Stumptown Goes Uptown: Architect Warren H. Williams in Portland, 1873-1888


10:00 am

Architectural Heritage Center

Entering the final quarter of the 19th century, wealthy Portlanders were ready to display their success in showpiece homes and stylish commercial structures. Arriving from San Francisco in early 1873 after a devastating fire destroyed many of Portland’s modest wood and brick buildings, Warren H. Williams spent the next fifteen years designing dozens of buildings. The interiors often featured exceptional materials and workmanship; his cast-iron structures lent an air of classical elegance to downtown streets. Williams also drew plans for a sewer line, a tax collector’s boat, a hospital, and a roadhouse, and worked with other talented architects and mentored beginners who developed careers of their own. Did his work ever cross the line into excess and ostentation? Presenter Eileen Fitzsimons hopes for a lively exchange of opinions.

Fitzsimons has used her degrees in art and history to share her love of architecture. She has worked in construction, maintained a 100-year old Bungalow, and restored an 1890 beach cottage. She has written articles on neighborhood history and architecture for the Sellwood Bee for 20 years, authored three entries for the Oregon Encyclopedia, and written National Register nominations. Fitzsimons leads AHC walking tours of Sellwood and Westmoreland, where she has lived for 35 years.

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