Drake Park Neighborhood Historic District
The Drake Park Neighborhood Historic District was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2005. Portions of the content on this web page were adapted from a copy of the original nomination document. [†] Adaptation copyright © 2011, The Gombach Group.
The Drake Park Neighborhood Historic District is an area generally located between Broadway Street on the east, Tumalo Avenue on the south, and Riverside Blvd. on the northwest. The Drake Park Neighborhood Historic District consists of 83 houses and 76 garages, two accessory apartment dwellings, one playhouse, and one tool shed. Four of these houses, along with their four accessory structures (for a total of eight), are already listed in the National Register of Historic Places. Of the 163 total resources, 82% were constructed between 1910 and 1954 and 72% are considered contributing resources.
The Drake Park Neighborhood Historic District is located within the Park Addition plat to Bend, laid out by Bend's founding father, Alexander M. Drake in 1910. Comprised of 17 city blocks, the district includes blocks 1, 2, 3, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, and 12, of Park Addition.
The Drake Park Neighborhood Historic District is located between the downtown core and the 11-acre Drake Park. Beyond the park is Mirror Pond, the slow moving portion of the Deschutes River. The park and Drake Park Neighborhood Historic District are named after Alexander M. Drake. The city of Bend's historic downtown commercial and retail core is one block away to the northeast of the district. Historic apartment buildings, the county library, City Hall, churches, and offices are located a block east of the district.
The Drake Park Neighborhood Historic District is located 3,623 feet above sea level. The area is relatively flat, and slopes gradually to the west towards the shores of the Deschutes River. Large groupings of Ponderosa Pine trees dot the district and landscape strips with sidewalks are found on most of the streets. Many retaining walls and other hard landscape elements are made of local basalt fieldstone. A majority of the homes face an east and west orientation and the streets run in a parallel orientation towards the north and south. Detached garages are found off the alleys.
Over time some of the street names have changed. Louisiana Avenue was platted as Kentucky Street and Kansas Avenue was platted as California Street. Today's Idaho Avenue was Washington Street and Broadway Street was platted as Front Street.
All but one of the Drake Park Neighborhood Historic District's streets and alleyways are paved. In 1921, State Street was among the first of three streets in Bend to be paved. The block of Idaho Avenue between Broadway Street and Congress Street is not paved. A vacated portion of the street in that block has a basalt rock wall lined pedestrian trail referred to as the "Fairy Path," connecting the alley to Broadway Street.
The lots in the Drake Park Neighborhood Historic District were platted at 50 feet by 120 to 160 feet deep. However, half of the owners purchased one and half or two lots on which to build their homes and landscape larger yards. The Thomas McCann House was constructed on four lots. Due to the outside curve of Riverside Boulevard, many of the lots are 8,000 to 10,000 square feet.
Buildings in the Drake Park Neighborhood Historic District are all residential and the neighborhood is zoned single family residential. The homes are primarily owner-occupied single-family homes. Two of the properties have small rental homes in the rear of the lot and two large homes were divided into rental apartments. The large 1910 Arthur M. and Mable Lara House on a 100 x 140-foot park-like lot is used as a bed and breakfast.
The majority of the houses are constructed of wood and have horizontal lap siding and wood double hung windows in vertical 2 to 1 proportions. Most of the lumber for the homes was likely milled at Brooks-Scanlon and Shevlin-Hixon lumber mills. Windows, sashes, fir flooring, interior trim and porch tongue & groove decking was also created. Most of the houses sit on concrete foundations. The oldest houses have basalt fieldstone foundations. Some homes, such as the Tudor style and English Cottage style homes, are stuccoed with wood trim. Several are either made of or decorated with brick. Many of the houses have arched entry doors. Many have grand entries with brick paths and colonial columns and porches that serve as outside rooms. Fourteen architectural styles are represented.
Physical Development of the District
The Drake Park Neighborhood Historic District is part of the original 120-acre William H. Staats' homestead, filed in 1877. Recognizing profits to be made, Alexander Drake purchased a majority of the Staats homestead in 1900. In anticipation of the need for housing, Drake platted Park Addition to Bend in 1910. In 1911, as part of the railroad celebration, two real estate development companies, the Bend Park Company and the Bend Company, jointly advertised that home sites in Park Addition were available for $100 per lot. The terms were one-third down and one-third every six months. Interest was 7%. Since the area was conveniently located between downtown and the two newly built lumber mills, most of the homes were constructed for well-to-do residents of early Bend, including business owners, attorneys, dentists, doctors, and managers of the lumber mills.
Eighty of the eighty-three houses within the Drake Park Neighborhood Historic District are more than 50 years old. The oldest home in the district is the two-story Lara House (640 NW Congress Street), which was constructed in 1910 in the Craftsman style. A majority of the houses were constructed prior to the 1930's, and many utilized the Craftsman style.
Due to the wealth of the original homeowners, many owned automobiles and thus constructed detached garages along the alleys to house them. Most of them were two-car garages. Most of the garages have gable, composition shingle roofs and horizontal lap siding to match the houses. The majority of the garages have decorative wood swinging or overhead garage doors. Many garages are adorned with brackets or other trims to match the houses. Garages continued to be added throughout the decades until 76 of the 83 homes have garages today.
In addition to the houses and the garages, there is one tool shed, one play house, and two apartment dwellings. Of the four accessory structures, three are considered historic and contributing resources. The fourth is also historic, but not contributing.
