Like that 1908 American Foursquare on Albany’s historic home tour? It is for sale

The organizers of the Historic Interior Home Tour in Albany will keep the destinations secret until the morning of the event. This year, on July 30, tour-goers were able to take a look at legendary, centuries-old homes and lofts in the downtown area.

One stop was unique: The restored 1908 American Foursquare home at 808 Elm St. SW retails for $565,000.

A Foursquare house, as the name implies, is a square building style with four large rooms on two levels. The practical and modestly decorated residence was an attractive alternative to ornate Victorian-era houses with gingerbread siding and small rooms.

The Foursquare was made even more popular by the mail order seller Sears, Roebuck and Co. who offered him among the 370 house plans and building kits shipped to the site by rail.

The current owners of the property have spent five years refurbishing the interior. The house was converted to a plywood in the 1960s and was also used as the headquarters for the Albany-based Chamberlin House, an organization for adults with disabilities.

Metal railing along the stairs to the wide covered porch has been replaced with classic wooden balusters to match the traditional architecture of the house.

The front door opens to living and dining rooms with high ceilings, which have been re-plastered. Original fixtures, dating back at least 114 years, were refinished and eight layers of carpeting were raised to reveal gleaming Douglas fir planks.

Craftsmen and woodworkers recreated elements that were missing or too damaged to repair. Two three-meter high columns linked to a wooden beam were created to replace the decorative partition that once separated the entrance and living room from the dining room.

Plinths and picture railings were restored by hand. Five-panel doors and antique hardware discarded decades ago were replaced with antique pieces.

A finished daylight basement, with two entrances, a sitting area and a second kitchen, brings the total living space of the house to 3,100 square meters.

An outside staircase to access the former rental unit on the second floor and other additions were removed and the yard, which was paved for parking, is now green and a yard.

The versatile property offers “great livability for almost any buyer,” says Town & Country Realty’s listing agent Jessica Pankratz. “For me, the beautiful kitchen is the heart of the house. It’s big enough for families to cook together and when they’re having fun, guests can mingle with the hosts.”

The house has five bedrooms and two bathrooms.

Albany’s Historic Interior Home Tour is a fundraiser for the 1849 Monteith House, an authentically restored pioneer-era home that is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The house museum is open to the public.

This is the 43rd consecutive year that the home tour has been held, according to Kim Jackson of the Albany Visitors Association.

Due to COVID-19 restrictions in 2020 and 2021, the event took place outdoors. Homeowners decorated their porches and gardens and pictures of the interior were shown.

This year, five homes and two urban lofts, as well as historic museums, a church, and the Carnegie-funded library were open to cardholders ($15). Here are highlights:

Pierce House, an 1878 Queen Anne, was on the Albany Historic Interior Home Tour in 2022.Janet Eastman/The Oregonian

1878 Queen Anne: Pierce House has two front porches with domes and supported by classical pillars. The Victorian-era residence has shingles and other decorative details. Stained glass windows create prisms of light and door trims are lined with rose and floral pattern corners.

Ketchum House, an 1885 Italianate cottage, was on the Albany Historic Interior Home Tour in 2022. 2022 Albany Historic Interior Home Tour Janet Eastman / The Oregonian

Ketchum House, an 1885 Italianate cottage, was on the Albany Historic Interior Home Tour in 2022.Janet Eastman/The Oregonian

1885 Italianate cottage: Ketchum House is a one-story building that was raised in the 1940s to excavate the ground to create a basement. Steps to the detailed front door are on the corner where both sides of the covered porch meet. Above three exterior doors are transom windows that draw in natural light.

Goodwin House, a 1908 Craftsman bungalow, was on the Albany Historic Interior Home Tour in 2022. 2022 Albany Historic Interior Home Tour Janet Eastman / The Oregonian

Goodwin House, a 1908 Craftsman bungalow, was on the Albany Historic Interior Home Tour in 2022.Janet Eastman/The Oregonian

1908 Craftsman bungalow: Goodwin House, inspired by the anti-industrial Arts and Crafts movement, has exposed beams and other woodwork made from Douglas fir. The floors are quarter sawn oak.

Talbert House, a 1922 bungalow, was on the Albany Historic Interior Home Tour in 2022. 2022 Albany Historic Interior Home Tour Janet Eastman / The Oregonian

Talbert House, a 1922 bungalow, was on the Albany Historic Interior Home Tour in 2022.Janet Eastman/The Oregonian

1922 worker’s cottage: Talbert House’s spruce floors have been refinished and the light switches are in original push button style.

Howard Building, a top floor loft in a 1929 commercial building, was on the Albany Historic Interior Home Tour in 2022. 2022 Albany Historic Interior Home Tour Janet Eastman / The Oregonian

Howard Building, a top-floor loft in a 1929 commercial building, was on the Albany Historic Interior Home Tour in 2022.Janet Eastman/The Oregonian

1929 loft: The Howard Building, designed by architect Charles Burggraf with brick walls, has a loft on the top floor. A 1935 addition to a space with a lowered floor resulted in the “Ball Room” with a 17-foot ceiling and large windows at two ends.

— Janet Eastman | 503-294-4072

[email protected] | @janeteastman

More on the Portland and Oregon real estate market:

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• 1917 SW Portland mansion with unfinished restoration for sale for $1 million

• The 1926 Arts and Crafts home of the Flemish sisters’ pioneers in Portland is for sale for $2,375,000

• 1908 Colonial Revival home in Portland Heights, where Eleanor Roosevelt stayed, is for sale for $2.7 million

• Portland Tudor Revival Prohibition-era home with a speakeasy sells for $1.3 million

• From Homework to Home Building: Eastern Oregon High School Students Sell Eighth Street of Dreams-Style Home

• 1894 Queen Anne home, restored and upgraded with hidden modern luxuries in NE Portland, sells for $799,000

• Large house, low price: more value for money due to the square meters?

• Rebuilt West Hills refurbishment with ‘defund the police’ and graffiti on crumbling walls is up for sale for $2 million

• Architect Richard Campbell’s 1966 modern chalet in SW Portland is for sale for $1,465,000

• Rare, restored Oregon modernist architect Neutra’s home for sale for $3,750,000

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