Peacock Lane in SE Portland has been delighting Portlanders since the 1940’s. Tens of thousands visit the Lane each December to enjoy the brightly lit English-style Cottages. What makes this 4-block lane so spectacular during the Holidays is the dramatic architecture.
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.