In Plain Site: Bishop’s House

You can’t miss this building in Portland, and yet you can.

This is Bishop’s House, located in Downtown Portland. It’s 142 years old, completed in 1879. It was the official residence of Archbishop William Hinckley Gross, after the Roman Catholic Archdiocese moved from Oregon City to Portland.

 Hinckley, who also served as the Bishop of Savannah, Georgia, died in 1898 at age 61, in Baltimore, Maryland, where  he was born and laid to rest.

 A marvelous cathedral once stood next to Bishop’s House, but it was demolished after a much larger cathedral was built elsewhere in the city in 1885 to accommodate Portland’s growing population. 

Bishop’s House has undergone some renovation but it has held on to its Gothic architectural style and original bones. Notice the cross? The building’s facade holds other tell tale signs that signal this was a building tied to the church. 

In 1974, Bishop’s House was listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Today, it is occupied by a Lebanese restaurant on the ground floor, offices and a startup above. It is one of those buildings in Portland that easily goes unnoticed, if you don’t stop to smell the City of Roses. 

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