The Bishop’s Close
A Secret Garden Gone – An Obituary
It is with a heavy heart that I write about The Bishop’s Close, a nine-acre estate which was originally owned by Peter Kerr and donated by his family after his death, to the Episcopal Bishop of Oregon.
This marvelous estate is being sold for $4.5 million. It had a sale pending on November 30, 2022 and in fact, the sale may be final as I write.
Typically, properties change hands here and there and there is little, if any dust-up over the exchange. However, this property is different because it is the garden not the building on the property which is the most precious piece.
The nine-acre garden which overlooks the Willamette River and Elk Rock was designed by the famous landscape architects, the Olmsted Brothers for Peter Kerr and his family. It is considered one of the oldest, private estates in the Pacific Northwest. And for the last 60 years the garden has been open for the public to stroll through and enjoy. Until the sale is final, you can still stroll the garden 8AM to 5PM Monday through Friday.
There is no indication who (private party? developer?) the buyer is for The Bishop’s Close and what fate awaits the estate. But unless the new owner has some sense and respect of the value of the garden with its meandering pathways, captured views of the river, and amazing collection of plants, it is likely it will be gone.
There aren’t many times when I have wanted to suspend time and halt the future from bleeding into now, but this is one of them.
Go well Bishop’s Close. The garden has given pleasure, delight and solace to many, many of us. This treasure will be dearly missed