Paisley Historic Home

This is the story of a historic public building reborn as a house in rural eastern Oregon, just across the highway from where it was originally built. Dennis and Molly O'leary purchased the old Woodsman of the World Hall from the local hotel owner for just $1, with the assurance they would move it away to make room for more parking. The O'leary's then hired me to design it, and we've been enjoying the process ever since--a key project tenet for them.

We added a north wing and wraparound porch to the original structure for more living space, and also to break it down to the scale of the surrounding context. Paisley can be cold and windy, and with pack rats in the vicinity, we took care to create resilient details.

Re-creating historic moldings and profiles was a pleasure--it's always nice to learn about older details and methods.

The O'learys were intent on enjoying the building process, and that in itself was inspiring. They took it slow and steady as life and work had to keep going on with daughters graduating high school and moving on. The work completed so far has been thoughtful, and often used steel parts Dennis makes to resolve connection details to the old balloon-frame structure.

The original structure was built with a high grade of old-growth pine--which is only distinguishable from old-growth douglas fir by smell when cut.

Northwest Door & Sash crafted the historic reproduction windows and doors, working with us through a detailed design process where we all reviewed the details and visited the shop to see options first hand. They are a traditional double hung window, but using the newer tension spring hardware.

They unearthed the original Woodsmen of the World sign, carved into the siding and preserved it inside: