Pittock Mansion

Pittock Mansion between the west hills of Portland

Located at 3229 NW Pittock Dr, Portland, OR 97210. A 16,000-square-foot home on the 46-acre wooded estate, a thousand feet above sea level. Known  mostly for who lived in it and what it symbolizes as the beginning of entrepreneurship in a city in which was slow moving to it.

“the most beloved…of all the great houses of Portland….It typifies the success of the nineteenth-century American entrepreneurial spirit.”


Henry Pittock (c.1834-1919) was born in London, England but grew up in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. In 1853, when Henry was 19, he headed west on the Oregon Trail to seek his fortune. A year later, his future wife Georgiana Burton (c.1845-1918) left Missouri with her family and headed west as well. When Henry and Georgiana arrived in the area, Portland was a frontier “stumptown” competing with Oregon City to become the major trade and industrial center for the region.

Henry and Georgina Pittock

Henry found work as a typesetter at The Oregonian at a time when the newspaper industry was financially risky and fiercely competitive. More than 30 newspapers were launched in Portland during this period. On June 20, 1860, Henry and Georgiana married and five months later, he was given ownership of the paper in exchange for back wages. Henry went on to transform The Oregonian into a successful daily newspaper that is still printed today.

The Pittocks were among Portland's most influential, respected, and wealthiest citizens at the turn of the twentieth century. Henry Pittock was the owner of the Oregonian, and Georgiana Burton Pittock was engaged in many community projects and was a founder of the Portland Rose Festival. In 1909, when he was seventy-three years old and she was sixty-four, they hired Oregon-born architect Edward T. Foulkes from San Francisco to design a 16,000-square-foot home on the 46-acre wooded estate, a thousand feet above sea level. The Pittocks moved into their new home in 1914, only a few years before both died, she in 1918 and he a year later.

Pittock Mansion Today

Video tour of the mansion:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lZYRjECW8YI

Family members lived in the mansion until 1958, the last being grandson Peter Gantenbein, who was born there. The house then stood empty for six years, a victim of heavy damage by squatters and the 1962 Columbus Day storm, which blew off a third of the roof tiles. The City of Portland, realizing that the mansion was an evocative architectural treasure, acquired the dilapidated house in 1964 for $225,000 and saved 46 acres of the original estate from being developed as a subdivision. Some of the craftspeople who had worked on the original house, such as Fred Baker who had designed the lighting and Bruno Dombrowski who had laid the wood floors, came out of retirement and helped with the fifteen-month-long restoration.

In 2007, the Society took over the day-to-day museum operations from Portland Parks & Recreation and has been operating the historic house museum ever since.

The Pittock Mansion Society is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization whose mission is to inspire understanding and stewardship of Portland history through Pittock Mansion. The Society also works with Portland Parks & Recreation to maintain and preserve the historic buildings. All admissions, memberships, donations, grants, and museum store purchases go to support Pittock Mansion and its mission. Today, the mansion is a historic landmark and has been a museum for a long time, continuing to tell the Pittock's story and how big of an impact they had on the development of Portland as a city.

Main Significance

While best known for being a successful newspaper publisher, Henry Pittock also built a financial empire by investing in real estate, banking, railroads, steamboats, sheep ranching, silver mining, and the paper industry. He was an avid outdoorsman, bicycle enthusiast, and was among the first group to climb Mount Hood. Georgiana Pittock became a founder and fundraiser for many charities and cultural organizations, such as the Ladies Relief Society, Women’s Union, Portland Rose Festival and the Martha Washington Home, a residence for single, self-supporting women. 

Five decades after first opening its doors to the community, the Pittock Mansion is a magnificent reminder of how Portland grew into the city it is today. Classic Houses of Portland calls it “the most beloved…of all the great houses of Portland….It typifies the success of the nineteenth-century American entrepreneurial spirit.” It also signifies the adventurous spirit of Henry Pittock and the great Pacific Northwest, acting as a stop on Forest Park’s famous Wildwood Trail.

Replete with rich history, breathtaking interior features, and the best views of the city from 1,000 feet above sea level, Henry Pittock’s legacy will always be remembered within the walls of his “House on the Hill.”

Also significant because of architecture

The exterior of the mansion is French Renaissance, but the interior is a collection of styles, from the oak-paneled and carved Jacobethan library with an elaborate plastered ceiling to the French-style oval drawing room with oak parquet-bordered floor, friezes, and capped cornice at the ceiling. Adjoining is a round Turkish smoking room with a painted ceiling and Tiffany glazes, created by artist Harry Wentz, and a formal Edwardian dining room with rich mahogany-paneled built-in cabinets. A mirror on the west wall is positioned to show a reflection of Mount Hood, giving everyone sitting around the table a view of the mountain.

The "panoramic" view of Portland from Pittock Mansion

The most prominent interior feature is the central stairwell, which occupies one-third of the mansion space and connects three stories. The floors are marble, and the railing is made of eucalyptus. The bronze grillwork required 200 different castings because of its twists and turns, and the bronze light fixture is equipped with electric lights and gas jets for emergencies.

Despite its size, the mansion was designed as a family dwelling. The semi-circular gallery on the second floor leads to three bedroom suites of three rooms each. They are arranged as sitting rooms with a fireplace, dressing rooms, bedrooms and bath, with sleeping porches at each wing for healthy sleeping year-round. All fixtures and appointments are in the Edwardian style. Henry Pittock’s turreted bathroom, which has a panoramic view of five distant peaks of the Cascade Mountain Range, has a hydraulics masterpiece shower—a human carwash with horizontal needle sprays to reach all parts of the body, including a “liver" spray and a “toe" tester.

Interior view of a bedroom inside Pittock Mansion

The third floor houses three servants’ rooms, a bath, Henry Pittock’s office, and the largest room in the house, the children’s play room, big enough for riding tricycles. The underground level has an oval billiard room with adjoining round card rooms, a walk-in vault, a wine cellar, a laundry room, and storage areas. Carefully placed windows allow for maximum daylight. 

Interior view of a staircase inside Pittock Mansion

Visiting the Mansion

Thursday–Monday 10am–4pm
Closed Tuesday & Wednesday
January: Closed
Feb.-May: 10am-4pm Daily
June-Labor Day: 10am-5pm Daily
Sept.-Dec.: 10am-4pm Daily
Thanksgiving Day: Closed
Christmas Day: Closed


Members: FREE

Adults: $12
Seniors (65+): $10
Youth (ages 6–18): $8
Children (under 6): FREE





Picture Sources

Pittock Mansion - Museum in Portland ...


Pittock Mansion | Portland Oregon ...


Pittock Mansion - Wikipedia