In many ways, the Oregon pioneers are best survived through the physical structures they built. Tualatin Valley’s definition of a pioneer includes—but also goes well beyond—the traditional image of those in a covered wagon. Looking at architectural masterpieces through the ages, there are the pioneers that were Oregon-loggers-turned-world-class-rock hounds. There are the technological pioneers who have made Tualatin Valley into a “Silicon Forest.” And, of course, there are the pioneering winemakers who had a hunch that our soils were meant for Pinot. These pioneers didn’t just settle on the land; they built on it—and those structures still inspire us today.
Tualatin Valley’s Architectural Wonders
Built in 1873, the Old Scotch Church is one of the oldest continuously-used churches in Oregon. In its beginning days, membership was predominately made up of settlers from Aberdeenshire, west of Aberdeen, Scotland. Unsurprisingly, the architecture is reminiscent of the churches from the members’ homeland. Its gothic design is simultaneously inviting and arresting with an eight-sided steeple, steep roof and stained-glass windows. Today, the romantic structure is often visited by painters, photographers and mere romantics who revel in its beauty.
What do you do when your rock collection gets too big? If you’re logger-turned-rock-hound Richard Rice, then you build a dream house devoted to your collection. The 1953 ranch-style house earned its spot on the National Register of Historic Places, in part, due to its painstaking devotion to the era’s mid-century modern style. The logger’s expertise lent itself well to the construction of the kitchen’s Maplewood pantry, Myrtlewood paneling, and cedar accents. Stones play a part in the home design, too, with Mexican agate embedded into the tile of the dining room and basement.
So, what about the rock collection? The Rice family turned their home into a world-class museum. Stroll the halls of the home to take in not only the beautiful architecture but also fossils, meteorites, petrified woods and other geological oddities from the Northwest.
Planting vines in Oregon in the 1970s, the members of the Ponzi family are bona fide Oregon wine pioneers. When it came time to move, expand and evolve the Ponzi winery and tasting room, they got creative. Ponzi Vineyards’ original owner and winemaker, Dick Ponzi, designed a four-level gravity-flow facility at the top of Chehalem Mountain slopes. The innovative design works with the natural contours of the land through eco-friendly planning. Book a progressive tasting and tour to walk through the winery while sipping on the award-winning wines.
Ponzi Vineyards continues its tradition of great wine and great architecture with the opening of a new event space, The Laurelwood, on its property. The space accentuates the elements and textures of the Laurelwood soil surrounding it.
The nature of Tualatin Valley is easy to fall in love with, but so is the breathtaking architecture that dots our landscape.