It’s a Rummer!

April 10th, 2009

rummer_01.jpg

A couple of weekends ago, Stacy and I embarked on a self directed tour of Rummer homes in Beaverton after reading a recent issue of Dwell. Rummer homes were built by Robert Rummer, a developer who was inspired by the designs of Joe Eichler. Eichler homes were favored by Californian elite, like Quincy Jones, but Rummer built most of his mid-century modern dwellings in Portland, Beaverton, Newberg, Salem, and Florence.

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Stacy had everything all mapped, so we set out on something akin to an architectural Easter egg hunt. We were especially excited about the prospect of finding the mythical Vista Brook neighborhood with 60 Rummer homes concentrated within a four block area, so we left that one for last. The title of this blog post comes from a “for sale” listing sheet we swiped outside of one of the Rummer homes we first found. The picture of the listing agent gave the impression she only learned the significance of Rummer homes about a week ago (Rummers can command a $30,000 premium over similar homes).

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We still have one more neighborhood left to explore out in Beaverton, but I think we’ll be better trained to spot Rummer homes by then. It’s regrettable that many Rummer homes have been severely damaged by misguided renovations. But we can at least take solace in the fact many of these Rummer have not been radically altered by previous owners simple because they never had the money to make major alterations.

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There are a few more local Rummers out there left to discover, but they’ll have to wait for another nice weekend this Spring.

Entry Filed under: Architecture

5 Comments Add your own

  • 1. eichler  |  April 10th, 2009 at 9:41 pm

    Great photos. I love the Rummer with the Range Rover in the driveway.

    There resemblance to Eichlers is uncanny. Especially the double-A frame models designed by architect Claude Oakland. Thanks for sharing!

  • 2. Brain  |  April 14th, 2009 at 10:47 am

    There had to be a lot of trickle down from the Rummer/Eichler designs because I’ve see that type of gabled skylight with exposed beams all over here in the ATL. I also recall Skokie, IL, having many of those. That design make more sense than the big picture window that made so many people’s living rooms seem like exhibits in the Museum of Natural History.

    I still prefer the garage to not be so integral to the front facade of the house.

  • 3. Admin  |  May 12th, 2009 at 4:42 pm

    I agree w/ Mr. Coffey — I hate to see the garage so visible from the front. However, out of all the Rummers I’ve seen in the PDX area, none seemed to lack privacy due to big picture windows. There is usually a screened front entrance that creates a buffer between the windows and the street.

  • 4. Carolyn Weinstein  |  May 25th, 2009 at 5:26 pm

    I have just listed Bob Rummer’s original house in Vista Brook. He used superior materials when he built this one. The home has been lovingly cared for by the second owner for the past 35 years.

  • 5. Russell  |  June 9th, 2009 at 5:24 pm

    I’ve lived in a Rummer built home (identical to several $1M+ Claude Oakland homes in CA) for nearly 18 years, and it is the most PRIVATE home I’ve ever been in. The floor to ceiling windows are in BACK making the small, but very private yard part of the living and dining rooms and master bedroom. The huge windows also make the private atrium part of the house, and let the light from the atrium’s 12′ x 12′ skylight flood my office, the living room, family room and kitchen with daylight.

    From the street, the only windows are from 8′ up to the 12′ central beam peak. Many planners and neighborhood advocates say this style of home makes closes people off from their neighbors, yet this neighborhood is the most, well, NEIGHBORLY I’ve ever enjoyed. I lived in a 12 unit aprtment building on Cathedral Hill in San Francisco for several years and never knew my “neighbors”. Here, I know many of them intimately.

    Rummer’s houses have their issues, but it’s the most fun and interesting and LIVABLE house I’ve ever known!

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