Originally the home of businessman Peter Kerr, a native of Scotland who came to Portland in 1888. The house was built in 1914 and made to resemble a Scottish manor. The house was sited by John Olmsted, of the well-known Olmsted Brothers Landscape Architects firm, to take advantage of the view of Mount Hood and the Willamette River. The estate was donated to the Episcopal Diocese in 1957.
In 2018, the property was purchased by Jordan Schnitzer. Mr. Schnitzer intends to develop a long-term master plan to restore and revitalize Elk Rock Gardens in a way that honors the history and tradition of the garden as well as the legacy of the Kerr family’s intention in donating it to the diocese, maintaining it as a private/public green space with a deed restriction that prevents any subdivision of the property for redevelopment.