Since 1954, the neighborhood has remained relatively stable. Only three houses have been leveled and rebuilt during the past 50 years. Recently, three incompatible garages with apartments have been constructed. Some of the houses underwent remodels in the 1960s and 1970s. Many of them have been restored to match historic photographs since the sales prices in this desirable neighborhood today can recover the cost of restoration. The half-of- a-million dollar restoration and rehabilitation of the James Harrison and Ruth (Reid) Overturf House (540 NW Congress Street) and John Pease and Jennie Dudgeon Keyes House (912 NW Riverside Boulevard) are two examples. At present, the consistent single-family zoning is preserving the development pattern of large homes on large lots. Due to the desirable location, there is a trend to adding rooms to the rear or sides of the houses to allow more open floor plans and larger master bedrooms or kitchen great rooms. For the most part, because of the large lots, the additions are compatible and unobtrusive. It is likely that this trend will continue.
Architectural Styles and Periods
A number of architectural styles are represented in the Drake Park Neighborhood Historic District representing the popularity of styles in the first half of the 20th century. Styles of the primary resources in this neighborhood include: Craftsman/Craftsman Bungalow (25), Colonial (17), English Cottage (6), Post World War II Modern and Minimal Tract (5), Colonial Revival (3), Tudor (3), and California Ranch (2). One house each is designed in the following styles: Salt Box, Dutch Colonial, Colonial Cottage, Georgian Revival, Spanish Villa, Prairie, and Cape Cod. In addition to the styles already listed, there are 15 houses that were constructed in this neighborhood that lack stylistic distinction and are best described as vernacular. Many of the vernacular-styled houses combine architectural styles.
The majority of homes are in the Craftsman style. The "Craftsman style" Bungalow design was spread rapidly across the country by architects, builders and designers in the early part of the 20th century. The style developed fully out of the work of Gustav Stickley, publisher of The Craftsman magazine (1903-1933), and Henry H. Saylor, author of Bungalows (1911). Together the authors promoted the style as a reaction to the excessive use of ornamentation by the Victorian styles and called for a return to naturalism in architecture and landscape design. National periodicals such as Sunset, Ladies Home Journal, House Beautiful, and Good Housekeeping assisted in the promotion, publishing plans, elevations and numerous articles. Sears & Roebuck, Montgomery Wards and many other companies even offered Craftsman style "kit houses." Ordered by mail and sent by rail, the mail-order house arrived in two boxcars ready for assembly by the buyer or a hired contractor. As a result of these tireless efforts, the Craftsman style was the most frequently constructed house type in the country between 1903 and 1930.
Craftsman style houses are characterized by horizontal planes; exterior walls clad with horizontal lap siding, often with metal end caps; stone, brick, shingle or stucco or any combination thereof; an honest use of natural, local materials for chimneys, foundations, and porch piers; and a clear interpretation of inner and outer spaces. Shed, gable and hipped roof dormers add elaboration to the style. Dormers can be functional to allow additional headroom to the second floor or can be merely decorative and add light to an attic space. Among the most distinctive features of the Craftsman style are junctions where the roof joins the wall. This eave area almost always has exposed rafter tails. The tails may be cut in many different shapes and patterns. The roof commonly has wide overhanging eaves (up to 3 feet) on all sides of the house. On the raking edge, large triangular knee braces support the large roof overhangs. Many models have decorative purlins instead of knee braces on the raking edge.
Porches are an integral part of the transition from exterior to interior space and are essential on Craftsman Bungalows. Porches themselves vary in composition but have certain similarities. Porch posts are usually square and can be full in height. More commonly however are half-size posts placed on large piers of stone, stucco block or brick. A typical design is to have full tapered post (also called battered posts), in which the neck is smaller than the base, or to have merely a tapered pier and a square post. The desired effect is to have a porch post that appears to be able to hold the weight of the house and in many cases, often even looks largely over-scaled for the home. Open trelliswork or pergolas are often found as an addition or extension of a porch. The location of the porch is usually at the front of the house as a symbol to welcome the visitor. A Craftsman Bungalow porch can stand-alone or be incorporated under the main roof of the house.
Perhaps the most distinctive feature of a Craftsman Bungalow is the use of natural materials that are native to the region where the building was constructed. Within the Drake Park Neighborhood Historic District you can find exterior cladding of brick, stucco, clapboard, shingle, lava rock and any combination thereof. Chimneys, porch posts and foundations are usually left exposed to show the natural material. Basalt stone, lava rock, brick and tuff stone are common materials for chimneys and foundations. Roofing material was commonly wood shingles, although many asphalt shingles and tile shingles do show up in historical photos of the area. Pressed metal finials and ridge caps often add decorative touches to a roofline. Sometimes, gable roofs are clipped forming a small hip roof at the ends. Decorative wood patterns, open framing and board and batten applications are often found above the porch area in the pediment.
The interiors of most Craftsman Bungalows are characterized by open floor plans with a minimum number of doors. The result is that spaces feel much larger than they actually are. Many Craftsman Bungalows have open living/dining room arrangements that are usually separated by a screen that consists of truncated columns sitting on half walls or bookcases with glass doors. Fireplaces of stone and brick are commonly flanked on either side by built-in bookcases and small windows. More elaborate Craftsman style homes have boxed beam ceilings, wood paneled walls with plate rails, hardwood floors and built-in sideboards and cabinets. Door and window moldings are often large in size, measuring at least 4 inches. Baseboards are commonly 8 inches high. Craftsman style trim is simple in design and is usually stained a natural color. Interior walls are often painted the same natural earth tone colors of the exteriors and may have decorative stenciling or a wallpaper border as a frieze around a room.
