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A Family Home

Originally used as a summer home, Aaron M. Frank bought the thirty-five-acre plot of land in Garden Home for its ample acreage for his true passion: horses. Located near both the Portland and Nicol riding academies, the property featured an impressive main stable – boasting fourteen stalls, a carriage floor, and chambers for grooms. An additional barn dedicated for brood mares was also constructed, but the centerpiece of this equestrian haven was the 1/8-mile oval track and indoor ring capable of seating hundreds of guests. The estate also featured a well manicured rock garden, a tennis court, a 5-hole golf course, and Oregon’s first Olympic-sized pool, offering a local training area for Olympic hopefuls.

The family home, which resides on a rise looking over the track, features five bedrooms, six bathrooms on the main level, with an additional bathroom, bedroom, and wine cellar on the lower level. The main living room fireplace is massive, even by traditional standards, and provided an amazing backdrop for the lavish parties often hosted at the venue.

With deep connections to the spheres of both politics and entertainment, including Amelia Earhart who had a featured label with Meier &Frank, and Clark Gable who once sold ties at the store, the Frank Family reveled in luxurious company. Frank’s grandmother, Jeanette Hirsch Meier, of the Hirsch family bolstered those connections. The Hirsch family was one of the founders of the White Stag Sportswear company, which installed the iconically bright White Stag sign in downtown Portland in 1940 (the sign was later purchased by the city and updated to feature its name).

From One Family to Many

In 1989, the estate was sold, and construction began on a collection of townhome and apartment buildings to surround the main house. Segmented with well-manicured hedges and rose gardens, The Frank Estate still features the iconic landmarks built by the Frank family, including the 1/8-mile horse track.

The family home is now used as the main leasing office and still features nearly all the original features (residents often enjoy morning coffee in front of the oversized fireplace). Though officially part of Portland, The Frank Estate feels a thousand miles away and isolated from the busy lifestyle we’ve all become so accustom to. Walking paths, including the Fanno Creek trail, crisscross across the property and provide residents a relaxing escape.

Just as it did for Aaron Meier Frank and his family, The Frank Estate continues to provide a peaceful home for its residents to pursue their passions and enjoy the unmatched tranquility of the Pacific Northwest.

A special thank you to Gerry Frank, The Garden Home History Project, and The Washington County Historical Society for reference material and images.

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Aug 1