The next time you drive north into Portland on Interstate 295, look for the George F. West house looming atop the Western Promenade. With its two-story portico supported by granite columns, yellow-brick façade, and red-tile roof, the 13,674-square-foot Georgian Revival building stands out among the neighborhood’s more modest brick and clapboard homes. Inside, the mansion is furnished with an oak staircase flanked by Ionic columns, elaborate mahogany wainscoting and built-ins, and leaded- and stained-glass windows. Designed by Frederick Tompson (a protégé of noted Portland architect Francis Fassett) for utilities magnate George West in 1911, the home underwent a period of neglect after West’s death in 1943. Since the 1980s, however, the property has been in the hands of preservation-minded stewards who have cemented its status as one of Portland’s most regal residences.
Portland-based writer Julie Senk holds degrees in history and historic preservation and provides property surveys and architectural analyses to homeowners and businesses. To learn more about her work, visit northernvernacular.com.