Save your Portland House from Demolition
  • Petitioned Kevin & Darya Rose
  • Responded

This petition was delivered to:

Kevin & Darya Rose
See response

Save your Portland House from Demolition

    1. Petition by

      Save the Rose House


On February 28 of this year, Kevin and Darya Rose, you came to the Willamette Heights neighborhood here in Portland and purchased the house at 1627 NW 32nd Avenue. It’s a great house, with a great history, in a great neighborhood.

The house was one of the first homes in Willamette Heights, built in 1892. There are pictures of the house from the 1890s, perched alone in grandeur on the recently logged hillside rising from Balch Creek. The years since then have seen multiple owners, and the house has been the site of many neighborhood gatherings, including annual Easter egg hunts — the sort of hunts and gatherings at which neighbors meet while their children play, and lifelong relationships are formed all around.

The house has been well-loved and cared for. To be sure, it’s well over 100 years old, like many of the homes in Willamette Heights. For many of us, that has meant upgrading wiring or plumbing, or even replacing foundations. We understand that you may be now facing those sorts of costs, and we can assure you that they’re worth it. There’s no greater value than in preserving the character of the neighborhood.

When several of us met you at this year’s Easter egg hunt, we were eager to find out about your plans. We were reassured that you had no plans to build on the spare lot, and were relieved to hear that you were committed to remodeling rather than demolishing the house.

Against this background, we were surprised to learn of the events of June 13-17. At seemingly lightning pace, it appears that you notified the City of Portland that you were withdrawing the house from the City’s landmark inventory, applied for a permit to build a new house on the site, and obtained a permit to demolish the house. Because you withdrew the house from the landmark inventory, you were no longer obligated to give public notice of the intended demolition, nor were you required to delay the demolition so that neighbors’ comments could be received.

Now, we don’t know what to expect. We wait, listening for the men in the trucks, the clank of bulldozer treads, the crane with the wrecking ball. And yet we hope to convince you that there’s a better prospect for the future. We see your family enjoying our historic neighborhood in a beautifully restored house that fits in with its neighborhood and carries on the traditions of that neighborhood. If you choose not to bear the costs of remodeling, we see another lucky family in that wonderful house.

The alternative would be terrible. We see neighborhood protests and calls to action. And ultimately, likely, we see destruction, and a new house. Nice as it might be, it stands out oddly in the neighborhood. There's a family there, sometimes, but they don't enjoy the neighborhood, as they don't interact with it. And there's something lost: old structure, old bones, history, and community.

Save your house, Kevin and Darya, please… Keep it, and remodel it into the elegant home of your dreams: We'd love to have you as those neighbors. Or sell it to somebody who likes it for what it is: a great old house in a great old neighborhood. 

Please sign this petition to persuade the Roses to save their house. Feel free to contact the neighborhood petitioners for additional information. Time is of extreme essense as there is no legal delay possible given the issued demolition permit. Please share with your friends, neighbors, and social networks.

Kevin & Darya Rose
Save your Portland House from Demolition

[Your name]

Recent signatures


    1. Rose house saved from demolition: sale to new owners is complete

      Supporters of the Rose house: congratulations! Your voices have been heard.

      There's been a flurry of action this week, which started with very real physical steps toward demolition of the house. Thanks in large-part to the support of all of those who signed this petition, the Roses agreed to sell the house to long-time residents of the neighborhood.

      We're pleased to be in a position to thank Kevin and Darya for changing their minds, and to announce that the sale of the house is complete: there is no longer any danger that it will be demolished.

      There is much thanks to go around: to those of you who signed the petition and left thoughtful comments; to those who contacted friends and neighbors and social networks; to those who reached out to press and did press interviews; to those who communicated directly with Kevin and Darya to help them understand the concerns of the neighborhood. Final thanks, however, goes to the new owners for stepping forward with an offer that allowed a sale to complete in a matter of days, and to the Roses for agreeing to that sale.

      Finally, we take this opportunity to retire our nickname for the house, and to restore the name it has had since it was built by the Montague family 122 years ago, in 1892: the Montague House.

    2. Reached 3,000 signatures
    3. Roses agree to stop demolition & sell house

      We're pleased to announce that the Roses have come to an agreement to sell their house to a long-time resident of the neighborhood. This agreement should save the house from demolition.

      We'll keep this petition open pending completion of the sales transaction, which we hope will happen soon.

      Many thanks to all of you, residents and non-residents, who expressed your support for saving the house. And thanks to Kevin and Darya for listening, and for agreeing to this sale.

