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The Giltner Mansion Remodel

We are doing a major preservation and addition to a ruin of what is perhaps the most historically significant home in Irvington.  Erected in 1912 by prolific builder Frederick E. Bowman, this soon to be 8,000 square foot mansion was originally home to the Giltner’s, a family of prominent lawyers, politicians, cultural leaders, patrons of the arts, and socialites. In its glory days, the house hosted extravagant parties with three or four hundred guests at a time. Live orchestras played in the conservatory over the ambient trickle of an indoor fountain while scarlet geraniums, palm leaves, and fir sprigs adorned the mantles and tables and reporters from the Oregonian furiously jotted down the decorative details and splendid garments worn by the hosts and guests. However, the past century has not been kind to the estate and when it passed into the care of McCulloch Construction in mid-2010 we found a house in deep decay. Since then we’ve been proofing the house against the elements – and the rain storms have revealed just how much work this lovely old home needs. The original plumbing had rusted through causing a continuous water flow within the walls.  Major posts had begun to rot, leaving floors sloping up to one inch per foot.  Windows and doors had begun to leak, while the roof had been allowed to leak into the house in numerous places for long years.  Holes due to rot had opened in the house large enough to pass a basketball through, in one case housing a family of possums.  Fortunately, we have the skills to fully restore this historic home back to its original classical grandeur. But we won’t stop there—-this home will be more than just a museum.  The original home, while glamorous for its high society owners, had a tiny kitchen intended for use only by servants.  So, while building on a sense of history, we are updating the home for modern living with a kitchen and family room addition.  The garage was a rarity in Portland when it was built, and its positioning blocked the kitchen windows. The old garage has been removed and will be rebuilt closer to the SW corner of the property, thus making room for the new addition.  It will include space above for guests or home office. Last, but in this case not least, the basement is being transformed from a dark rotting space with low hanging pipes, to a recreational room complete with gym. The result will be among the best homes on the East Side.  It will capture everything grand in big historical homes, while enjoying the convenience of modern luxury.
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