Francis Ermatinger House
Built in 1844, the two-story, Greek Revival Francis Ermatinger House is the oldest residence in Clackamas County and one of the oldest surviving structures in Oregon. In addition to its architectural rarity, the house is significant as the home of the Hudson’s Bay Company Chief Trader Francis Ermatinger, who in 1845 was elected as Treasurer of Oregon’s Provisional Government. The house is also associated with the naming of Portland, for it hosted the famous coin toss between Francis Pettygrove and Asa Lovejoy in 1845. The house was moved twice, once in 1910 and more recently, in 1986.
The City of Oregon City selected ARG as lead architect and conservator to complete a multi-faceted rehabilitation of the Ermatinger House. Tasks included identifying historic materials and providing rehabilitation recommendations for them; re-roofing the building and providing a full-height basement with exterior access; adding a code-compliant ADA ramp and bathroom; converting the current kitchen into an ADA entrance; returning the current stair to its historic location and enclosing it; seismically upgrading the building to meet current code requirements; electrical upgrades; and new mechanical equipment.
ARG also developed a strategic plan with detailed recommendations for critical next steps, including governance, fundraising, maintenance, interpretation, and programming.
Photos courtesy of Tim LaBarge.