Blog Buyer Firehouse Row - Living History

Firehouse Row – Living History

By Bonnie Roseman, December 29, 2019

Brendan and Mary landed a piece of the past!

Victorian in SE Portland
A Portland original

At the corner of SE Harrison and 7th Avenue a number of Victorian era homes have been carefully preserved. Originally built in 1893 as rental homes, shortly after East Portland was annexed by the booming City of Portland. One of the renters, Lee G. Holden, designed the adjacent fire station (circa 1913) and these houses were often home to firefighters who worked at Engine No. 23 and their families. The firehouse itself later made history as Oregon’s first medical cannabis dispensary and now their bud tenders offer medical and recreational weed.  They have maintained the original facade and some of the other architectural features of the old station. Commonly called Firehouse Row, the official name of this little enclave of Queen Anne lovely ladies, added to the National Historic Registry in 1989, is The George P. Lent Investment Properties. George, who was born in Portland in 1852 to the eponymous Lents family, of the Lents neighborhood, built the now famed homes.

Then and Now

When Brendan and Mary described their wish list for a first home of their own, this beauty with its turret, colored glass and other historic architectural details came right to mind. It was love at first sight. Navigating a VA loan, with all the extra requirements regarding property conditions, on an 1893 historic home, was a bit of a battle. Also, the home was being used as a short term rental, further complicating inspections and repairs, because we had to schedule all of our appointments around guest bookings. In the end we got it all successfully squared away.

Gracing the walls of the Airbnb, the sellers had some very old mounted photos of the house and neighborhood on display. As a wonderful gesture they left them for Brendan and Mary to enjoy. A very sweet gift! The block is still intact, providing a rare site of old, old Portland housing.

On their project list is repainting the exterior. Mary and Brendan contacted Bob Buckner, famed color expert of The Painted Ladies Revisited and other works on Victorian homes and he coded photos of the house to guide them through how to get the paint job just right. I cannot wait to see it!

References: Multnomah Pioneer Obituaries, Wikipedia,,

Bonnie Roseman

Principal Broker, Earth Advantage + ADU Specialist

Since 1991, she's been delighted to assist clients in navigating the ever changing housing market: whether selling a first home or the family home, looking for a starter pad or a forever habitat, downsizing, resizing or buying and selling investment property. Having a symbiotic connection with your real estate agent is key and will help ensure a great experience. Bonnie enjoys consulting with potential clients to discover their wishes and goals, confirming the right client-agent match. Smooth transactions are the target; however, there can be unexpected bumps getting to the closing table. Bonnie excels at finding creative solutions to any mishegoss that pops up and she takes pride in an extremely low sale fail rate. A little more about Bonnie: born in Philly, raised in Berkeley, mom to an incredible young woman; her home is filled with both furry and scaly creatures, the daily driver is all electric, equality is the only pathway; she's embraced veganism for the earth, the animals and her health. Like credentials? Sweet, here you go:
  • At Home with Diversity Certificate
  • Earth Advantage Broker + ADU Specialist
  • Senior Real Estate Specialist SRES)
  • Certified Residential Specialist (CRS)
  • Five Star Professional Award (9 years)
  • Homelight Top Producer and Top Buyers' Agent
  • Nexdoor Neighborhood Favorite
  • Member of the National Association of Gay and Lesbian Real Estate Professionals (NAGLREP)
Saving the best for last, Bender, her little second chance rescue pup from SoCal is likely to tag along. He’s snuggly, pretty cute and has jumped paws first into the real estate industry. #pet mama, #dog lover, #cat lover, #animal lover, #empty nester, #Leaf driver, #progressive, #SE Portland, #Hawthorne, #97214, #97215, #97202, #97232, #97201,#97206,#97210,#97211, #97212, #97217, #envronmentalist, #local
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