Like that 1908 American Foursquare on a historic Albany home tour? It’s for sale

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The organizers of the Albany Inland Historic Home Tour are keeping the destinations secret until the morning of the event. This year, on July 30, tour-goers were able to see the century-old storied residences and lofts downtown.

One stop was unique: the restored 1908 American Foursquare house at 808 Elm St. SW for sale at $565,000.

The Foursquare House, as the name suggests, is a boxy architectural style with four large rooms on two levels. The practical and unassuming dwelling was an attractive alternative to the ornate Victorian houses with gingerbread sides and small rooms.

Foursquare is becoming more popular through mail-order retailers Sears, Roebuck and Co., Ltd. of its 370 housing plans and a construction kit shipped by rail to the site.

The property’s current owners have spent five years renovating the interior. The house was converted into a triplex in the 1960s and was also used as the headquarters for Albany-based Chamberlin House, an organization that serves adults with disabilities.

The metal balustrade along the stairs leading to the spacious front porch has been replaced by a classic wooden balustrade that matches the traditional architecture of the house.

The front door opens to the living and dining rooms with high ceilings that have been re-panelled. The original fixture, at least 114 years old, has been refinished, and eight layers of floor coverings have been pulled back to reveal shiny Douglas fir planks.

Craftsmen and woodworkers recreate items that are missing or too damaged to be repaired. Two nine-foot-high columns attached to a wooden beam were made to replace the decorative divider that once separated the entrance and living room from the dining room.

The panels and picture railings have been restored by hand. Five-panel doors and old hardware that were discarded decades ago have been replaced with antiques.

A basement finished in daylight, with two entrances, a sitting area, and a second kitchen, raises the home’s total living space to 3,100 square feet.

An external staircase to access the previous rental unit has been removed from the second floor and other additions, and the patio, which was paved for parking, is now greenery and garden.

The mixed-use property offers “great livability to nearly every buyer,” says listing agent Jessica Bankratz of Town and Country Realty. “For me, a great kitchen is the heart of the home. It is big enough for families to cook together and when guests are entertained, guests can mingle with the hosts.”

The house has five bedrooms and two bathrooms.

The Albany Historic Interior Home Tour is a fundraiser for the 1849 Monteith House, an authentically restored pioneer-era residence listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The house museum is open to the public.

This is the 43rd consecutive year that the home tour has been held, according to Kim Jackson of the Albany Visitors Association.

Due to COVID-19 restrictions in 2020 and 2021, the event was held outside. Homeowners decorated their porches and yards, and photos of the interiors were shown.

This year, five homes and two urban lofts, as well as a Carnegie-funded history museum, church, and library, opened to ticket holders ($15). Here are the highlights:

Pierce House, an 1878 Queen Anne, was on the tour of the historic home interior in Albany in 2022.Janet Eastman/Oregonian

1878 Queen Anne: Pierce House has two front porticos reserved for domes and supported by classical columns. The Victorian residence has fish scale planks and other decorative details. Stained-glass windows create prisms of light, and the edges of the doors are decorated with central and floral corners.

Ketchum House, an 1885 Italianate cottage, was on the 2022 Albany Historic Interior House Tour. 2022 Albany Historic Interior Tour Interior Janet Eastman/Oregonian

Ketchum House, an 1885 Italianate cottage, was on our 2022 Albany historic interior house tour.Janet Eastman/Oregonian

1885 Italian Cottage: Ketchum House is a one-story building that was raised in the 1940s to dig the ground to create a basement. The hinged front door steps are set in the corner where both sides of the covered porch meet. Above the three exterior doors there are transverse windows that attract natural light.

The Goodwin House, a 1908 Craftsman bungalow, was on the 2022 Albany Historic Interior House Tour. 2022 Albany Historic Interior Tour Janet Eastman/Oregonian

The Goodwin House, a 1908 Craftsman bungalow, was on the Albany Historic Interiors Tour 2022.Janet Eastman/Oregonian

1908 Artisan Bungalow: The Goodwin House, inspired by the anti-industrial Arts and Crafts movement, displayed beams and other woodwork made of Douglas fir. The floors are oak sawn.

The Talbert House, a 1922 bungalow, was on the 2022 Albany Historic Interior Home Tour. 2022 Albany Historic Interior Tour Interior Janet Eastman/Oregonian

The Talbert House, a 1922 bungalow, was on the Albany Historic Interior House tour of 2022.Janet Eastman/Oregonian

Cottage in 1922: The Talbert House’s fir floors have been refinished and the light switches are original push-button style.

The Howard Building, the top floor loft of a 1929 commercial building, was on the 2022 Albany Historic Interior Home Tour.  2022 Albany Historic Indoor Tour Indoor Janet Eastman/Oregonian

The Howard Building, the top floor loft of a 1929 commercial building, was on the 2022 Albany Historic Interior Home Tour.Janet Eastman/Oregonian

1929 loft: Howard Building Designed by architect Charles Burggraf with brick walls, it has a loft on the top floor. A 1935 addition in a low-floor space led to a “ball room” with a 17-foot ceiling and large windows at two ends.

– Janet Eastman | 503-294-4072

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• 1917 unfinished mansion in southwest Portland for sale for $1 million

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