There are seven basic Craftsman Bungalow forms (all of which can be found within the Drake Park Neighborhood Historic District: (1) the simple side-gable with a front porch, (2) the simple-hipped or pyramidal with attached porch, (3) the simple- front gable with a front porch, (4) a more complex double-front-gable plan where the house and the porch roofs both create front-facing gables, (5) an even more complex triple-front-gable plan where the house and porch roofs create three front-facing gables, (6) the cross-gable plan where the house is side-gabled and a porch or wing forms the cross gable, and (7) the Horseshoe Bungalow where two gables face the street and a cross gable forms a porch. Numerous variations on these designs can occur.
Seventeen houses are in the Colonial style. This style is characterized by 2.5 stories, generally symmetrical, square or rectangular box like. Siding is horizontal lap siding, usually narrow. The gable roof is shingled. Exterior masonry chimneys are at each end, but can be at only one end. The windows are double hung with small glass panes. The houses often have shutters paired on each window. The entry is often in the center and has sidelights and a fanlight or elaborate cornice above the door. Typically, it has a central hallway and the bedrooms are upstairs. Three houses are in the Colonial Revival style.
One house is in the two-story Dutch Colonial style characterized by a gambrel roof and eaves that flare out. Like the other Colonial houses, they have symmetry and a center entrance door, double-hung windows with small panes of glass and second-floor dormers. Chimneys are located at the ends.
One house is in the Colonial Cottage style. It is smaller than the other Colonial homes, often 1.5 stories. It is a compact house with a central entrance. It often has a central chimney. The windows are not necessarily symmetrical and have shutters. The entrance has a simple cornice. It does not have hallways, so it is necessary to walk from one room into another.
Six homes are in the English Cottage style. The English Cottage style is ground hugging and asymmetrical with a prominent brick or stone chimney that appears to be very large in relationship to the house. Walls are constructed of brick, stone, stucco or wood siding, sometimes trimmed in half timbers. The distinctive roof is steep with complex lines. Dormer windows are smaller than other windows. In this district, most have arched wood entry doors.
Five homes are in the Post World War II Modern or Minimal Tract style. These houses are usually relatively small and are one or one-and-half stories tall. They have closed eves and rakes, which are sometimes nearly flush with wall surfaces. Cross gable roofs with low to medium pitch is common. The houses in the Drake Park Neighborhood Historic District are rectangular or "L" shaped with a slightly projecting front-facing gable, which is often lower than the ridgeline of the roof of the primary portion of the house. This style includes a large, prominent exterior chimney.
Three houses are in the Tudor style. The Tudor style is imposing and is characterized by stucco siding and half timber trim. They are usually 2.5 stories and have small panes of glass in the windows. The chimneys are high and prominent. Bay windows are common. Roof lines are often cross gables.
Two houses are in the California Ranch style that is one-story, ground hugging and has a low-pitched gable roof. The windows are large and can be double hung, sliding or picture. They are often "L" shaped and have few adornments.
Architects, Builders and Contractors
To date, only two dwellings have been associated with a known architect within the Drake Park Neighborhood Historic District. Among them is David C. Lewis who designed the 5,466 square foot Thomas McCann House at 440 NW Congress Street in 1915. The Princeton educated Lewis had worked with Spokane architect Kirtland Cutter and the Portland firm of Whidden & Lewis before opening his own practice in Portland around 1895. His designs included many fines homes in and around Portland for the social elite of the city. The Thomas McCann House in Bend is one of his last known works before David Lewis moved to California for health reasons in 1916.
The other architect-designed home is the J.P. Keyes House at 912 NW Riverside Boulevard, designed by J.W. Dimick. Dimick, who was one of the first architects to practice in Bend, advertised his "high grade architectural work for business and residences" in the May 1911 issue of the Bend Bulletin. Proud of his work, another advertisement noted that Dimick had designed the homes for many of Bend's prominent business leaders. As an ardent promoter of well-designed and well-built buildings, Dimick also taught a carpentry class to the general public at the local high school, offering his services for $1.00 an hour. Dimick designed at least two of the homes within the Drake Park Neighborhood Historic District including the Keyes House and it is believed that he may have designed the Lara House due to its similarities to the Keyes House.
Most of the homes in the Drake Park Neighborhood Historic District do convey the hand of an architect or master builder at some level and the architects accredited to these designs may come to light at a future date. Some of the homes within the Drake Park Neighborhood Historic District may have been built from free plans and specifications that several local lumber companies offered in the early 1920s. One of the main providers of such a service was the Miller Lumber Company, which in April of 1922 announced the creation of a new service department whose sole purpose was to "furnish advice to prospective home builders." Their competitor, the Tum-A-Lum Lumber Company, also offered free plans with over 100 models to choose from. So popular was the notion of self-help within the construction industry that the Deschutes County Library in 1922 advertised that they had many books and pamphlets on house building that was arranged on a special shelf in the library.
Further evidence of the possible hand of an architect on dwellings within the Drake Park Neighborhood Historic District is the list of practicing architects working in Deschutes County from 1908 to 1950. They include O.G. Brubaker, W.P. Smith, Clarence W. Jackson, Lew K. Arnold, Hugh Thompson, George S. Young, Lee A. Thomas, and Edward Keane. Additionally, many Bend contractors and builders advertised that they provided plan services. No homes within the Drake Park Neighborhood Historic District to date, however, have been matched to any plan service designs. Among the contractors and builders who offered plan services included Olson & Erickson, Hans Christiansen, Guy H. Wilson, Ben Gotter, Harry W. Gant (who specialized in California and Spanish Bungalows), John J. Cunningham, Brourcy & Brotsche, and J.P. Montague.
