This last week was a big week for my wife's (Julie) family. They were approached by a local developer in Portland (OR) to get the family's permission to name a building in NW Portland after Julie's grandfather, Rocky Benevento. Rocky is one of the most beloved individuals in Portland from the 1950s and 1960s. He was the groundskeeper for the Portland Beavers in the old Vaughn Street ballpark. When I hear people talk about Rocky, it is always with completely joy because of his ability to bridge the gap between the baseball players and the fans. The new building, which will be a small boutique apartment building, will be called The Benevento. And, if that weren't enough, the entire family, including cousins, were invited to have dinner by the current owners of Rocky's home during the same period. With the passing of Julie's dad in January of this year, the chance for the family to all gather in her dad's childhood home was one to not be missed. The evening was filled with laughter, great stories about the home and remembrances of Rocky and Dickie (as Julie's dad was known by when he was a kid).
As an interior designer and lover of old homes, I was in pure heaven all evening. The home was built in 1892 in NW Portland in a neighborhood very near the old industrial part of town. The home was most likely built by someone with some standing in the area at the time. As in most Victorian home, the interior design is all about the details, which are absolutely beautiful ~ from intricate moldings to high ceilings and a traditional room layout only found in homes of the era. Many traditional elements were evident, especially the division between public and private areas, often denoted by the intricacy of moldings and finishes. The current owners were kind enough to give us a tour of the home, share any stories they had about the home's history and talk us through the various changes that had been made over the years. What's refreshing is how the changes clearly make the home more functional for the way the couple lives today, all while honoring the home's history.
So, here's a pictorial tour of one of Portland's old homes.