Midcentury modern Rummer-built house in Beaverton for sale at $1,475,000

Fans of builder Robert Rummer, who introduced Oregon to atrium-centered midcentury modern houses, were the first to notice a rarity: A restored double-gable dwelling in Beaverton’s prized Oak Hills Historic District was for sale.

On Thursday, Nov. 3, the single-level house on a quarter-acre lot at 15035 N.W. Perimeter Dr. hit the market.

The asking price: $1,475,000.

“A midcentury purist’s dream, refurbished from the studs up,” said broker Lee Davies of Eleete Real Estate, who listed the property with broker colleague Jennifer Holland. “This is ‘the Rummer’ for which aficionados yearn.”

The post-and-beam structure, with a see-through interior atrium and glass panels that rise to vaulted ceilings, was built in 1967 based on the model designed by architect A. Quincy Jones for developer Joseph Eichler in California.

A half century later, Eric Thompson of Oregon Homeworks restored and upgraded the house, from the polished slab-on-grade concrete floor to the steeply pitched double roof, while preserving its “Mad Men”-era spare aesthetic and swank.

The few changes to the original layout were made to maximize livability, light and views, said Thompson.

A wall separating the kitchen and family room from the dining room was removed to enhance the open floor plan. And the large hobby room off of the garage has been converted to a home office, mudroom and second closet for the primary bedroom.

The 2,600-square-foot house has three more bedrooms and two bathrooms.

During the remodel, energy efficiency windows, insulation, heating, ventilation and air conditioning were installed, along with new cabinets, surfaces, plumbing and wiring.

This house is one of 29 Rummers in Washington County’s Oak Hills planned community, which was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2012.

Robert (“Bob”) Rummer, 95, built about 200 modern homes in the 1960s and 1970s, mostly near wooded areas such as Garden Home’s Bohmann Park tract adjacent to Fanno Creek and Beaverton’s Oak Hills as well as in Lake Oswego.

Like Eichler, Rummer wanted to make Case Study-style modern houses more affordable by mass producing them using quick post-and-beam construction.

Today, homebuyers pay a premium for Rummer houses, which were known to have better-than-standard workmanship and materials, and were carefully sited, typically on a quarter-acre lot, to maximize indoor-outdoor living.

Rummer homes, with an adaptable floor plan, appeal to families needing three, four or five bedrooms as well as people living alone and retirees who don’t want stairs, say real estate agents.

“I didn’t know I was building for old people,” joked Rummer in August. He laughed when told longtime owners eventually replace the playpen with a piano.

Rooms were organized around the atrium and grouped by tasks. The noise-making kitchen, laundry room and a workshop for the water heater and furnace were on one side of the house.

On another end were the quiet-seeking bedrooms and bathrooms, one with a step-down Roman shower.

The living and dining areas with a soaring fireplace flanked by glass walls were oriented to the backyard, connecting people to nature.

— Janet Eastman | 503-294-4072

jeastman@oregonian.com | @janeteastman

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More on Rummer-built homes

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