There is a small possibility that several of the homes within the Drake Park Neighborhood Historic District may be kit houses. In 1917, the Lewis Manufacturing Co., a kit house company, advertised their services in the Bend city directory. Based out of Michigan, the Lewis Co. had a production plant in Portland during the late teens. Several additional kit house companies also advertised their services in local newspapers including: the Ainslie Boyd Co. of Seattle, The Ready Built House Co. (later Fenner Manufacturing Co.), and Rice-Penne Co. of Portland. To date though, only one home in all of Deschutes County has been identified as a kit house. Known as the Peter Byberg House (153 NW Jefferson Place), the dwelling was built using local building materials in 1916. It was not built at the factory as a traditional kit home, but rather is a stock plan offered by the company (Sears, Roebuck Company model #C240).
The Drake Park Neighborhood Historic District is one of Bend's oldest neighborhoods. It is a well-preserved single family residential development in Bend, Oregon, that includes 83 houses and 80 accessory structures. With the exception of three houses, the homes in the district were erected between c.1910 and 1954.
The Drake Park Neighborhood Historic District on the National Register of Historic Places is significant for its association with a pattern of events that have made significant contribution to the broad patterns of Bend's history. It is distinguished from other historic neighborhoods in Bend by the early residents' contribution to the expansion and growth of the lumber mill industry and historic Bend. The district was the primary home of men who were directly associated with the management of the lumber industry, which had a profound impact on the history and the economy of the city. The residents also contributed to the development of historic Bend and historic subdivisions. Residents of the district included general managers and foremen from the lumber mills, business owners, hotel operators, attorneys and newspapermen. As home to the social elite for the city, many of the residents held political offices such as mayor, city councilmen, and county commissioners.
The Drake Park Neighborhood Historic District is also eligible for the National Register of Historic Places as properties that embody the distinctive characteristics of a period. The historic district represents Bend's residential development and architecture as the city grew from a population of 536 when the neighborhood was platted in 1910 to 11,409 people in 1950. The neighborhood was completed during the first forty years and has changed very little since then. It has a high level of historic and architectural integrity. The inclusion of houses ranging from small, simple vernacular homes to large, high-style homes also illustrates the broad spectrum of residents choosing to reside in this neighborhood, from middle income managers and business owners to professionals who could afford large homes designed by architects.
History and Context
Alexander M. Drake and The Founding of Bend
During the pioneer period, large cattle ranchers homesteaded in Central Oregon. In 1877, Cort Allen and William Staats were the first permanent settlers in what would become Bend. By 1900, the area of Bend had 21 people. Roads were primitive and the only industry was the raising of livestock.
Upon the arrival of Alexander Drake and his wife, Florence, in 1900, the history of Bend was dramatically changed. As a Minnesota capitalist, Drake nurtured the philosophy of development. After viewing the Deschutes River, the large stands of timber, and the thousands of acres of arid land, Drake set about laying the foundation for his last ambitious enterprise. Using his connections to newspaper publishers in the Midwest and the East, he was able to promote Central Oregon's vast resources and business opportunities.
Overcome by the beauty of the area, Drake's wife, Florence, insisted on settling and building their home along the Deschutes River. They purchased the majority of the 120-acre William H. Staats' homestead, which included the future town site of Bend. The Drakes then hauled-in machinery from Minnesota to Bend to set up a profitable mill operation along the Deschutes River at the south end of town in 1901. He purchased large tracts of timber land to provide logs for his mill. In 1901, Drake formed the Pilot Butte Development Company to construct a canal system and plat the town of Bend.
In 1902, John Stiedl, the former mayor of Bermidji, Minnesota, set up a second sawmill along the Deschutes River at the north end of town. Water wheels provided power for the mills. Drake's and Stiedl's mills set the stage for Bend to become predominately a lumber town for the next 80 years.
On March 7, 1904 the Bend Post Office was established with Alfred H. Grant as postmaster. In May 1904, Drake and his employees, including Charles S. Benson, and civil engineer, L.D. Weist, platted downtown Bend. At Drake's urging, on December 19, 1904, 101 voters in Crook County voted to create the city of Bend. The first City Council meeting was held the next month. A.J. Goodwille, Vice President of Central Oregon Bank was elected the first mayor. By using a water wheel and wooden pipes coiled in wire, he delivered water to the new residents with Bend's water system before 1903. He was instrumental in organizing the first fire suppression system in Bend in 1905. It consisted of street hydrants, hose carts, fire hose, ladders and nozzles. At the request of Drake in 1908, John F. Stevens, Chief Engineer for railroad magnate, James Hill, revaluated plans for a railroad in Bend. They changed the preliminary rail line from a location three miles east of Bend to its current location in Bend. In 1909, Drake constructed a dam on the Deschutes River, which created Mirror Pond and the first power plant in Bend.
In May of 1910, Drake and his company platted the upscale Park Addition (Drake Park Neighborhood Historic District), located southwest of the downtown plat. Local engineer, Robert B. Gould, who later became engineer for the City of Bend, laid out the subdivision with a series of curving streets, wide boulevards and spectacular views of the Deschutes River (Mirror Pond) and the mountains.
