The Brown Apartments are four stories high with a daylight basement, and has a total of 66 living
units. Its footprint is U-shaped, the outside dimensions measuring 95’ x 95’. The building is a highly visible
landmark in the neighborhood. The front entrance is recessed, with a central courtyard that faces the front of the building.
The roof is flat and therefore is not visible from the street. External walls of the apartment building are constructed of
brick, while the interior walls are wood frame, lathe and plaster. Exterior:
Brown Apartments represent a fine example of the American Renaissance style, and are in excellent condition. The two facades
that face the street (north and east) and the central courtyard of the apartment are abundant with architectural detail. The
south and west facades that are directed to the interior of the block are fashioned with more simplicity.
primary facades present a strong contrasting pattern between the dark reddish brown brick and the light cream color of other
decorative and structural elements, such as the concrete basement, window frames, and the oriel windows with classical detail.
The oriel windows are arranged in vertical stacks on the second, third, and fourth floors. Two wooden belt courses and a cornice
provide strong, light colored horizontal lines on the north and east façades. Interior:
The plan of the interior of the Brown Apartments is as originally constructed. Of the 66 apartment
units, sixteen are 1-bedroom units and fifty are studios. All floors including the basement have three 1-bedroom apartments
except the first floor, which has four of the 1-bedroom units. The original features of the lobby, halls and apartments are
in excellent condition. Christina Addison
Brown – Original Owner/Builder:
Mrs. Christina Brown was the owner/builder of the Brown Apartments. She contracted with the firm of Green
and Green to construct the apartment building during 1914 and 1915 (City of Portland building permit files).
Brown was born February 12, 1871 in Weaverville, California. She moved with her family to a ranch near Pendleton, Oregon when
she was 8 years old. Nothing has been discovered of her marriage, other than that she had a daughter named Dorothy (Evening
Astorian, Sept. 10, 1951).
Mrs. Brown was listed as living in Portland at 201 14th Avenue
in 1910, five years before completion of the Brown Apartments, which were built at 181 14th Ave. She apparently
built the apartments near, or on the same parcel, where she was living.
Following their completion, Mrs. Brown
moved into the Brown Apartments and lived there until her retirement in 1944. During her career she also owned and operated
the May Apartments, which are located at the corner of S.W. 14th Avenue and Taylor Street. Upon retirement, Mrs.
Brown moved to seaside, Oregon, to the home of her daughter, Mrs. Dorothy Mulholland. Mrs. Christina Brown died September
8, 1951 at the age of 80 years.