List of Annual Home Tours in the Portland, Oregon Metro Area
Given Portland’s sheer volume of historic homes—plus the large number of architects working today—asking experts to pick the greatest residences in the city’s history might have sounded the bell for an architectural cage fight. But despite vast aesthetic differences, the quintet of judges Portland Monthly invited to tackle the task found consensus in just a few hours on the top ten.
The American Institute of Architects Portland
The American Institute of Architects Portland self-guided tour showcases residences designed by some of our city’s top architecture firms. From micro-houses and ADU’s to mega apartment blocks, the tour showcases an innovative cross-section of housing types. To meet the residential needs of our growing city, architects have to continually reimagined our built environment with an all options on the table approach. Through design excellence at all scales, these projects represent exciting and creative trends in housing. The tour is usually held in April.
Tour of Remodeled Homes
Whether you are dreaming of an updated kitchen, bathroom, new addition or thinking about a whole-house remodel the Tour of Remodeled Homes offers the best way to see the finished work of top Portland-area remodeling contractors. The Tour of Remodeled Homes is a scattered site tour throughout the Portland Metro area. For an overview of where the homes will be located, see Tour Map.
May or June: Walking Tour of Historic Homes in Southwest and Northwest Portland
NW Children’s Theater & School (NWCT) and the NW Neighborhood Cultural Center (NNCC) present, “The Stately Home Tour of Old NW/SW Neighborhoods”, the Annual Walking Tour of Historic Homes. In 2016 six stately, private residences in Northwest Portland’s Old Nob Hill were shown. The 1908 Harmon/Neils House on Northwest Lovejoy Street was one of the stops. “All six homes are beautiful and historic, but the home at the head of Lovejoy is said to be the most intact and original [by famed architect] A.E. Doyle in the city. Doyle (1877-1928) shaped early Portland during the explosive building boom after the 1905 Lewis & Clark Centennial Exposition until the Great Depression. He designed such classical icons as the Meier & Frank Building (now The Nines hotel), Lipman’s store (now Hotel Monaco) and Reed College.
Street of Dreams
Since 1975, the Home Builders Association of Metro Portland has produced this signature summer event in the Pacific Northwest, featuring the latest in residential construction. Each show home is a reflection of the unique and professional talents of builders, interior designers, craftspeople, and landscape architect. The Street of Dreams tour is open every day starting in late July and continuing into most of August — usually from 10 am to 9 pm.
May through August Wednesdays & Thursdays: Walking Tour of Historic and Architecturally Neighborhoods
The Architectural Heritage Center (AHC) presents walking tours of historic and architecturally significant neighborhoods and sites around Portland, Oregon. From May through August the center leads Wednesday and Thursday evening tours, with additional tours on weekends throughout the year. They also provide private group walking tours. If your group is interested in a private tour, contact the AHC for more information. The knowledgeable, trained, volunteer guides welcome you to learn more about our area’s history and architecture. Please check out the Events page for the most up-to-date calendar of walking tours and other AHC education programs.
Restore Oregon Home Tours
Restore Oregon was founded in 1977 as the Historic Preservation League of Oregon. As the organization has evolved over the years, Restore Oregon focused on taking care of the places that make Oregon such as historic homes and neighborhoods, bridges and barns, churches and Main Streets that make this place so authentic and livable.
They usually offer a couple of home tours during the year. In 2016 they had a tour of Rummer homes and mid-century modern homes. The Rummer tour was an opportunity to visit six homes built by Robert Rummer. These iconic “atomic age” houses are highly sought after and those on tour include some in virtually original condition and others that have been updated. Bob Rummer himself will be on hand to talk about his experiences bringing these homes to the Pacific Northwest.
Accessory Dwelling Units
Accessory Dwelling is a one-stop source about accessory dwelling units (ADU), multigenerational homes, laneway houses, ADUs, granny flats, in-law unit. The fourth tour of ADUs was held in 2016 and ten ADUs were featured. The tour featured a garage conversion, an attached ADU, above the garage ADUs, new construction ADUs, and two basement ADUs.
Mid-September: Build it Green! Home Tour and Info Fair
The annual Build It Green! Home Tour and Info Fair is held in September and it is a self-guided tour. The event is presented by the City of Portland Bureau of Planning and Sustainability and feature 12-15 green remodels and new homes around Portland. Buy tickets at Green Depot in SE Portland or online at the City of Portland Office of Planning and Sustainability. This tour offers workshops at selected tour stops. No registration is required and the workshops are included in the ticket price. Workshop topics usually include Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) Basics, Rainwater Harvesting, Naturescaping, Gray Water Reuse, Permaculture, Living Building Challenge, Passive Houses, Small Home Communities and Energy Performance Scores.
Irvington Neighborhood Home Tour
Each year, the Irvington Home Tour is held on the third Sunday of May – rain or shine. Plan on spending at least two-and-a-half hours touring homes. The Irvington Home Tour is the longest continuously running neighborhood home tour in Portland. In fact, the very first Irvington Home Tour, conducted in 1967, was the first such tour in the city. The tour was scheduled intermittently until 1983 when the popular program became a permanent part of the Irvington Community Association’s annual calendar.