This lovely Craftsman masterpiece sits off a long road atop a woodsy hill a few miles west of Jacksonville. You'll never see it from below, but you have to take it on faith that it's a perfect homage to brothers Charles and Henry Greene, authors of the American Arts and Crafts Movement at the start of the 20th century.
Floored throughout in native oak, the 3,259-square-foot fortress (Craftsman is known for its power and visible structural elements) followed standards of the Earth Advantage Institute. The geothermal heat pump, major insulation and glazing, as well as recycling of building waste, are products of the past four years' construction.
The living room presents several square arches, framed in richly colored hardwood — a signature Craftsman feature — leading to the kitchen, entry and dining room. They are flanked with many a glassed-in bookcase, all with showy wood inlays, ironwork and adornments that real craftsmen loved to install, this before that first Skil saw was plugged in.
Fireplaces in the living room and master bedroom are tiled, with eye-catching floral accents mixed into the tile. Views of Mount McLoughlin — which owner-builder Bill Philp calls "Mount Pitt," in the style of valley natives a few generations back — grace views to the east. A screened-in sun room with barbecue gas outlets ("hate them yellow jackets") faces south for maximum warmth in spring and fall.
Philp, a builder of commercial structures in Southern Oregon for four decades, jokes grimly about the economic crash that befell contractors in 2008, almost at the moment he began his very first home-construction project just uphill from a tasteful and modest home, where he and wife Cathie lived surrounded by 80 acres.
They drew their inspiration from the recently built (and sold) DeBoer mansion on Granite Street in Ashland, with Cathie Philp noting, "I fell in love with the style after poring over pictures and looking at other houses. It's more the real 'American style' of my father and uncle, who worked with their hands. All the men in my life have been in the construction industry."
The house has an open floor plan, three bedrooms, 3.5 baths, a hot tub on the deck, a den, tile floors, cherry-wood trim, sound system, central vaccuum, indoor sprinklers and a broad fire-defense zone around it.
A former surfer from Oceanside, Calif., Bill Philp says his creation, if the market returns, would be worth just over $1 million. The land has been divided for five other lots.
The couple designed it with aging parents (and themselves) in mind, so it has wide hallways and double doors all on a single level.
Confessing to a sentimental touch, Philp says during construction, he implanted several time capsules made of PVC pipe and caps with memorabilia of world events, including newspaper clippings of the election of President Obama.
If they ever pull it down, maybe in 150 years, they'll have to go slow so they can find them," he joked. The home looks like it might last several centuries beyond that.