d love to connect today!

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