Completed in 1914, the mansion has 23 rooms and the grounds offer a panoramic view of the city and Mt. Hood. (Pittock, by the way, was a member of the first party to climb Mt. Hood.)In 1911, scandal surrounded the mansion-to-be, when labor leader and progressive City Councilman Will H. Daly made the public aware that a Portland water line was (or was to be, unclear) running to the construction site, even though it lay half a mile outside the city at the time. That is, Henry Pittock, someone who could certainly afford it, was using city water without paying city taxes.
The scandal turned into a longstanding feud between Pittock and Daly. When the Councilman ran for mayor in 1917 and was expected to win by a landslide, The Oregonian ran a slander campaign against him. Then, days before the election, Daly’s home was ransacked…yet nothing seemed to be stolen. Except, it turned out, for one document that ran in the paper’s Sunday edition: A 1910 application for Socialist Party membership. One wouldn’t think this would be surprising of a proud labor leader, but 1917 was the year of the Russian Revolution, making Socialism seem radical. Daly only lost by 1%, but lose he did, and he never tried to return to public office, even after Pittock died in 1919.
As for the Pittock Mansion, it remained in the family until 1958. In 1962, the mansion was damaged by the Columbus Day Storm. It was cheaper to demolish than try to repair, but Portlanders didn’t want to see it go, and raised $75,000 in three months to help the City of Portland purchase it. Ironic, right? City Hall responded to the public demand, and purchased the estate in 1964. It took 15 months to restore, and was opened to the public in 1965 through the Bureau of Parks and Recreation. In 1974, the property was added to the National Register of Historic Places.
The Bagdad Theatre in the Hawthorne District is also on the National Register of Historic Places. It was founded by Universal Pictures in 1927, featuring live performances as well as movies. Sammy Davis Jr. was among the early performers, as a member of the Will Mastin Trio.