Tuesday, April 26, 2011

My first ever Ken Birkemeier house! Architectural Heritage Center Kitchen Revival Tour XIII, April 16, 2011

Backstory: On Saturday, April 16, those of us who purchased tickets got a map and a descriptive booklet that we could use between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. in order to find nine houses and then tour their kitchens (and most of their first floors as well as get a peek at a basement or two). Because I went to the Post Office, the PSU Farmers Market and Freddie's first, then took everything home to put it away and eat a bite, I didn't pick up my map until about noon. I knew what I wanted to see for sure, so I checked my map and drove off in my Zipcar.

Here's the first house I visited, a Mid-Century Modern home in the Alameda neighborhood, designed and built by Ken Birkemeier, who according to the booklet "...is known for quirky, innovative, and cutting edge designs and today his architectural works of art are drawing increased attention and appreciation." He built this particular house in 1951 to be his own home. The front door is up the stairs that you can just see the bottom of there in the carport to the right of the white car.

Here's more of the text from the booklet. "The kitchen in the Birkemeier family reflects Birkemeier's originality. Although the original countertops have been removed, the backsplash and kitchen bar still retain their original tile. It's still easy to see the pattern and colors that reflect Birkemeier's style. The kitchen also retains its original cabinetry, providing an opportunity to see the quirky and fun features Birkemeier included in his designs. In the lower cabinets are two large Lazy Susans, and in the upper cabinets there are two smaller ones. Birkemeier was known for making creative use of otherwise dead space. Although this kitchen is not completely original, many of Birkemeier's creative and original design touches are still evident and this lovely home holds an important place in Portland's architectural design history."



There is one of these in each corner of the lower cabinets along the outside wall--fantastic.

Here is a photo of one of the corner Lazy Susans in the upper cabinets.

There are four outlets in the wood trim around the ceramic tile--the fourth one is out of sight at the right end of the counter. How fabulous is that--and the lady of the house told me each of them works!

This built-in cabinet is across from the main part of the kitchen. Notice the curved wall above the doorway!

The dining room. Another splendid view. The blue puffs on the counter are four of the booties given out when we got our maps and booklet--slipped over our shoes, they allowed us to protect the floors and rugs.

A portion of the living room. Can you believe that view? I just wanted to stand there and look and look, but time was ticking away.

I suppose this is a den. I forgot to ask the lady of the house. It's such a great shape. Those windows are fantastic!

Another view of the den.

How about this unique railing on the basement stairs? I like the quirkiness of it!

The original bar, still in the basement.

The view from the edge of the deck that is outside the living room windows.

Almost all of the stairs that go back to the carport.

Please come back tomorrow to see another fine home. Thanks!


Jim Klenke said...

Neat looking house.

brian stout said...

what a cool place! i want it!!

thanks for your comment also, yes, my family is from Poplar Bluff right where the flooding is. Everyone is doing fine - it's very close to my brother's home and my dad's company, but everyone's ok so far! thanks again for checking!

Lynette said...

Thanks for stopping by and looking at the Birkemeier home.