In 1911, Drake sold his controlling interest in Pilot Butte Development Company, including Park Addition, to a newly formed company, The Bend Company. Lots sold quickly in the new subdivision and by 1916, the Bend Company had sold 41 percent of Park Addition. The $100 to $250 lots in Park Addition sold for 1/3 down with two installments to be paid over a year.
The Bend Company was owned by Clyde McKay, D.E. Hunter, and A.O. Hunter. They were wealthy businessmen who arrived in Bend in 1910, the year the Drakes decided to sell all but one of their properties and businesses. The Hunters and McKay purchased nearly everything they could, including the Bend town site from the Drakes for $360,000. As part of the land sale in 1911, the Drake's requested that the Bend Company preserve the land by the river and give it to the city for a public park. Eventually the Hunters and their partner Clyde McKay offered the 10.4 acres of land for Drake Park to the city in 1921 for $21,000. The city accepted their generous offer immediately and the parties agreed to reduce the price to $12,000. The park was named for the town's founder, A.M. Drake and his wife. Due to its proximity to Drake Park and downtown, lots in the Park Addition were highly sought after.
The Development of Bend
The early development of Bend was closely tied to the coming of the railroad and the success of the lumber industry. Under a joint agreement by railroad magnets James J. Hill and E.H. Harriman, the Oregon Trunk Railroad arrived in Bend in 1911. The coming of the railroad opened vast resources of Central Oregon for harvest and lumber production, development, and settlement. In 1910, the Bend Mill, owned by Clyde McKay and D.E. Hunter, began production and milled lumber for new homes and commercial buildings. Following the arrival of the railroad, two large Minnesota lumber companies, Brooks Scanlon and Shevlin-Hixon, each planned to build world class lumber mills along the Deschutes River in Bend. The Bend Mill was purchased by Brooks-Scanlon in 1912. J.P. Keyes was appointed as the new general manager. His primary task was to oversee and plan the construction of the new Brooks-Scanlon Mill. Unfortunately, the former Bend Mill and all the finished lumber stacked for a block around the mill burned in 1915. That same year, both Brooks-Scanlon and Shevlin-Hixon, began construction of their lumber mills on opposite banks of the Deschutes River. Prior to that, both companies had procured thousands of acres of land. The general manager of Shevlin-Hixon, Thomas McCann, reported his company had enough timber to insure the operations of their plant for at least 30 years. The timber stands at the time were reportedly the largest stands of Ponderosa pine in the world, with over 50 million board feet available. In 1916, together, the two new mills produced an astounding 750,000 board feet of lumber per day and hired a thousand employees. By 1925, the two mills combined, shipped over 13,500 carloads of lumber per year and had a total payroll of over three million dollars.
During the expansion of the lumber mills, the city began to see another building boom to accommodate the population growth. Bend's population grew 910% between 1910 and 1920. The Bend Brick Yard, located just west of town, produced hand-made bricks for the building boom. During 1913, 18 brick buildings were built in the downtown core. They included the Sather Building, the Hudson-Coe Building, the Myers and Wilkey Building, and the First National Bank. In 1914, the first modern school, the three story tuff stone Reid School was constructed and named for Bend's first school principal, Ruth Reid (Overturf). The school accommodated 214 pupils, grades 1-12.
In anticipation of the railroad and subsequent lumber mill expansion, twenty-six subdivisions were platted in Bend between 1910 and 1915. In 1910 alone, ten subdivisions were platted. Among them were Park Addition, Awbrey Heights, Kenwood, Center Addition, and Lava Road Addition. In 1912, A.M. Drake sold the last 11 wooded acres on the opposite side of the river from Park Addition to G.P. Putnam, an early resident of the district. Putnam named the subdivision after his home, Pinelyn. In 1913, the Larch Addition, south of Park Addition was developed by Clyde McKay and John P. Keyes (an early resident of the district). In 1915, William H. Staats and J.N. Hunter developed Staats Addition (a portion of the Bend Old Town Historic District).
Real estate promoters advertised the town all over the country in newspapers. Advertisements touted that nothing could prevent "Bend from becoming the second city of Oregon because she is the natural railroad center and metropolis of Eastern Oregon." Developers sold lots fast, sometimes as many as 50 in one day. There were significant housing shortages too, and those who could do so rented out bedrooms. Building could not keep up with the demand. In October of 1916, the Bulletin reported that more than $200,000 was recently invested in the Bend business bocks for banks, hotels, meat markets, and automobile garages. Feverous building in Bend continued. The Downing Hotel and Cafe was constructed in 1920. In 1921, J.A. Estes, a resident of the district, said that more money was being loaned in Bend than in any other town in Oregon, Washington, or Idaho. He represented the Pacific Building and Loan Association. In 1923, local architects and contractors estimated the value of their work in June was $110,000. Within the boundaries of the Drake Park Neighborhood Historic District, 33 homes were constructed during this period.
During the "Great Depression" in the 1930's, construction began to slow down. In 1932, the number of building permits issued in Bend hit an all time low of 23 and the boom had apparently reached a stopping point. Between 1930 and 1934, only one house was built in the district. The situation didn't last long, however, and building began to pick up by 1935. In 1936, building activity reached its greatest point since 1932, with $105,847 invested. The increase resulted from Franklin D. Roosevelt's New Deal programs, which offered financial assistance in Deschutes County to construct public buildings, such as armories, hospitals, airport facilities, and government offices. However, residential construction was still slow. In 1935, within the district, three homes were built and by 1940, an additional eleven homes were built. In 1937, the Bend Bulletin considered the construction of Elmer Ward's home on Riverside Boulevard newsworthy, complete with a photograph.
