In 1959, Phyllis Rummer took a trip to Walnut Creek to visit her sister. While in Walnut Creek, they toured some new homes developed by Joe Eichler and she fell in love.
The following spring, Bob was helping a friend with plans to build a new home and found the same design in Look magazine.
What Rummer saw was a design that was very different, a style that was not common to the Northwest, unique post and beam modern designs with flat and low pitched roofs, radiant floor heat, atriums and walls of windows.
In 1959, Rummer built his first development of Eichler influenced homes in Newberg, Oregon. For the next 15 years Rummer built several hundred of his modern-styled homes in the Portland metro area.
Vista Brook, a subdivision between Scholls Ferry Road at 90th and Garden Home,
has the largest concentration of Rummer homes. Since no other styles of homes are mixed in, this is a community that resembles many Eichler sub-divisions. What’s more, Vista Brooke is quickly becoming a community desired by those seeking mid-century modern homes---and at a fraction of the Bay Area’s prices.
The first area to be developed with a number of Rummer homes is an area off of Denny Road and 103rd. The homes were so well received that Rummer quickly
secured additional land to build his iconic homes.
About 5 miles to the West lies the Taliesen subdivision in the heart of Beaverton.
Spread across three square cul-de-sacs that intersect 130th Avenue, 30 Rummers
share space with many ranches and split-level traditional homes. The entire
subdivision is flanked to the West by the mature Douglas firs of Taliesen Park,
which was donated by Rummer during development in 1966.
Another similar-sized, mostly Rummer subdivision, is 2 miles Northwest in
Menlo Park, located on S.W. Bonnie Brae and Bonnie Brae Court. Just 2
blocks to the North is Eichler Park, a city park with a familiar name.
Several miles Northwest of Menlo Park is the exclusive development of Oak Hills, one of Portland’s first planned communities, with a community center, pool, tennis courts, retirement home, school, church, walking paths, green spaces, condos and single family homes. Sprinkled amongst the groves of Oak trees and nicely kept ranch and split-level homes are 30 Rummers. Though not originally invited to be a builder in this tract in 1966, Bob Rummer would eventually find a way to introduce his modern designs within three months after the subdivision’s construction began. On May 21, 2011, Oak Hills had a tour of eight Rummer homes to help The Historic Preservation League of Oregon’s nomination to place the area on the National Register of Historic Places.
Icon of the mid century modern, Bob Rummer’s mystique is still going strong. The open designs of Rummer homes leave you wondering where the house ends and the garden begins. Sheets of floor to ceiling glass have erased the border that traditional architecture erects between the indoors and the outdoors. All of the materials that are used inside and out reinforce that the house and the site are extensions of each other. The 1960’s architecture is as current today as the day it was built. The simplicity of these homes has fantastic eye appeal as well as ease of care. The philosophy of these homes is to make them a refuge away from the outside world. They are like an object of art and interest has skyrocketed. There are many websites and blogs dedicated to Rummer and his homes. Rummer’s name is golden almost 50 years after his homes were built.
Some of the historical information contained in this piece was obtained from the Rummer Network page.