Portland, OR. Pittock Mansion welcomed its 100,000th visitor in the last 12 months and the record attendance is solidifying plans for enhanced offerings. At a time when many historic house museums around the country are experiencing declining visitation, Pittock Mansion’s annual visitation has steadily grown from 70,000 visitors in 2013, to 90,000 in 2014,  to a new record of 100,000 visitors in fiscal year 2015/2016. The record attendance, which was recorded in June, comes as Board and staff prepare to initiate a new four-year strategic plan which will further enhance the visitor experience, expand educational programming, and increase community engagement.

The Pittock Mansion rose gardens draw summer visitors. Surrounded by 46-acres of natural beauty, no other place in town offers a more breathtaking view or revealing glimpse of Portland’s past than Pittock Mansion.

The Pittock Mansion rose gardens draw summer visitors. Surrounded by 46-acres of natural beauty, it offers breathtaking views.

“Reaching 100,000 annual visitors is an exciting milestone in the Pittock’s history,” Executive Director Marta Bones stated. “I can’t think of a more appropriate way to launch our work on additional strategic improvements to support an engaging and educational experience for our visitors.” In addition to further enhancing public program offerings, the mansion will work with Portland Parks and Recreation to improve access and create a sustainable long-term preservation plan for the buildings.

“We are proud to begin the next chapter of Pittock Mansion’s history,” Bones concluded, “and look forward to the continued support and participation of the Portland community.”

The new strategic plan will build upon the successes of the Pittock’s Visitor Experience Project, which surveyed visitors about their needs and interests.  Focusing on these, the museum positioned itself to fulfill its mission of inspiring understanding of Portland history in ways that would be compelling and relevant to visitors.

Pittock Mansion under construction in 1914

Built in 1914 for one of Oregon’s influential families, Pittock Mansion is filled with history and remarkable stories. Henry Pittock, owner of The Oregonian newspaper, and his wife Georgiana, built Pittock Mansion in 1914. The City of Portland now owns the estate, and Portland Parks & Recreation and the non-profit Pittock Mansion Society work in collaboration to operate and maintain the museum and surrounding park.

Pittock Mansion after the 1962 Columbus Day Storm.

A damaged Pittock Mansion after the Columbus Day Storm of 1962. Developers planned to buy the damaged, molding mansion to replace it with a subdivision. Instead, Portlanders launched a grassroots fundraising campaign to save it. In 1964, the City of Portland purchased the estate for $225,000, including $67,500 raised by citizens. Repairs took 15 months. Workers fixed broken windows and replaced missing roof tiles. They replastered walls and ceilings, and flattened warped wood floors. On June 4, 1965, a restored Pittock Mansion opened to the public.

Pittock Mansion in June 2016.

Pittock Mansion in June 2016.

 

100,000th visitor cropped web

The 100,000th visitor, was a Gresham resident. Mya, is pictured at center with Pittock Mansion Executive Director Marta Bones (left) and Associate Director Jennifer Gritt (right).

The 100,000th visitor was new Gresham resident, Mya. Mya and her family recently relocated to the Portland area from California. Her first-time visit to the Pittock was inspired by an unexpected afternoon off and the Pittock Mansion signs on Burnside. “Pittock Mansion, that sounded interesting!” Mya explained.

A regular museum go-er, Mya has visited museums in New York, California, and Chicago, and found the accessibility of Pittock Mansion to be unique. “Everyone is very friendly and welcoming, and the signs were informal and interesting,” Mya said. Mya’s favorite spot in the mansion was the Sewing Room due to  her interest in knitting and cross stitching.

In celebration of setting Pittock Mansion’s new visitation record, staff presented Mya with a gift bag including a free Family membership, 4 complimentary admission passes, and a Pittock tote, mug, and magnet. We look forward to welcoming Mya and her family, new Oregonian residents into the Pittock Mansion community and the Portland community at large.

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