By the start of World War II, the manufacturing operations of Shevlin-Hixon and Brooks-Scanlon had a combined capacity of 700 million board feet per an eight-hour shift. Production, spurred by the war, was at an all-time high. However, residential development almost came to a halt. One of the reasons for the decline was the federal government issued a conservation plan restricting building activity. Citizens were only allowed to build or remodel a building in town if the cost was under $500. As a result, by 1944, building activity was almost at a standstill, with only 35 permits issued in Bend for a valuation of little over $35,000. Between 1942 and 1944, not one home was built in the district and it wasn't until 1945, that finally three homes were built. The housing shortage was ameliorated by the exodus of hundreds of Bend residents who relocated to Portland, San Francisco, and Bellingham to help in the war effort.
After WW II, the need for lumber in great quantities diminished and cut rates dropped dramatically. The demand for rough-cut lumber was low and the local mills shifted their operations by manufacturing timber to a higher degree before shipping. Timber was now cut for specific uses, such as moldings, siding, and box planking. Shevlin-Hixon converted 31% of its operation to manufacture boxes, while Brooks-Scanlon converted just 10% of their business operations to the manufacture of boxes. Despite the shift, business slowed down for both mills. Compared to the peak of 1929, the mills were only operating at 60% capacity. Directors of the mills made a mutual decision to harvest timber under one operation and after some negotiations; Brooks-Scanlon purchased the Shevlin-Hixon in 1950. On December 26, 1950, Shevlin-Hixon officially sawed its last log.
The Development of the Drake Park Neighborhood District
During the early development of the district (and even to this day), it was considered highly desirable due to spacious lots, close proximity to the beautiful 11-acre Drake Park along the Deschutes River/Mirror Pond, Bend's central downtown and business core, the city library and city hall, and the local churches, the Catholic Church, the Methodist Church and the Episcopalian Church. Additionally, the district was within walking distance of the Brooks-Scanlon and Shevlin-Hixon Mills, located just five blocks south of the district. The neighborhood also offered wonderful views of Drake Park and the Cascade mountain range. Consequently, the district became the preferred neighborhood for the city's prominent businessmen and social elite, who contributed to the development of downtown Bend and the lumber industry. In addition to their business contributions, many early residents in the district contributed directly to the civic growth of Bend. The competing and adjacent neighborhoods of Deschutes, Staats, Larch, and Hastings (Bend Old Town Historic District) offered smaller lots at economy prices. Consequently, these neighborhoods were predominately populated by mill workers and the working class.
The first house constructed in the district was built for A.M. Lara and his wife, who were owners of a downtown dry goods store, which provided necessary supplies for Bend's growing population. Completed in 1910, the home set the tone for future residential development in the neighborhood. The following year, George Palmer Putnam, who owned the local newspaper, the Bend Bulletin, built a Craftsman home nearby with his wife and Crayola heiress, Dorothy Binney. George Putnam was heir to the Putnam Publishing Company in New York City. The Putnams left Bend in 1915, when Putnam served as private secretary to Oregon Governor Withycombe.
Many of the early residents in the district were mill managers and executives. Some of the homes were owned by the lumber companies and provided for their executives, such as the Eva and Robert Moore House (545 NW Congress Street). The house was owned by the Shevlin-Hixon Lumber Company and was provided to the newlyweds when Robert Moore became assistant general manager of their Bend mill. One of Moore's successful projects was to provide low cost housing for mill workers. Under Moore's leadership, Shevlin-Hixon covered the cost of construction for hundreds of homes, and allowed its workers to pay back for the cost of the home and land in monthly installments. Moore also contributed his time to the Bend Emblem Club (Chamber of Commerce), the school district, Lumbermen's Hospital, and was the founding member of the Bend Golf Club.
Thomas McCann, the vice president and general manager of the Shevlin-Hixon Lumber Company, had his rather grand home built in the district in 1915. Under his leadership at Shevlin-Hixon, McCann provided the highest safety standards, compared to the other lumber mills of his time. He also provided schools, a hospital, and housing for his employees.
J.P. Keyes, general manager of the Brooks-Scanlon Mill, also built a home in the district. This Craftsman style dwelling, built on a prominent corner lot was completed in 1913. Until his premature death in 1920, Keyes was considered one of the most prominent citizens of Bend. He served on the Bend School District Board, organized the American Red Cross chapter, served as president and director of the Commercial Club, urged the formation of the Creamery Association, and served as an officer for the Bend Water, Light, and Power Company
Among the mid level executives living in the district included Benjamin Hamilton, manufacturing superintendent of the Shevlin-Hixon Mill. The mill retained ownership of the home until 1942, when Hamilton was able to purchase the home for $4,000. His civic activities included president of the Kiwanis Club, chapter president of the Red Cross, and his greatest achievement was campaigning for a new St. Charles Hospital in Bend, where he served on the board of directors as second vice-president. Other residents who contributed to growth of the lumber industry, included: Forest Sholes, a superintendent of the Shevlin-Hixon box factory, Joshua Armstrong, a blacksmith and millwright for the Shevlin-Hixon Mill for 30 years, Samuel Ray Peoples, manager of the Shevlin-Hixon box factory and Elmer Ward, purchasing agent for the Brooks-Scanlon Mill. District resident Samuel Blakely served as Brooks-Scanlon's first logging superintendent and later gained a national reputation as a premier logging and forest preservation expert. Other district residents included Robert Linton, a woods foreman for Shevlin-Hixon Lumber Company, Gerry Horstkotte the master machinist for the Shevlin-Hixon Lumber Company and Otto Lemke, the Chief Engineer for the Shevlin-Hixon Lumber Mill.
