I’ve been in the modern, farmhouse, barn, rustic phase for a few weeks now, and I decided it’s time to go back … in time, to glamour, to Italianate palazzo-style, to Old School … to Seattle.
This landmark residence was built in 1906 for Samuel Hill, a leading industrialist of the time. The Samuel Hill Mansion, as it is commonly called, is located within the Harvard-Belmont Historical District and is a landmark building in Seattle, and part of the legacy of historic homes. The walls are constructed entirely of cast-in-place concrete which exceeds three feet in depth at their base; the house is thought to be the oldest of its kind on the west coast.
Sturdy, like they used to build ‘em. And yet, while the exterior of this five-story home was historically significant, the interior … not so much. And so, it was basically taken down to the studs, by the studs, who demolished every interior partition, wall, ceiling and floor on all five levels.
Afterwards, the 12,000 square foot home was completely reorganized to the way we—and by we, I mean folks who can afford a multi-million, 12,000-square-foot home—live today. It is wide open, and full of light; the kitchen was brought up to the main floor and now has a dramatic twenty-four foot long island made of stone and burnished nickel … which I can see Maddie strut her stuff along after a few gins. And a few flights up, the roof was turned into another party space with a rooftop garden, plunge pool, living and dining area, and firepit perfect for taking in the views of the Seattle skyline, Lake Union, and the Olympic Mountains. The carriage house, originally below the house itself, was transformed to create an exercise space.
Each of the other floors was reorganized to better respond to the owner’s specific needs although historic elements were retained and showcased, including the original fir beams in the basement; the four diamond-patterned structural iron columns, which feature rivets and webbing; the paneling and coffering ceilings of quarter-sawn white oak.
It's old and new and elegant and grand and, yeah, a bit too large and too many stairs, but if that’s your thing, and your bank account is overflowing, this might just work.