Portland’s White House gets $1 million makeover from gay owners

Frank Groff bought the White House for approximately $2 million.

No. Not The White House. Portland’s White House, Oregon’s historic bed and breakfast.

“Yes. I bought the White House,” Groff says with a chuckle.

Groff bought the Mediterranean style mansion in December 2017 for $1.9 million. The exterior features a colossal, classical portico in the Colonial Revival tradition.

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$1 million makeover

Since the purchase, Groff and his fiancé, David Krause, have invested another $1 million in renovations at the 1912 residence to restore its luster and turn it into a luxury bed and breakfast.

“Our goal was to restore the property to its former glory, yet add some contemporary and whimsical elements to bring out its charm and lend an air of comfort to each space,” Groff says.

Portland's White House

This grand staircase at Portland’s White House, Oregon’s historic bed and breakfast, lead upstairs to the guest rooms.

Robert F. Lytle Home

The 10,000 square-foot sprawling property is officially known as the Robert F. Lytle Home, built by the Oregon lumber baron. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Lytle used metal lath and plaster and tile roofs. He also installed Povey Brothers stained glass, known as “The Tiffany of the Northwest.”

Sprawling property

The main house features six bedrooms each with an ensuite bathroom, while the carriage house has three additional bedrooms with adjoining bathrooms.

The mansion has a grand foyer with a magnificent, hand-painted mural of a French landscape and a sweeping staircase leading to the upstairs bedrooms.

The main floor also features a living room with grand piano, a billiards room, commercial kitchen, octagon shaped den, a dining room, and an 85-seat ballroom.

Portland's White House

Frank Groff and David Krause have given Portland’s White House, Oregon’s historic bed and breakfast, a $1 million makeover. Photo: Frank Groff.

Owning the White House

“I have bought and renovated homes before, but I never thought I’d own a bed and breakfast,” Groff says.

Groff moved to Portland nine years ago, but still commutes to Long Beach, where he owns a public relations company. Groff sold the building on Broadway where his office was located for $2.35 million and used the money to buy the White House.

Prized property

The couple spent several months overseeing the renovation project, which included installing new plumbing, heating, and air conditioning and electrical systems.

Tradesmen and artisan craftsmen remodeled the bathrooms, commercial kitchen, guest rooms, and landscaping.

They also hired a chef, who makes all meals from scratch, and a caterer is available for special events.

Groff says: “We look forward to settling into our roles as stewards for this historic property.”

For a tour of the White House, click here.

About the author

Phillip Zonkel

Award-winning journalist Phillip Zonkel spent 17 years at Long Beach's Press-Telegram, where he was the first reporter in the paper's history to have a beat covering the city's vibrant LGBTQ. He also created and ran the popular and innovative LGBTQ news blog, Out in the 562.

He won two awards and received a nomination for his reporting on the local LGBTQ community, including a two-part investigation that exposed anti-gay bullying of local high school students and the school districts' failure to implement state mandated protections for LGBTQ students.

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