William Haseltine’s family made their fortune selling hardware, but his 1935 Georgian Colonial house in Portland’s Grant Park neighborhood is best remembered for politics and religion: At a post-WWII cocktail party, the well-connected Haseltine hosted then-Republican Oregon senator Wayne Morse, who in 1952 declared himself a Democrat, making the Senate evenly divided.
In the 1970s, the mansion was donated to the Society of the Sisters of the Holy Name of Jesus and Mary.
Today, the storied, quarter-acre property at 3231 N.E. US Grant Place, named after the 18th president, is for sale at $1,939,000.
The house with 5,903 square feet of living space was designed by Portland architect Jamieson Parker, well known for his plans for the First Unitarian Church and Saint Mark’s Episcopal Church as well as the Belmont Library, all in Portland.
This home was Parker’s last project before his untimely death in 1939 at age 44, according to the research documents that earned the William A. Haseltine House a spot on the National Register of Historic Places.
Parker excelled at designing handsome, functional spaces. Here, closets have lighting, shelving and other features specific for each room.
A coat closet near the front door has a built-in umbrella holder and a tin drain in the floor to carry away raindrops. Another entry closet has a desktop with a drawer for the mail.
The dining room closet has felt-lined slats to store table extensions and the butler’s pantry has display shelves, glass-door cabinets and under-counter storage space for silverware and table linens.
Near the upstairs bedrooms is a lockable cedar-lined closet; another closet has removable paneling to hide valuables.
Designer Jenny Reilly of Reilly Signature Homes, who owns the home, restored the interior’s Federal-style details while weaving in features that support modern needs, like an eight-foot-long Calacatta gold marble island in the kitchen.
The library is encased in vertical grain hemlock, including cabinet doors, bookcases, wall paneling and the mantel over the brick fireplace. The formal rooms have pocket doors and five-panel doors. Even the Chinoiserie wallpaper was preserved on the staircase wall.
“People love to hear the stories of homes and who they were built for and or lived in them,” says Susie Hunt Moran of Moran Homes and Windermere Realty Trust, who listed the property for sale with Matt Moran. “We have found that including this in our marketing does increase followings. Not much is really written on these beautiful homes.”
Grant Park honors President Ulysses S. Grant, who visited Portland three times. The Dolph Park area near Grant Park was named in 1924 for Eliza Dolph, a descendent of Charles Cardinell who bought a former donation land claim in 1887 and laid out the Fernwood subdivision into city blocks. Author Beverly Cleary grew up here and it inspired the setting for her beloved Ramona Quimby children’s books.
Haseltine was a member of a pioneering family, and was influential in Portland’s cultural, educational and political arenas until his death in 1976.
The Haseltine family owned and operated J.E. Haseltine & Co., which sold hardware, mill and shop supplies, welding equipment, automotive hardware, sporting goods, tires and batteries from 1883-1961. The Haseltine building is on the corner of Southwest 2nd Avenue and Southwest Ash Street in Old Town Portland.
William A. Haseltine lived 20 years in the house with clear western cedar horizontal beveled siding. Before he moved out in 1954, business, political and cultural leaders of the time gathered here. Haseltine grew a WWII victory garden in the large backyard beyond the covered veranda.
The master suite has a balcony overlooking the gardens. There are five more bedrooms, three remodeled bathrooms and a lower level “party” room with vertical-grain hemlock paneling and a brick fireplace plus a detached two-car garage.
Who would love this property? “It’s a true entertainer’s dream house with the most amazing kitchen as well as backyard spaces,” says Susie Hunt Moran of her listing near the new Ulysses S. Grant High School. “The area is super walkable and perfect for the people who want space to spread out not only inside their home but great outdoor living spaces.”
— Janet Eastman with additional research by Kaya Blauvelt
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