The Drake Park Neighborhood Historic District was home to some of the Bend's early business owners who were associated directly to the growth of downtown Bend. Among them was James Overturf, who worked as an office manager for the Drake Company in 1904. Overturf was one of the founders of the Emblem Club, an early form of the Chamber of Commerce. Overturf Butte was named in his honor. Reid School was named in his wife's honor. District resident Frank May was the owner of the wood frame Bancroft Hotel on Bond Street. Ruby and Ernest Kessler owned and operated the Kessler's Super Cream Store and Victor Plath owned the Shell Oil Service Station, both of which were located downtown. Louis Hillis owned and operated the Oregon Equipment Company, a commercial and household refrigeration business. Richard Smith owned the R.M. Smith Clothing Store and R.M. Smith Grocery Store. District resident Fred Van Matre constructed many of the prominent downtown buildings in the 1930s & 40s, including the old Bend Library. Longtime district resident William Miller managed his family's Miller Lumber Company and the Miller Ranch. Today the Miller Lumber Company is still owned and operated by Miller's descendants. Ward Coble and his neighbor Frank H. Prince were founders of the Lumberman's Insurance Company and Dennis Carmody owned the Carmody Brothers Pool Hall and Cigar Store on Bond Street, as well as, the local movie house. District resident Hugh O'Kane built the two-story office building downtown, called the O'Kane Building, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Percy Chase was vice president of Consumers Gas Corporation.
In addition to George Putnam, other prominent newspapermen built their homes in the district. They include: Remey Cox, city editor of the Bend Bulletin Newspaper, Harry Fowler, assistant editor and co-owner of the Bulletin, and Paul Hosmer, a well-known photographer and editor of the monthly Brooks-Scanlon Pine Echoes magazine.
Some examples of early district residents who served in public office are: J.A. Estes, Mayor, 1916, and organizer of the Bend Fire Department; George Palmer Putnam, Mayor, 1912-1913; H.J. Overturf, City Treasurer, 1907-1909; and D.H. Peoples, City recorder, 1919-1920. The county library system was started at H.J. Overturf's suggestion and was constructed by district resident Fred Van Matre. Ross Farnham was the Bend city recorder, a municipal judge, district attorney, and served on the Bend Library Board. Percy Chase was a member of the Oregon State Game commission. Ralph S. Hamilton served as a State Representative from 1931 to 1932. In 1941, he was appointed Circuit Court Judge.
Several doctors and engineers also lived in the neighborhood. Among them was Antone Fossen, an engineer for the Oregon State highway Department and Clyde Spencer, an engineer for the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation. Dr. Frederick Lieuallen was a doctor with an office on the corner of Wall Street and Oregon Avenue. Dr. Harry Mackey practiced medicine in Bend and on Project Hope. Morris McKenney was an optometrist on Wall Street. Although not a physician, Hattie Mayne, an experienced nurse, opened her own maternity and surgical hospital in 1920, on the corner of State Street and Kansas Avenue in the district.
The Architecture of the District
The architecture of the Drake Park Neighborhood Historic District reflects the transition of architectural styles and trends, including local variations, which occurred over time. The variation in size and style of houses in the district also illustrated the diversity of residents in the neighborhood. In general, houses built for middle income families were smaller and less grand than the homes of the upper classes. Merchants and professionals were more inclined and better able to afford grander houses designed by architects and constructed with the finest materials. Although the middle class built less grand homes, they chose from a variety of unique architectural styles, such as Tudor, Spanish Villa, California Ranch, and Cape Cod.
Eighty of the homes were constructed during a 44-year period, from 1910 to 1954. Only three houses were constructed after that period. The development of the neighborhood occurred during Bend's early development, which mirrored the overall growth of the city. In addition to the proximity to the downtown and mills, the neighborhood developed into a desirable, prestigious neighborhood with large homes on larger lots than anywhere else in historic Bend. The lots were platted as 50x140 feet to 50x160 feet. Irregularly shaped lots facing the river were even larger. However, most purchasers bought one and half lots and many bought two. The Thomas McCann House and yard sits on four treed lots.
The Drake Park Neighborhood Historic District represents Bend's residential development and architecture as the city grew from a population of 536 people when the neighborhood was platted in 1910, to 11,409 people in 1950. The neighborhood was completed during a forty-year time span and has changed very little since then. It has a high level of architectural integrity. Eighty percent of the houses are classified as historic contributing and 65% of the accessory structures are classified as historic contributing.
In 1910, A.M. Lara and his wife built a rather large and impressive Craftsman, the first home in the district. Three more rather large Craftsman homes were built from 1911 to 1915, including the Putnam, Smith, and Keyes homes. The Keyes home was designed by J.W. Dimick, who designed homes for prominent business leaders.
With the opening of the mills in 1916, the development of the district dramatically increased. In 1916, Shevlin-Hixon built a Georgian Revival home for their general manager, Thomas McCann. It was and to this day, the grandest home in the Drake Park Neighborhood Historic District, with its unique architecture: Gothic style dormers, matching porticos, and Palladium windows, which light the grand staircase. The home's architect, David C. Lewis, was prominent in Portland, where he designed the European Building at the Lewis and Clark Exposition in 1905, the L. Allen Lewis residence, Trinity Episcopal Church, and the Railway Exchange Building. In 1921, the mill built an American Foursquare executed in the Colonial Revival style for their assistant general manager, Robert D. Moore.
