3. Sutor House

Pietro Belluschi, 1938 // NW Skyline Boulevard

 

Sutor House
Image: Bruce Wolf

NO PORTLAND ARCHITECT has achieved greater international renown than Pietro Belluschi. His inventively modernist design of the Portland Art Museum in 1932, a series of groundbreaking local churches (St. Thomas More, Zion Lutheran, and others) in the ’40s, and his masterful aluminum-and-glass Equitable (now Commonwealth) Building vaulted him to both a prestigious deanship at MIT and celebrated commissions like Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center and the Pan Am Building (with Walter Gropius). But as juror William Hawkins put it, the home Belluschi designed for Jennings Sutor “launched a thousand ships.” Built nearly concurrently with (and just across the street from) the Watzek House, Belluschi’s Sutor House features a similarly simple, almost plain exterior. But inside, comparisons end. Smaller and more open in its plan, and striving for a near-Japanese minimalism in every detail, Belluschi’s design fully embraced the emerging trends of the International style of architecture. Far more influential than the more idiosyncratic Watzek House, the Sutor House established an iconic, but simpler, less expensive standard for other local architects to follow in the blossoming of Northwest Regional style. (Private)