Have you ever been here? Portland’s very own Pittock Mansion. It was built in 1814 by Henry Pittock, owner of The Oregonian. I had not set foot in this beautiful family home in 20 years so it was really fun to share it with my kids. What brought all this about, you ask?
I finally watched Citizen Kane (as someone with a past in the theatre, there are some things I simply feel compelled to watch in order to be able to take myself seriously (Casablanca is another one – it’s on my bucket list!)). Djeryd watched it with me, sharing in my evolving love for black-and-white films. We became the teeniest bit obsessed after that, googling the Hearst Castle and checking out big glossy picture books of it from the library.
Since a trip to the Hearst Castle in California was not in the cards, I remembered our own local little mansion we could tour. It was very different from when I was there twenty years ago. And I’m sure I appreciated it much more this time around.
Surprisingly even my little ones really enjoyed it. Erik was spending the weekend at a chess tournament at the beach, so it was just our girls and Djeryd.
My favorite rooms were the kitchen and the butler’s pantry. They were huge and sparkling white and absolutely shining with sunlight. I wanted to stay in those rooms and never leave. I spent the next few weeks dreaming of what it would be like to cook and bake in such a place. (Oh, how I miss all the natural light in my old kitchen!)
One of the things I really like about the Pittock Mansion is that it is a family house. There were a lot of people living in it – parents, children and grandchildren. The rooms were spacious, but not enormous, beautiful and filled with light.
I love the detail that goes into beautiful custom homes. Seriously, who has a radiator that is that beautiful?
Or leaded windows like this in the hallway?
Although, you know, as beautiful as that window is, the little girl standing in front of it is infinitely more precious and beautiful than anything I saw in that big house. At the end of the day the Pittock Mansion is a really amazing house. But it’s just a house.
There was a little breakfast room down the hall from the kitchen with a small vase of flowers in the center of the table. I imagined the sisters having breakfast together in the morning, laughing and talking, maybe still in nightgowns, just being themselves. That thought made me happy. And it made me feel lucky that I get to enjoy that every morning with my own sweet family in our very own little “mansion”.