With few exceptions, most of the homes between 1910 and 1919 were built predominately in the Craftsman/Bungalow style. By 1920, the Colonial style became a strong architectural influence in the neighborhood, in addition to the continued popularity of the Craftsman. By 1925, other architectural styles were introduced, including the Tudor, English Cottage, and Dutch Colonial. During the 1930's, very few homes were built and those that were built were not in the style of the Craftsman and the Colonial. Instead, the residents reflected a varied taste ranging from English Cottage to Spanish Villa.
During the 1940's, the residents favored Post WW II Modern Tract and their own personal vernacular style. The last two historic homes built in the 1950's are California Ranch and Post WW II Modern Tract. By 1954, the neighborhood was completely developed. Since then, the neighborhood has relatively remained intact and retained its architectural integrity. Three of the homes were leveled in 1993, 1994 and 2001. Two vernacular-styled homes and one Craftsman Bungalow were built on the original foundations. A few of the historic homes have non-contributing additions, while the Overturf and the Keyes have recently been restored to their former glory.
Previously Listed Properties
Four of the properties in the district have been previously listed individually on the National Register of Historic Places. They are: the 1915 Thomas McCann House located at 440 NW Congress Street; the 1921 Shevlin-Hixon Executive House also known as the Robert D. Moore House located at 545 NW Congress Street; the 1923 Benjamin Hamilton House located at 552 NW State Street; and the 1911 George Palmer Putnam House located at 606 NW Congress Street.
The early residents of the Drake Park Neighborhood Historic District made a significant contribution to the broad patterns of Bend's history. The residents of the district were prominent men and women who contributed to the early growth and expansion of the city of Bend. They developed Bend's historic subdivisions, built historic downtown Bend, contributed to the city's civic growth, and expanded the lumber industry in Central Oregon. The residents included general managers of the lumber mills and owners of downtown businesses, hotels, utilities and other enterprises. In addition, many of the city's mayors, commissioners, recorders, attorneys, and city councilors lived in the neighborhood.
The Drake Park Neighborhood Historic District offers an unusually high concentration of diverse architecture and artistic value, while maintaining a high degree of historic integrity. Eighty percent of the homes and 65% of the accessory structures are considered contributing resources. The Drake Park Neighborhood Historic District has a large number of authentic Craftsman and Colonial homes, with a varied addition of architectural styles, including English Cottage, Cape Cod, Georgian Revival, Colonial Revival, Spanish Villa, Dutch Colonial, and Post WW II Modern Tract, which reflected the varied tastes and styles of the district's residents.
Bend City Directories 1917-1990, 1924, 1938, 1940, 1942, 1946-47, 1948, 1950, 1952, 1954, 1955, 1959, 1962, 1975, 1976, 1977, 1980, 1983, 1988.
Building Deschutes County: An Architectural History 1813-1950. Michael Houser, Deschutes County Community Development Department, Unpublished Context Statement. 1997.
Clark, Rosalind. Oregon Style: Architecture from 1840 to the 1950s. Portland, OR: Professional Book Center: 1983.
Deschutes County Assessor. 1340 NW Wall Street. Bend. OR 97701 Color photographs of all improvements, scale drawings of lot and buildings, index to deeds since 1963. T 17 S R 12 E Section 32.
Deschutes County Historical Landmarks Commission. 117 NW Lafayette Avenue. Bend OR Deschutes County Survey of Historical Sites.
Deschutes County Historical Society Collection. 129 NW Idaho Avenue. Bend Oregon "The Bend Park Company, Souvenir of Railroad Day, Octobers, 1911.)" Promotional brochure for developer.
Deschutes County Survey of Historical Sites. Deschutes County Historical Commission, Bend, OR.
Duchscherer, Paul and Douglas Keister. Inside the Bungalow: America's Arts & Crafts interior. New York, N.Y.: The Penguin Group: 1997.
Harrison, Henry S.: Houses: Chicago, ILL.: National Association of Realtors: 1973.
Houser, Michael, National Register of Historic Places Nomination, Bend Old Town Historic District, March 2001.
Lancaster, Clay. The American Bungalow: 1880-1930. New York, N.Y.: Dover Publications Inc.:1985.
Pilot, Yearbook of Bend High School, 1919, 1920, 1921.
Records at County Clerk's Office. Courthouse, Prineville, Oregon — Crook County Deeds 1902-1916; Crook County Miscellaneous Records, 1902-1916; Crook County Patent Book Volume 2.
Records at Deschutes County Clerks Office. Bend. Oregon — Deschutes County Deeds 1916-1926; Deschutes County Miscellaneous Records, 1916-1926; Deschutes County Mortgage Book 1.
Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps, Bend 1913, Bend 1917, Bend 1921, Bend 1928.
The Deschutes County Historical Society, Bend, Oregon; A History of the Deschutes Country in Oregon. 1985.
United States Census Records — Microfilm at Deschutes County Library. 601 NW Wall Street. Bend. Oregon — Crook County 1900; Deschutes County, Bend 1910; Deschutes County, Bend 1920; Walking Tour of Historic Bend.
† Shelley Johnson, Jo Horton, Sue Brewster and Robin Denton, Drake Park Neighborhood Historic District, Deschutes County, Bend, OR, nomination document, 2005, National Park Service, National Register of Historic Places, Washington, D.C.