Stops on thePortland Weird Homes Tour
include a Stormtrooper-guarded art studio, mime-designed dome and ‘Twilight’s’ Bella Swan’s house
It’s now easy to check out “Twilight’s” Bella Swan’s house, a mime-designed dome home and a Stormtrooper-guarded art studio since the third annual Portland Weird Homes Tour on Sept. 26, will be a live online walkthrough.
“If, like most of us, you are sick of staring at your walls, spend the day with us and stare at some of the most remarkable and creative walls in homes owned by the collectors, artists, painters, architects, garden lovers and more that keep Portland weird,” said Weird Homes Tour founder David Neff in a news release.
Owners and tour participants will connect on Zoom to hear stories about these one-of-a-kind abodes:
‘Twilight’ Swan House
As a fan of author Stephenie Meyer’s “Twilight” world herself, Amber Neufeld says it’s “surreal” to walk through the front door of the 1935 farmhouse in St. Helens that stood in for Bella Swan’s house.
Amber and her husband, Dean Neufeld, invite tourgoers to see to a life-size cutout of Kristen Stewart, who played Bella Swan, or hang out where Robert Pattinson acted in scenes as vampire Edward Cullen.
Arguably, the oddest house in Oregon with the wildest origins is the planetarium-shaped West Linn Dome Home, built by a mime out of discarded WWII gun turret shrouds.
The new owners of the perfect shelter for a Smurf, Fred Flintstone or Yoda, Alex Hagmuller, a wave energy expert, and his wife, Rebecca Hagmuller, a preschool teacher will show off the nine domes linked by secret passageways and the huge, hemispherical living room with a ceiling that’s 18 feet high.
The original owner was Francisco Reynders, an artist, musician, actor, mime, designer and founder of the Oregon Mime Theatre who wanted an alternative to living in a traditional rectangle house. He never liked sharp right angles and distrusted corners.
House of Serendipity
Limited mobility doesn’t mean limited beauty.
Larry Cross, a passionate proponent of sustainable and accessible design, used recycled materials, rescued plants and ingenuity to create a fragrant Matisse sculpture park in his Southeast Portland backyard.
There are 60 feet of ramps that weave from the front gate up to the entry of the house, past red flowering currant, lavender and wisteria, and under an arch ribboned with yellow-orange honeysuckle.
Watching his chickens makes Cross laugh, but they also fertilizer his garden, eat kitchen scraps and bugs and provide him with fresh eggs.
Plastorm in Robot Alley
Robot Alley in North Portland is right behind artist Robert Fortney’s home studio. There you can see Stormtroopers, droids and Sith lords guarding Plastorm and calling out to you with a motion-activated recording or Fortney live on a mic.
Ask the artist about his large-scale painting entitled Anthorn to be installed at a home music studio in Chicago for a couple he calls “Doris” and “Boris” to protect their true identity.
House of Sarcasm
The kaleidoscopic appearance of the House of Sarcasm in Southeast Portland’s Mt. Scott-Arleta neighborhood was created by artist Christine Claringbold, who views paint as a “living entity.” Don’t miss her explosively colorful ceiling mandalas and psychedelic murals as well as vibrant colors and patterns in every room.
Old Grange Hall
Travel virtually to a small town outside Portland and into an old schoolhouse that is now home to a irreplaceable collection of vintage and thrift store treasures. Mannequins, skeletons and mirrors cover the walls and windows year -round.
Tickets cost $25 per device and allow for rewatching for up to two weeks after the live event.
A portion of all ticket sales goes directly to Central City Concern and its fight for affordable housing, Neff said.