It’s time for the 2012 Irvington Home Tour. This year, I am hosting the home at 1729 NE Siskiyou (aka McCulloch House), which is owned by John McCulloch, who also owns and operates McCulloch Construction.
John purchased the home in August 2010. It was in rough condition due to years of neglect and deferred maintenance. Through a labor or love, he restored the home to its former glory. He also added considerable square footage with the kitchen, library, and garage additions. If you look at the photo to the left, these additions comprise the left side of the photo.
This page describes the history of the home and the renovation/additions. It is based on the placards John prepared for the Irvington Home Tour. Most of the links on this page will direct you to individual PDFs of the placards, so I hope you enjoy learning more about it.
A century ago, Teddy Roosevelt was a national hero, the Titanic sunk on its maiden voyage, and Frederick Bowman was building a spec home on Siskiyou Street in Irvington. Bowman was influenced by American and English architects, including McKim, White, Mead, and Luytens. Bowman incorporated stonework and also featured ornate tiles and molding throughout the home. He was also influenced by Roosevelt who advocated healthy living and homes that included conservatories and sleeping porches.
The original owners of 1729 NE Siskiyou were Roscoe and Sophronia Giltner. Roscoe made quite a name for himself as an attorney and Sophronia was a well-known socialite and philanthropist. In 1912, the Giltners hosted a housewarming party that was written up in The Oregonian. Through the years, they also held lovely garden parties on the estate. The Giltners were considered Irvington royalty as they helped promote culture in Portland, hosted music and the arts at their home, and embraced other cultures. Sophronia became so well known that she even did endorsements.
John McCulloch purchased the home in August 2010. In the 21 months since then, he has lovingly restored, renovated, and added on to the property. John is not your typical contractor; he has several advanced degrees in English. He is a painstaking perfectionist who loves restoring homes. He also relishes learning about the history of a home, its prior owners, and all of the historical elements that go into restoring a home. There’s a Gatsby-esque intrigue about the home and its owner.
McCulloch house is an example of the Pennsylvania Dutch style. On the interior, John tried to remain true to the period-style elements. This included the barrel-vaulted ceiling in the kitchen, the nearly cube-shaped library, and the intricate floor pattern in the breakfast room. John also used elements of the day such as lighting above the cove molding. On the exterior, John removed nearly 20 dumpsters of ivy that had nearly overrun the property. He also re-used the wrought-iron fence that had once surrounded the courthouse in Oregon City. John added the kitchen, library, and carriage house. You can click here to see the design model for the property.
John hopes to continue the Giltner and McCulloch legacies in Irvington. He does the former by hosting cultural events (e.g., the Irvington Home Tour, private concerts, etc.) at the house, and the latter by being the fifth consecutive John McCulloch to live in Irvington.
If you would like to learn more about the home or the work that John does, please contact me.