John Yeon Center for Architecture and the Landscape


the gorge

No architect has influenced Oregon so broadly as John Yeon.

A planner, conservationist, historic preservationist, art collector, and urban activist, as well as one of the state’s most gifted architectural designers, Yeon was one of the progenitors of the Northwest Regional Style of architecture and stands among the region’s most influential conservationists.

During his six-decade-long career, Yeon’s residential architecture influenced a generation of architects and presaged many later ideas of sustainable design; he preserved landmark buildings and influenced the designs for major Portland developments and parks; he single-handedly protected critical coastal landscapes; and, most prominently, his life-long advocacy for the Columbia River Gorge played a pivotal role in creating the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area.

The John Yeon Center is devoted to preserving Yeon’s legacy by inspiring future acts of visionary design and conservation.

The College of Design at the University of Oregon manages the John Yeon Center, which stewards three properties designed by Yeon:

  • The 1937 Watzek House, the most influential work of domestic architecture in the Northwest and Portland’s only National Historic Landmark residence;
  • The Shire, a unique, 75-acre work of landscape design in the Columbia River Gorge.
  • The Cottrell House, a 1950 home for a large family set on a forested reserve that deeply influenced regional architects working with multi-story residences in the 1960’s.