A Tribute to Monticello
Yukon is walk to everything, as little Sellwood was once its own very small town. This lot feels like a come in the country as it sits out on a bluff, and faces a cliff on the west and north sides, providing views to the extensive Oak’s Bottom marsh. The view evokes landscape from a dinosaur book; unblemished by the sight of buildings. The street ends at that cliff, so no traffic drives past the house, ever. And with the park, no one can build in the view.
The house, however, designed and built by a homeowner, looked homemade and failed to measure up to the site.
When we invited Gerry Brodsky, dear friend and the original buyer for our first Greek Revival house to look at the project, he announced that he felt oppressed by the low ceilings.
Then John, on Gerry’s advice, travelled to Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello, to Washington’s Mt. Vernon, the Smithsonian Museum of Building Technology, and other significant East Coast architecture.
With new vision from John’s travels, we cut out the second floor of the home, and brought the ceiling up to the height of Monticello, with a balcony going around it, as in Jefferson’s entry, and had carved corbels made to match Jefferson’s. Then we even used Jefferson’s favorite blue, and replicated his distinctive Chinese Chippendale balcony railing.
To the live-in kitchen we added a 23’ ceiling, two stories wall of glass on two sides, two French doors, a ceiling penetrated by 12 large skylights, and a two-story fireplace. Then a deck high over the cliff-side and park, flowing from the living area. Above we connected the bedrooms to the great room with the balcony and with French doors opening to the master bedroom.
Monticello inspired this masterpiece which fits the superb location.