Today is Saturday, the 17th of April, and my husband, Jason, our friend, Lisa, from Herman Miller, and I have all piled into our friend Caroline’s car. Caroline is one of the dedicated co-directors who has helped make the Street of Eames such a successful annual event. Our car makes its last of many turns, winding through a typical dated suburban community in Portland.
It is still early, only 9am on a Saturday, and there are already plenty of cars lining the streets to catch a glimpse of the architectural gems scattered around the neighborhood. One particular home is located at the end of an unassuming court. It is referred to as a ‘Rummer’, meaning it was built by Robert Rummer, who has now been retired from residential home building for nearly two decades.
Built between 1960 and the mid-’70s, these stylish post-and-beam homes gained much inspiration from the Joseph Eichler homes built in California during the late 1940’s. These homes are spread all over Portland’s West Hills and Beaverton, with small pockets in other communities. Known for their geometric lines, deep overhands and inner courtyards the Rummer homes nestle into the lush northwest background with the same fit as a villa fits into the landscape of Italy. A bright, peachy-red door leads us into an inner courtyard and we easily adjust to the peaceful earthen tones and large window scapes that highlight the homeowner’s fine collection of vintage modern furnishings.
Our mouths can’t help but drop at the sight of the floating fireorb that intersects the main living area, each piece of furniture equally complementing the others. This is just classic good design. We leave the home refreshed, and are off to explore seven other homes, each equally inspiring in their own way. That first home turns out to be our favorite stop along the Street of Eames home tour. With Caroline supplying us with architectural knowledge and an amazing insider’s perspective, we gain an even greater appreciation of the uniqueness each design brings. These homes are a mix of contemporary and mid-century modern design, reflecting each owner’s individual personality by emulating the rich architectural history of the city.
What makes this tour really special is that all money raised goes directly to support after-school programs for homeless children in the Portland area. Each volunteer, homeowner, director, and vendor does such a fantastic job of keeping this objective at the heart of the event.
Sadly, this was the last Street of Eames home tour, as alternate sources of funding will support these after-school programs. However, I have a feeling this group of mid-century modern lovers will find a way to continue their contributions to the community.