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Laurelhurst's Historic Mann House Will Be Saved

In 1909, several wealthy and civic-minded Portland families decided to build a gracious residence for older Portlanders. The project was led by Anna Lewis Mann, a noted humanitarian who also built the Martha Washington Hotel for Girls and managed the Portland Woman's Union and Childrens Home.

They purchased a seven acre parcel in the northwest corner of the Hazel Fern Farm that was being developed into Laurelhurst, and built an elegant English Tudor structure that became known as the Anna Lewis Mann Old Peoples Home or simply the "Mann House". It is located at 1031 NE 33rd Ave, on the west side of NE 33rd and south of NE Sandy, across the street from the modern-day Laurelhurst neighborhood.

The Mann House opened in January 1911 and was the neighborhood's "old folks home" until the 1980s. Over the years, portions of the grounds were sold. In recent decades it has been owned by the Movement Center as a meditation, yoga, event and group living facility.

The Mann House has been on the market for some years. Various proposals to redevelop the property fell through. Now we have learned that the Mann House will be saved by Innovative Housing, Inc. This private non-profit corporation restores historic buildings as affordable rental apartments. It has several historic buildings in Portland and is currently restoring the old Waldorf Hotel in Astoria to affordable housing.

The restored Mann House will contain about 80 apartments with 3, 2 and 1 bedrooms. The apartments will be "workforce housing", affordable to families with incomes from 30% to 60% of Portland's median household income. The historic buildings will be preserved, along with the property's tall trees. Innovative Housing's own offices and staff will be located on the property. Residents and staff will have on-site parking.

By combining historic preservation and affordable housing, Innovative Housing will restore the Mann House to its original use. We think Anna Lewis Mann would be pleased.

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