The Poulsen House

An Iconic Landmark of Portland, Oregon


3040 SE McLoughlin Blvd, Portland OR 97202

SOLD! - 06/14/21 - $1,690,000
8 bedrooms | 3 bathrooms | 5,211 SQFT


Historic Home of SE Portland


The Queen Anne-style Poulsen House has stood as a landmark overlooking the Willamette River since 1892 and is a symbol of the Poulsen family’s success in the lumber industry. Although the architect of the home remains unknown, the house is a major example of Queen Anne architecture in Portland. The 50-foot turret with curved glass is a familiar sight to commuters on the Ross Island Bridge.  The home, which has sweeping views of the city, is listed in the National Register of Historic Places.

The home’s dark woodwork reflects Mr. Johan Poulsen’s lofty status as a lumber magnate. It is reported that Mr. Poulsen hand picked much of the oak, mahogany, old-growth Douglas fir and other wood used in its construction to ensure the highest quality. There are also many original details intact including remarkable hand-carved oak fireplace mantels, lead-in-glass and stained glass windows, hand-carved banisters with remarkable detail, and the intricately hand-crafted oak and mahogany floors on the main floor.

In total the home has eight bedrooms, most with their original closets, base and crown molding, and tall wooden double-hang windows that are magnificent. All five rooms on the second floor enjoy 9.5 ft ceilings, and almost all have beautifully hand-painted ceiling medallions with vintage light fixtures.  There are also two full bathrooms and one half-bathroom. The second-floor bathroom, in particular, has the original clawfoot bathtub and plumbing fixtures as were first installed when the bathroom was created.

Outside of the home, there is much original detail including the cylindrical corner tower, with the corbelled out porch, ending in a bellcast conical tower. There are also a variety of original shingles, sidings, bays, porches and rooflines that give the house the unmistakable characteristics of a true Pacific Northwest Queen Anne-style home.  However, some changes have occurred to the layout over the many years due to city street development. For example, the main entrance to the home has changed location, and the kitchen is now on the main floor in what was once the servant’s quarters. The entire retaining wall structure and the north facing garage, though certainly very old, are not part of the construction that took place in 1892, but were subsequently added by successive owners as conditions changed around the home. 

Other notable outdoor features include a heritage Camperdown Elm tree added to Portland preservation list in 1995. And, to the west there sits the carriage house cut into the side of the slope.  Now a simple concrete form with water and power hookups ready for restoration, the carriage house was once adorned with prestigious wrought iron gates that now sit stored in the north garage.

Much has been done to both preserve the existing beauty of the home while also improving and updating other features to ensure the home will continue to serve a useful purpose for many years to come.  These improvements are detailed extensively in the following sections and include a complete overhaul of the homes HVAC system, new floors through the entire second and third floor, and the retrofitting of an overhead fire sprinkler system for commercial use compliance and safety. . At present, the property is zoned CM2 which allows the owner the potential to use the home as a private residence, office space, or retail space.  One may also consider obtaining a hotel designation for the property. The possibilities certainly abound.