Listing of the Day
Location: Seattle, Washington
Price: $15 million
Remember that Ben Stiller movie, “Night at the Museum”? Yeah, this listing is kind of like that, but in real life…as the future homeowners of this iconic Seattle mansion will truly be sleeping amongst history.
The Neoclassical home, set on top of a hill in the Harvard-Belmont Historic Landmark District, was where noted businessman and philanthropist Samuel Hill resided at the start of the 20th Century. Mr. Hill commissioned the structure in 1906, asking architecture firm Hornblower & Marshall to look to classic New York City brownstones for inspiration. When it was completed in 1910, it was then, and still is, “one of the most iconic homes in the city,” said Coldwell Banker Bain broker Terry Allen.
Over the past 110 years, only four owners have occupied the house on the hill, the most recent choosing to undertake a meticulous four-year, $10 million renovation. At the helm of the gut-reno was a team of local architects and designers: The structure was restored under the supervision of Stuart Silk Architects, Garret Cord Werner outfitted the interiors and Richard Hartlage of Land Morphology took on the landscaping.
The 21st Century iteration of the Sam Hill Mansion is a fascinating fusion of old—original wood floors and fireplaces, exposed concrete walls and steel beams—and new—cutting edge appliances and security, contemporary furnishings and fixtures. “It has been restored to perfection,” notes Mr. Allen, “they’ve blended two worlds together; everything in the house is current but done in a way that honors the original characteristics of the home.”
The 11,000-square-foot home, added to the National Registry of Historic Places in 1976, sits on a 31,000-square-foot lot surrounded by mature trees and foliage. Inside, five bedrooms, six full bathrooms and one half bath are spread out amongst five stories.
The top floor of the home has been referred to as “the ballroom” since the home was built, a tradition that continues today. In addition to unparalleled views of the city of Seattle’s skyline, the Olympic Mountains and Puget Sound, it boasts an expansive outdoor terrace, two fireplaces and seats for entertaining, as well as an outdoor kitchen and shower. What was once the horse stables is now a fitness center and spa with a steam shower and sauna. Remnants of its former life are still intact, including the stable doors and openings of the original horse stalls.
The purchaser of the home will also be the new owner of the oldest working sundial in Seattle. The bronze fixture is inscribed with the phrase: “I mark no hours not bright/Stedfast thru gloom I stand/Waiting till God command/To shine on me his light.” Homeowners shouldn’t set their watch by it, however, as readings have been recorded as being off by as much as 20 minutes.
The Harvard-Belmont Landmark District lays claim to some of Seattle’s most well-preserved and historically significant homes, most built by prominent leaders of the city’s past: financiers, merchants and industrialists. Seattle businessman and railroad builder Horace Chapin Henry is credited for elevating the status of the neighborhood when he was the first to build his home there in 1901. Mr. Henry commissioned local firm Bebb and Gould for the build, and asked for a five-car garage, a notable request given that at the time automobiles were still largely unobtainable. By 1910 there were more than 45 Victorian and Neoclassical homes along the picturesque, tree-lined streets.
Agent: Terry Allen, Coldwell Banker Bain
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