Renovation of historic Markham House nearly complete

Markham House restoration nearly complete

PORTLAND, Ore. -- A historic home that has stood in the Laurelhurst neighborhood for more than 100 years has new life, after a neighborhood teamed up with a developer to save it.

At the gates of the Laurelhurst neighborhood in Northeast Portland stands the Markham House. It was slated for demolition to make way for new homes, but it has now transformed.

"This home has the X-factor that has so much history to it," said John McCulloch of McCulloch Construction.

He wants to help tell the story of the home through preservation.

"I think that's everybody's dream, is to do something that makes a positive difference in the world," he said.

It was only 16 months ago that the historic house, built in 1911, was falling apart.

Background: Historic Laurelhurst home slated for demolition

"This place was decrepit, it had been lived in by squatters, it was crumbling," McCulloch said. "There wasn't really a lot to redeem it." 

Now a little over a year later, work on the home is expected to be complete within one month. Neighbors raised about $30,000 to save the property and McCulloch has put in $2 million of his own money to renovate the home and help keep the character of the neighborhood alive.

"I wanted to just outdo myself on beauty and architectural integrity," McCulloch said.

The architecture is in Spanish Mission style. A big part of its beauty is in the thousands of small details scattered throughout the home.

"This space here is designed to look like a Spanish courtyard, so you've got an entire ceiling of glass and all this light streaming down," McCulloch explained as he walked us through the house.

"We have 12 different kinds of arches. Here this one, it's that Spanish Alhambra style arch," he continued.

McCulloch said a project like this is especially important now.

"We've got this huge tidal wave of change coming to Portland," McCulloch said.

As the city grows, more homes are getting demolished making way for new places to live. McCulloch said he hopes his work helps people become more thoughtful about development.

"This is a moment where we can raise awareness for what we've got before it's gone," he said.

McCulloch said the home probably won't sell for another few months.

In that time, he hopes charities and nonprofit organizations might be able to use the space for fundraisers.

Head to www.mccullochconstruction.com for contact information.

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