Sunday, August 14, 2011

Sentimental Sunday: More on architect Ewald Pape, 1894-1976

About nine months ago I did a post on Ewald Theodore Pape, my first cousin two times removed. Since then I've done some more research and been contacted by a closer relative (his grand-neice), who provided the picture of Ewald below.  I also learned that three apartment buildings in Portland, Oregon, that Ewald designed were placed on the National Register of Historic Places.  One of those buildings, the Thompson Court Apartments, was on the Irvington Home Tour in Portland, and I contacted the Irvington Community Association to fill in some of their missing information on Ewald and ask if they had any information I did not have.
Ewald Theodore Pape, 29 October 1927, in Portland, Oregon, probably at work.  Photo courtesy Mary Kay Schmidt.
On January 19, 2011, I heard back from Jim Heuer, an architectural historian who lives in Irvington and is a member of the Irvington Community Association's Historic Preservation Committee, as well as a member of the Historic Preservation League of Oregon and a board member for the Architectural Heritage Center.  He told me the following:
Thompson Court Apartments (1929), 2304-2314 NE 11th Ave., Portland, Oregon,  this  & more photos by Werewombat
"Most of the information we have about Ewald Pape is taken from a book entitled Architects of Oregon: A Biographical Dictionary of Architects Deceased - 19th and 20th Centuries, by Richard Ellison Ritz.  This book was privately published a number of years ago and is not widely available outside of Portland.  The entry on Ewald Pape is quoted below:

Pape, Ewald T.

Ewald T. Pape was not a registered architect but the high quality of the apartment houses he designed in Portland merit his inclusion in this reference work on Oregon architects.

Nothing is known about Pape’s date or place of birth or his education.  He is first listed in the Portland City Directory for 1923 as a draftsman.  In the 1925 city directory, he is listed as a designer of character homes with an office on Sandy Boulevard.  From 1926 to 1934, he had an office in the Couch Building, and from 1935 to 1941 he had his office in the Sherlock Building.  Directory listings describe him variously as Architect, Home Designer, Architectural Designer, and Building Contractor (in 1953 and 1954).  There are no more directory listings for Pape after 1954.

Between 1925 and 1933, Pape established business relationships with Portland developers William K. Johnson and Robert McFarland, designing apartment houses for each of them.  He began by designing four unit apartment buildings, but was soon designing quarter and half block apartment buildings.  His designs included the Sheffield Manor, Willister Courts, Burrell Court, Burrell Heights Apartments, San Farlando, Del Mar and others.  For William K. Johnson, Pape designed Villa Marconi, Thompson Court, and others.

Pape’s apartment work was innovative, with major emphasis on livability and eliminating the stigma of apartment living by providing individuality and separate entrances for each unit.

No obituary has been found for Pape.

REFERENCES:  Portland City Directory; National Register of Historic Places nomination forms for the Thompson Court Apartments, San Farlando Apartments, and Burrell Heights Apartments prepared by Heritage Investment Corporation."

San Farlando Apartments (1929), 2903–2925 SE Hawthorne Blvd, Portland, Oregon, photo by Finetooth
Besides finding the three nomination forms linked to above in the National Register Information System (aka NPS Focus), I also found more information about Ewald on the Multiple Property Submittal (MPS) form for these three properties, entitled "Middle Class Apartments in East Portland." Here are some excerpts about Ewald from that:document:
Burrell Heights Apartments (1928), 1510-1542 SE Clay Street, Portland, Oregon, photo by Finetooth
  • His plan sheet signature block read "Designer of Character Homes."
  • In 1923, [he was] residing at the Royal Palms Apartments at 262 Flanders in the North Burnside area and working independently as a draftsman.
  • In the next year [1924], he married Alma and moved to the Houseman Apartments (now Casa Linda) at 730 Hoyt in Nob Hill.
  • Beginning in 1925, Pape established an independent office at 956 Sandy Boulevard and began to market himself as a designer of fine homes.
  • The following year [1926], he moved his office to the Couch Building on 4th Avenue.
  • [Around 1925,] Pape hired architect O. M. Akers to design a small family house for him in Eastmoreland at 1520 E. 36th Avenue (7528 SE 36th Avenue).
Also, during World War II, "Pape's commissions stopped. Registered architects were involved with federal projects related to the war effort. These included mass housing projects which kept most busy for the duration. Since Pape was not a registered architect, demand for design services evaporated with the reallocation of raw materials to the war effort. He instead took a job as an estimator for the Portland Door Company. After the war, he returned to home designs. He also attempted to capitalize on the housing boom by developing homes on speculation. In 1955, Pape disappeared from the City Directory. Given the substance of his work, he very likely retired and moved out of the area." (He, his wife, and his son all died in California).

© Amanda Pape - 2011 - click here to e-mail me.

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