Save Peacock Lane
The Lane is a carefully thought-out community. In the early 1920’s, builder R.F. Wassell acted on an architectural vision – to create a quaint, little English village right here in Portland, Oregon. Mr. Wassell personally designed and built each of the 31 cozy English Cottages. Every home is enchanting, but what makes Peacock Lane truly exceptional is the single style of architecture carried throughout, resulting in a rare, visceral atmosphere on the Lane. Peacock Lane has become a year-round destination for scores of Portlanders and their out- of-town guests. Visitors delight in the charm of the street as a whole, and understand that Peacock Lane’s attraction runs much deeper than its Holiday lights.
There are no covenants or contracts that direct the Lane residents to put up the lights every year. They do it voluntarily –they understand their responsibility as stewards of this time-honored tradition.
Running this yearly show requires the residents to cooperate with and respect one another. As a result, residents of the Lane know each other, and help care for each other. It is a community where neighbors socialize in their front yards – a neighborhood where neighbors are neighborly.
The loss of this 100-year-old village would have a devastating impact on the entire Portland region. Saving this landmark Portland street benefits thousands – something exponentially more important than one private developer’s financial gain.
The home at 522 SE Peacock Lane was recently sold to a developer. The homeowner, an elderly widow, who had lived on the lane longer than any other resident, was concerned about selling to a developer. She was told by the buyer’s agent that he was purchasing her home for his in-laws. The developers--including Vic Remmers of Everett Custom Homes--hid their true identities until well after the closing. Vic Remmers filed permits for a lot split before the sale even closed, and later secretly submitted construction permits for a 2.5-story skinny house even as he was publicly pretending to seek input from residents and neighbors towards a redevelopment plan that would preserve the character of the neighborhood.
There are no neighborhood conditions, covenants or restrictions on development on Peacock Lane, and the City of Portland has not been willing to fight Mr Remmers on our behalf, so Peacock Lane Residents have banded together to start work to get Peacock Lane recognized by the National Park Service as a Historic District.
We need your help! Please donate to support our work to get Peacock Lane listed on the National Register of Historic Places, which would prevent developers from profiting at the expense of the historical character of the street.
Your donations go to the Bosco-Milligan Foundation, which operates the Architectural Heritage Center, who will be assisting our petition efforts.
Greetings, supporters of Peacock Lane! There has been quite a bit of progress in our effort to achieve National Historic District designation, so it's a good time for an update.
When we began this process, we were focused on making the case that the annual holiday spectacle on Peacock Lane is what makes our neighborhood special. Since that time, we have learned a lot about what does and doesn't qualify for historic designation. As we move forward, we have found that the most compelling case for our designation is under the criterion for "Community Planning and Development." At the time Peacock Lane was developed in the early 1920s, it was the first neighborhood of its kind in Oregon to be developed with the future of a growing urban community that relied on automobiles for transportation in mind. It turns out that our homes being built with garages, street lights, and front yard setbacks with planting areas between the road and sidewalk was very innovative at the time. The architect who designed our neighborhood was carrying out a vision for a modern city that values auto transportation as well as pedestrian protections! The strongest argument for our historic designation is that historical and innovative community planning is what enables Peacock Lane to continue to be a local hub for community activity and events nearly 100 years after its creation, and that's a tradition worth preserving!
We've had the benefit of expertise and assistance from the Architectural Heritage Center, the State Historical Preservation Office, a variety of consultants, and of course so many people who have chipped in financially to help us in this process. Our GoFundMe page has made good progress, and also our 2016 Cocoa Booth sales and a fundraiser at Portland Nursery's Apple Tasting event last fall have helped us make great strides in paying for this effort.
Currently we are nearing completion on phase 2 of the process. In the next week, we will submit our petition to the Oregon State Advisory Commission. The Commission will meet in June, at which point they will provide feedback on whether to continue with our efforts and how to strengthen our application before it is deliberated on by the National Historic Register Committee in Washington, DC. If all goes smoothly from here, we could have a decision from DC as early as August.
Thank you all for your support thus far. We plan to keep passing updates along any time we have new information to share.
My parents lived on Peacock Lane for many years. Dad was Santa we were elves and later served hot chocolate in the booth. We would go up and down the street and sing Christmas carols. Horse drawn carriages would bring people to see the houses decorated with so many different themes. I was also the full size Easter bunny. We had Easter parades, potlucks, street dances etc.. I am so thankful my brothers and sisters and I along with our children were able to enjoy these memories. I truly hope the other families can enjoy the same traditions. We lived in two of the homes on Peacock Lane. We were the Enyearts and proud of our roots. My brother still owns one of the homes.
Where was their concern when developers were (are) destroying the rest of Portland. Sucks when shit finally hits home. Screw it, develop that place!
So what is the money raised actually going to? Will it be enough to prevent a hideous skinny house from going up?
Love this little street ! It is a historic part of Portland that should stay as log as possible ,it is a really special part of Christmas too !
The Christmas lights are not the point here. The point is to not tear down the houses in this historic neighborhood. This would be terrible.
Sorry people, you are 10 years too late in trying to do this, your city does not care. They want tiny skinny houses. I lived on 60th and belmont for 15 years and always thought the lighting issue was a pain in the ass every year. Opinion.