      A statement from the Roses is here:

      Kevin & Darya Rose's Response to Kevin & Darya Rose: Save your Portland house from Demolition

      Response by Kevin & Darya Rose to petition Kevin & Darya Rose: Save your Portland house from Demolition

    4. Decision-maker Kevin & Darya Rose responds:

      Kevin & Darya Rose

      Hi all —

      Darya and I are happy to announce that we’ve come to an agreement with a long-time resident of Willamette Heights to sell 1627 NW 32nd Ave. The new buyer’s intention is not to demolish the house, but rather restore and maintai...

    5. Reached 2,500 signatures
    6. Historical photo of Rose House: Priceless

      Hello friends. We're closing in on 2500 signatures on the petition. Thanks for your help in getting the word out.

      We've tracked down a historic photo of the house, built in 1892. The photo, taken following a snow sometime in the 1890's, was taken from across Balch Creek canyon and shows the house, center left, largely alone in the recently cleared neighborhood (two other houses are visible in the wide shot).

      The photo really gives a historic context for the age of the house, which most of you know is now surrounded by a whole neighborhood built in later years. The house is an important link to a far different Portland than we know today.


      Dropbox is a free service that lets you bring your photos, docs, and videos anywhere and share them easily. Never email yourself a file again!

    7. Reached 2,000 signatures
    8. News of the campaign spreads

      Google executive Kevin Rose buys, plans to demolish 1892 house in NW Portland

      A Google executive's plan to tear down an 1892 home in Northwest Portland caught neighbors off guard, and hundreds have signed on to an online petition asking him to reconsider. Kevin Rose, who founded news aggregator and is now a partner at Google's investment arm, Google Ventures, bought the Willamette Heights house with his wife, Darya, in March for $1.3 million.

    9. Decision-maker Kevin & Darya Rose responds:

      Kevin & Darya Rose

      After reading through a few of the comments we wanted to write one final note to everyone here on this thread.

      Here is more background on our purchase:

      We purchased this home with the intent of a major remodel, interior and exterio...

    10. Reached 1,000 signatures
    11. Jim Draudt and Ann Witsil, previous property owners, respond to Rose letter

      Neighbors and concerned citizens: Thanks for your interest, and for expressing your concern regarding the planned demolition of the Rose house.

      There are now more than 450 names on our petition to save the house from destruction! You've been busy — keep at it!

      Given that the city had no choice but to issue a Demolition Permit, we recognize that the only way to save the house is for Kevin and Darya to help make it happen, so we were pleased to see from their response yesterday that they are at least interested in communicating about possible solutions. The only solution acceptable to us is to save the house, not to remove it.

      Today, James Draudt and Ann Witsil, the previous owners of the house, have replied to the Rose's letter. Please see Jim and Ann's reply in the discussion under the the Rose's letter:

      Kevin & Darya Rose's Response to Kevin & Darya Rose: Save your Portland house from Demolition

      Response by Kevin & Darya Rose to petition Kevin & Darya Rose: Save your Portland house from Demolition

    12. Reached 250 signatures
    13. We have a first response from Kevin and Darya

      Neighbors and concerned citizens: your efforts are having an affect. Kevin and Darya Rose have written a response to the petition. Please read it on the petition site.

      We'd love it if you would read it over and respond directly to the points they make.

      Does their offer to dismantle the house and donate all of the parts to charity compensate for the loss of the house?

    14. Decision-maker Kevin & Darya Rose responds:

      Kevin & Darya Rose

      Dear neighbors,

      As some of you have heard, we have submitted plans to the city to build a new home on the property we purchased in Willamette Heights. We know that this is very upsetting to many of you, but we hope you can take a momen...

    15. Reached 100 signatures


    Reasons for signing

    • Emily Pothast SEATTLE, WA
      • 4 months ago

      I live in Seattle, a city which is also undergoing rapid changes due to the unfortunate combination of new money with bad taste. Save yourself, Portland!

    • Frances Kellogg GWYNEDD, PA
      • 4 months ago

      My daughter and her family lived in the house for many years. When visiting we saw it as a community center and a happy neighborhood place. Which, I understand it still is. Please see that it stays that way.

    • John Kraft OAKLAND, CA
      • 4 months ago

      As a general contractor, I have a first hand experience as to what older homes provide in the way of character, charm and the value of history to our lives. It is important to save what we can and this home is certainly one worth saving!

    • Rothlind Christopher PORTLAND, OR
      • 4 months ago

      We continue to destroy our architectural heritage at an alarming rate and should be doing everything we can to preserve it. Have we learned nothing from the atrocities committed during the 50s and 60s? The City needs to step up its preservationist game NOW.

    • Mary Atwood PORTLAND, OR
      • 4 months ago

      Historic architecture! They don't build homes like this anymore!


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