Although this Northern California family had never lived in an old house before, they were so fascinated by them, they wanted to relocate to Portland, Oregon, to live in one. That desire led them to this c. 1903 Federal Style home designed by Whidden and Lewis, a prominent architectural firm of the day.

The house had been remodeled a few times, including a 1920s two-story southside addition that removed an original bay window and porch off the living room and expanded the master bedroom above. A previous owner’s 1990s renovation eliminated a second level sleeping porch and stair to create a two-story room with large south facing windows, which became a huge selling point for the homeowners, who craved light to counter the Pacific Northwest weather.

When the couple told their realtor about plans to restore the home, he recommended Jeffery L. Miller Architect, P.C., who in turn suggested old-house-experts Olson & Jones Construction, Inc., which had just completed a similar historic restoration of a nearby home also designed by Whidden and Lewis. Finally, a mutual friend recommended Katy Krider of Katy Krider Interior Design. Olson & Jones Project Manager Jeff Jones brought in Andrew Curtis of Full Circa, Inc., who undertook the year-long exterior restoration, which involved stripping the paint, repairing dry rot, architectural details like quoins and columns. East Portland Sash removed and restored the original windows and hardware as well as building custom storm windows to protect them.

The 1990s kitchen remodel included a large peninsula that blocked circulation. “It was basically a one-person kitchen, dead ending at the peninsula,” says the owner, who loves to cook. “Katy’s space planning really helped us improve the layout that included a smaller island.”

The owner wanted to ensure nothing would obstruct the view of the ancient rhododendrons and fir trees visible across the family room through the two-story windows and researched many options before selecting a Zephyr Lux Island Range Hood to be installed in the ceiling over the island cooktop.

“The ceiling hood was really critical to the whole design,” says the owner. “We could have put the sink there, but that’s not where I spend all my time.” To further open up the view, Olson & Jones removed a half-wall and post near the back door, adjacent to the kitchen, which divided the eating nook from the kitchen.

“The butler’s pantry was pretty special with its original glass front cabinets,” says Katy, who was able to augment the small kitchen footprint by vertically stacking the ovens and microwave on one side of the pantry and replacing existing cabinets with shorter replicas, thus leaving more room for modern appliances to reside below. “The kitchen cabinetry and classic cup bin pull hardware design reiterates that found in the original butler’s pantry cabinets,” adds Katy.

Placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1978, the plaque states erroneously that the WR McKenzie house was built in 1893. The homeowner’s sleuthing turned up the historic Sanborn maps, and an anomaly. “William Russell McKenzie did live in the neighborhood from 1893-1904, but his address was one digit off our current address,” she says. “Apparently, he was the rental agent for the house across the street with that number.”

The family moved into the beautifully restored historic home with all its modern conveniences in May 2019, grateful for the exceptional team. “Katy was instrumental in getting the flow just right with a minimum of destruction, while Olson & Jones’ vast experience in historic home restoration gave us confidence that we were getting the perfect restoration cocktail recipe, with the finest quality workmanship.”


Olson & Jones Construction

Jeffrey L Miller Architect PC

Katy Krider Interior Design

Eastbank Contractor Appliances

Lisac’s Fireplaces & Stoves


Lewis Audio Video

de la tierra, Inc

Christiane Millinger Handmade Rugs

Appliances: Eastbank Contractor
Appliances: Bosch, Electrolux, Miele, Sub-Zero, Wolf, Zephyr;
Plumbing Fixtures: Ferguson: Brizo