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The Portland Duplex

In Architecture, Old School, Portland, Vintage Houses

In other parts of the country, two-family homes are known variously as twin homes, attached homes, two-flats, or even double-deckers. But in Portland we just call them all duplexes. Duplexes come in two basic types: the “up and down” duplex where one unit rests atop the other, and the “side-by-side” duplex where both units share a common sidewall.

Though more common in East Coast cities, duplexes have played a part in Portland’s building history as well. In the 19th century, Victorian duplexes were constructed along with Victorian houses in the downtown and surrounding neighborhoods.

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The Settlemier House

In Architecture, Design, Oregon, Restoration, Vintage Houses

Not far from the famed Woodburn outlet mall on I-5, just south of Portland, can be found a most amazing Victorian treasure box of a house. The Settlemier House, owned and cared for by the non-profit French Prairie Historical Society, is open to the public on a limited basis. Tours can be arranged that will take you through the house’s grand, mostly original interior. Rooms are furnished with period-appropriate furniture, and many of the Settlemier family’s personal household effects are on display as well.