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Main Homes The revival: Moroccan fantasy

The revival: Moroccan fantasy

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Monday, April 30, 2012

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Julie Olson has baths in the belfry. She’s not crazy. She just enjoys soaking in a cast-iron tub in the bell tower of the circa 1892 church she calls home.

Stained glass windows, a choir loft and the raised altar area are still evident in the wood-clad Milwaukie building. A wall divides the church lengthwise, where a center aisle might have been, all the way up through the choir loft. It helps break up the 5,000 square feet into manageable rooms for Olson, her partner, Ron Irwin, and Olson’s 94-year-old mother. Olson bought the church in 1993.

“After 25 years living in Morocco, a split-level home in the suburbs wasn’t going to cut it,” says Olson with a laugh.

2012JunJul_Church_01 2012JunJul_Church_02 2012JunJul_Church_05

High ceilings, stained glass and a raised altar area in the living room reveal the home's past as a church.

Church details, including the belfry and windows, are still evident in the Milwaukie home.

Ron Irwin and Julie Olson by the people-sized openings in the camel doors.

// Photos by Jon Jensen