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Ott house joins national register

OUTLOOK PHOTO: JOSH KULLA - Marianne Ott has lived in this John Storrs-designed house since it was built in 1952. A Gresham house designed by the late famous architect John Storrs in the 1950s is now recognized on the National Register of Historic Places.

The David and Marianne Ott House, 2075 S.E. Palmblad Road, was built in 1952 in the northwest regional style, for which Storrs became famous.

Marianne Ott, who has lived in the house since she and her late husband, David, commissioned Storrs to design it, called his work “really beautiful and imaginative design.”

Marianne Ott, who was a teacher at Gresham High School for “a third of a century” hopes that the historic listing means the house will continue to be preserved.

“It’s a good example of the wonderful mid-century architecture,” Ott said. “I’m just the caretaker of his design.”

The 1,669-square-foot, single-story home sits on a 2.81-acre lot. It’s a wood-framed structure with vaulted ceilings, sided with unfinished, horizontal fir boards. The house was one of Storrs’ first Northwest projects, and his only residential structure in a rural location.

OUTLOOK PHOTO: JOSH KULLA - The Ott House was one of the only rural properties designed by John Storrs.

Other things of note on the property are magnolia and quince trees that appear on the city of Gresham’s “List of Significant Trees.”

Storrs is a master architect who practiced in Portland from 1949 until the late 1970s. He died in August 2003.

Ott said Storrs was a family friend of her mother’s and that’s how he ended up designing the house. Ott’s mother later recommended Storrs to the Portland Garden Club, which was one of the buildings that made him famous.

Other notable works include the Oregon College of Art and Craft, Lake Oswego’s Lakeridge High School, The World Forestry Center in Washington Park and The Portland Garden Club.

When asked what her favorite part of the house is, Marianne Ott answered, “Whatever room I’m in.”

“It sits beautifully on the land,” Ott said. “It’s a restful house.”


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