7. Cobb House

Albert E. Doyle, 1917 // SW Montgomery Drive

 

ARGUABLY NO Portland architect shaped early Portland so widely as Albert E. Doyle, who designed much of the city’s emerging financial district; our trademark white terra-cotta buildings such as the Meier & Frank Building and Lipman’s (now Hotel Monaco); the earliest buildings of Reed College; and our most-visited civic building, the Multnomah County Central Library. But in the masterful mansion he designed for Dr. Frank J. Cobb, Doyle also gave Portlanders one of their greatest curb views, whether it is seen up close from the front gate on Montgomery Drive or from the city’s popular stair climb to SW Vista Avenue. True to the adaptability that allowed his larger buildings to survive the ages, the Cobb House is a study in flexibility, seeming to live small for a family or large for the grandest of parties, all within a floor plan that gracefully unites indoors and out on a steep, hillside site. In many ways, the home’s most beautiful room is the most modest: a simple, rounded breakfast room overlooking the gardens. (Private)