Party House, Grow House, Room with a View

Exploring the History of a Home and a Neighborhood


This is the first draft of a blog chronicling my work for my parents fixing up their new home, a party house built in 1974 at the top of Rocky Butte. When first built it was a picture of late modernist extravagance, and it has since been remodeled into a strange amalgam of middle class corner-cutting and McMansion grandiosity. Most recently, all the carpets were peed on, and the home was left empty after a drug bust sent the previous owners to jail for operating a grow house in the basement. My job, in the aftermath, is to find a way to update, at a minimum, the HVAC and other basic features while keeping the home within budget. This blog will document that job, while also exploring the architectural and cultural history of the home and its surroundings.

I have begun this blog at the suggestion of Pam, a friend and restoration architect who as agreed to do some consulting on the project. I will be posting about the traces of the original architecture and design that we find as we renovate, as well, hopefully, as oral history audio files exploring the experiences of some of the unusually large number of owners the home has seen over the years.


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