William Temple House / Dr. Kenneth A.J. Mackenzie House

615 NW 20th Avenue

Architects Whidden and Lewis designed this imposing Richardsonian Romanesque dwelling in 1892 for Dr. Kenneth A.J. Mackenzie, founder of the University of Oregon Medical School, forerunner of Oregon Health Sciences University. It remained in the family for many years after his death before being purchased by the Episcopal Laymen’s Mission Society; currently, it houses the offices of the William Temple House agency.

The heaviness of the exterior’s dark stonework, conically-roofed turret and recessed porch is elevated by a sense of movement from the diversity of its lines. A cast iron stag head protruding from the facade lends a whimsical touch. The house was also the first in Portland to sport an eyebrow dormer window. Notably, some original furnishings remain in the interior, including a massive dining room buffet whose elaborately carved figures match the support figures found on either side of the dining room fireplace mantel.  A large modern addition to the back of the house also serves as office space for the agency.

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