Water Testing Results at Pittock Mansion

Dear Pittock Mansion friends,

Your safety is our top priority. Portland Parks & Recreation (PP&R) is continuing testing for lead in drinking water at its facilities citywide.

Pittock Mansion recently had drinking water tested for lead and we wanted to confirm that no test results show elevated lead levels. 

On April 24, 2017, water samples from Pittock Mansion sinks and drinking fountains were collected. The samples were analyzed at the Portland Water Bureau Laboratory. PP&R received results on May 4; results are posted here. All water tested below the 20 parts per billion (ppb) threshold.

Consistent with guidance from the Portland Water Bureau and the Environmental Protection Agency, samples were taken from fixtures commonly used for drinking or cooking.

If you have any questions about the water test results, please contact Mark.Ross@portlandoregon.gov or call Mark at 503-823-5300.

To stay informed about water testing for lead at all PP&R and City of Portland facilities, please see this website: www.portlandoregon.gov/LeadInfo.

To learn more about the risk of lead exposure and simple steps you can take to reduce your family’s exposure to lead, visit www.leadline.org or 503-988-4000.

Thank you,

 

 

 

Marta Bones
Executive Director, Pittock Mansion
A Portland Parks & Recreation partner

Pittock Mansion seeks Part-Time Visitor Services Representative

Pittock Mansion is a house of historical significance and visual magnificence, offering a uniquely personal opportunity to peek into the past. Attracting over 100,000 visitors in the past year, Pittock Mansion is one of the top destinations in Oregon, and the perfect place to experience the story of Portland. We are seeking a Part Time Visitor Services Representative to act as ambassador of our mission and provide an exceptional visitor experience. Daily responsibilities include: admissions, membership sales, museum store sales, visitor orientation and information, responding to phone inquiries, maintaining the visual integrity and security of the museum and store, and staffing evening events. Please submit cover letter and résumé to jobs@pittockmansion.org. No phone calls, please.

POSITION: Visitor Services Representative

REPORTS TO: Associate Director

COMPENSATION: $12.30 per hour

RESPONSIBILITIES INCLUDE:

  • Greet and interact with visitors, volunteers, and delivery people
  • Answer phones, respond to callers requests and refer calls
  • Sell admission, membership, and store items
  • Follow sound cash-handling practices
  • Follow daily tour schedule
  • Turn on lights, place ropes and runners, and generally prepare the Mansion for public use before opening
  • Maintain the visual integrity and security of the museum and store throughout the day
  • Secure the Mansion, Gate Lodge, Ticketing Bay, and Museum Store including seeing that all doors and windows are locked and alarms are activated at closing time
  • Facilitate school tours and use of the museum for evening events as scheduled
  • Carry out other duties as assigned

SKILLS REQUIRED:

  • High level of customer service
  • Ability to interact with public, staff, and volunteers as a team member
  • Professional manner and appearance
  • Strong communication skills
  • Attention to detail
  • Record of dependability, timeliness, and good attendance
  • Dependable transportation
  • Ability to lift 30 lbs
  • Strong retail sales skills a plus
  • Some college or 4-year degree preferred

This Month In Local History: The Vista House

Vista House dedication ceremony, May 5, 1918.

Did you know Henry Pittock played a large role in the construction of the Vista House?

The Vista House is located at Crown Point along the Historic Columbia River Highway. The Columbia River Highway, constructed 1913-1922, connected Troutdale to The Dalles and the scenic hiking trails and waterfalls along the Columbia River. An engineering marvel at its time, the highway made passage of this difficult terrain safer.

The Vista House was proposed as a viewpoint rest stop for Columbia River Highway travelers and a monument to Oregon pioneers. The Vista House Association, made up of local businessmen, was formed to raise money for its construction. Henry Pittock, an Oregon pioneer himself, was named president.

The Vista House was completed and opened with a dedication ceremony on May 5, 1918 despite missed fundraising goals and multiple increases in construction costs. Henry Pittock was among the dignitaries at the ceremony.

Today the Vista House, like Pittock Mansion, is a favorite destination for tourists and locals alike!

 

History in Bloom

Early rhododendron blossoms frame Pittock Mansion.

Roses will bloom in the coming weeks!

Pittock Mansion’s grounds are stunning year round thanks to Portland Parks & Recreation and volunteer OSU Master Gardeners’ hard work, but spring is an especially beautiful time of year with the rhododendrons and roses in bloom.

Pittock Mansion’s original landscape plan included 350 rhododendrons and 276 roses, and many rhododendrons and roses can be found on the grounds today.

Rhododendrons, in a variety of whites, pinks, and purples, begin to blossom in April and continue through June. The 100 different species of roses on the grounds, including the Gold Struck “Georgiana Pittock” Rose, bloom May through August.

Visit our Facebook page to see some of the early blooms, or stop by soon and smell the roses yourself!

 

Preserving Pittock’s “Other” Building

View of the Gate Lodge with Pittock Mansion in background circa 1917.

The Pittocks built the Gate Lodge in conjunction with the mansion to house estate staff. While the splendor of the mansion often overshadows the Gate Lodge, the architectural significance of a four-story building engineered and built into a steep hillside should not be overlooked.

While the mansion required substantial restoration when the estate was purchased by the City of Portland in 1964, the Gate Lodge was in even greater disrepair with mold, rot, and cracked and peeling plaster throughout the 1914 home. Workers completed the initial restoration of the Gate Lodge in 1977, and the following decades saw the installation and later removal of catering equipment to accommodate a tea house, roof replacement, and extensive repairs after pipes froze and burst.

Pittock Mansion’s Gate Lodge. Erosion of the hillside has destroyed what was once a tiered garden with stairs leading to the exterior kitchen door on the second floor.

