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Roy E. and Hildur Amundsen House showcases classic mid-century modern architecture

PMG PHOTO: CHRISTOPHER KEIZUR - The Roy E. and Hildur Amundsen House, a mid-century modern home in Gresham, was added to a historic national registry.A mid-century modern home in Gresham has been added to the National Register of Historic Places because of its distinct architecture. The structure features similar qualities of renowned American architect Frank Lloyd Wright, whose designs were unique for their marriage of their owners and the environment.

The Roy E. and Hildur Amundsen House in the 470 block of Northwest Overlook Avenue, was accepted to the list on July 15 by the National Park Service. The house was designed by Harold Amundsen for his parents, Roy E. and Hildur Amundsen, when he was a student at the University of Oregon.

Built in 1961, the Amundsen House is significant for its architecture as an example of a Wrightian-styled, architect-designed home. It mimics Wright's Usonian designs with its small size, slab-on-grade foundation with radiant floor heat, horizontal emphasis, natural ornamentation, use of floor-to-ceiling glass windows, central hearth and minimal ornamentation.

The Amundsen House has only had three owners since its design and construction. The house has retained its original materials and has not been adversely altered from the original design. Necessary repairs have been sensitive to the design, and the largest alteration to the building was the addition of a slight pitch to the roofline, which is not visible from the right of way.

The home is now one of the 10 individually listed properties within the city of Gresham that appear on the National Register. The nomination process goes through a deep dive into the architectural history of the building, what changes have been made, and specific details on the exterior and interior of the home.

More information about historic homes can be found online at oregonheritage.org.


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