Sandbags help protect the Gate Lodge from water infiltration until drainage systems can be improved.

Today the greatest threats to the Gate Lodge are water intrusion and erosion of the hillside into which it is built. The Pittock Mansion Society is working with Portland Parks & Recreation to engineer a drainage plan that will protect the Gate Lodge and take into account the eroding effects of storm water on the southern slopes of the Mansion’s grounds.

The Pittock estate’s rescue and restoration is an inspiring story of what can be accomplished when dedicated citizens value preserving historic buildings and the stories of the people who lived in them.

 

How Portlanders Saved Pittock Mansion from Developers

PARC members collect donations for Pittock Mansion in exchange for free haircuts. Published in the Portland Journal, 1964.

Rose Festival princess Gail Weyand waves a booster sign to show her support for Pittock Mansion at the antique car parade fundraiser. Published in the Portland Reporter March 25, 1964.

In 1964, demolition threatened Pittock Mansion. The mansion, empty and damaged from the 1962 Columbus Day Storm, caught the interest of developers planning to turn the site into a subdivision. After public outcry, The City of Portland agreed to buy the property and turn it into a park if citizens could prove widespread public support by raising $100,000 of the $225,000 price tag in 30 days.

Volunteers formed the Pittock Acres Retention Committee (PARC) to head fundraising efforts. Organized into women’s and men’s divisions, the women of PARC solicited neighborhood groups and the men solicited local businesses for support.

PARC organized many publicity events and fundraisers, including a parade of historic automobiles, a car wash, an afternoon tea at Pittock Mansion that served 5,000 visitors tea in paper cups, and a last-minute “Eleventh Hour Dance” at the Multnomah Hotel.

Contributions ranged from a few cents to $1,000. Despite PARC’s efforts, they raised just $67,510 of the $100,000 goal by deadline. Still determined to save Pittock Mansion, PARC convinced the city council of the merits of adding Pittock Acres to complete a chain of park land in the West Hills from Forest Park to Washington Park. On April 22, 1964, the city council voted to complete the purchase.

After 13 months of restoration, Pittock Mansion opened to the public. Thank you to the Portland community for their support in 1964 and today!

See more photo of the fundraising efforts in 1964 on our Facebook page.

Explore early Oregon through Kate Pittock’s eyes

Kate Pittock Hebard, Henry and Georgiana’s daughter who lived in Pittock Mansion, took a series of snapshots of Oregon life for her cousin back East, Jennie Priscilla Pittock.

Below are just a few of Kate’s photos, head to our Facebook page to see them all!

Hotel Portland

Chinese Actor

Wreck of The Regulator at the Cascades

 

See more of Kate’s early Oregon photos on Facebook

Membership improvements on the way!

Pittock Mansion continues to thrive today thanks to the support and generosity of people like you. Thank you!

Thank you to everyone who participated in our membership survey!

We appreciate the overwhelming response to our membership satisfaction survey. We heard from almost half of you – thank you!

The average respondent has been a member for 3-5 years.  You told us that the newsletter is an important piece of communication, so we will continue to strengthen its content to keep you in-the-know about all things Pittock. We also heard many encouraging words like “keep doing what you are doing,” and great suggestions like “more social events, please.” In the coming years, we will include more social events as we implement our new strategic plan.

In light of the survey results, I have some changes to the membership program for 2017 to share:

  • Rate Changes—there will be an increase in price for three of our membership categories. The new rates will be:
    • Individual $40
    • Dual $65
    • Family $80
  • Benefit changes—we will add the following benefits:
    • 2 special shopping opportunities in the museum store exclusively for members that will double your discount to 20%.
    • 2 additional admission passes with each renewing or new membership.

These changes will take place as of February 1, 2017 and will go into effect when you renew your membership or when a new membership is purchased.

Thank you for your continued support; with your help we will make sure Pittock Mansion remains a vital part of the community for another 100 years.

Sincerely,

Marta E. Bones
Executive Director

Want to learn more about Pittock Mansion?

Want to learn more about Pittock Mansion?

Sign up for our monthly newsletter

See Damage at Pittock Mansion after the 1962 Columbus Day Storm

By the time the 1962 Columbus Day Storm hit Portland, Pittock Mansion had been vacant for several years. The unoccupied mansion suffered extensive damage during the storm; high winds blew off one-third of the ceramic roof tiles, windows were shattered, and giant Douglas Fir trees were toppled across the estate.

No repairs were made to Pittock Mansion after the storm, and the damaged, vacant house sat exposed to the elements for the next 18 months, resulting in water damage throughout the home.

See below for photos of the damage taken in 1964.

 

6-storm-damage-to-mansion-and-garage-color-web

The storm toppled giant Douglas Fir trees across the estate.

 

4-storm-damage-to-music-room-1964-web

Water entered through broken windows and missing roof tiles, staining the Music Room’s wallpaper and wood floors.

 

22-1-7491-web

Pittock Mansion was open to the elements for 2 years; water was pooled on the marble floors.

 

23-4-7491-web

Decorative plaster in the Grand Staircase was badly damaged.

 

3-storm-damage-to-2nd-floor-landing-1964-web

A pan caught leaks on the 2nd floor landing.

 

5-storm-damage-to-west-bedroom-1964-web

The West Bedroom suffered extensive water damage on the ceiling.

Hours

June – Sept. 4 10am – 5pm Daily
Sept. 5 – Dec. 31 11am – 4pm Daily
Nov. 17 – 19 CLOSED
Thanksgiving Day CLOSED
Christmas Day CLOSED
January CLOSED
Feb. – May 11am – 4pm Daily

 

Admission

Members FREE
Adults $10.00
Seniors (65+) $9.00
Youth (ages 6–18) $7.00
Children under 6 FREE

Want to learn more about Pittock Mansion?