Wednesday, August 05, 2020

Architecture Wednesday: Samuel Hill Mansion


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.

15 comments:

Mistress Maddie said...

Ooooooohhhhhhhhh yes!!!!! Now your cooking with gas. This will do very nicely indeed. This has me written all over it...down to even the furnishings. I like that it feels old Guilded Age...but without the colossal size. When do we and the boys move in? And the lighting is awesome. Get them nickels ready!!$$$

Sixpence Notthewiser said...

Oh dear lord.
Of course you had me at ‘Italianate Palazzo style’ , but seeing the amazing restoration job is just fantastic.
Oh to have all that dough...

XoXo

the dogs' mother said...

Seattle! Loverly city.
Wow! Glad they renovated
the inside.
xoxo :-)

JP said...

The house is gorgeous but the decor is a bit too Dynasty for me.
JP

Deedles said...

As the Deedles Downer of the group, I have to say that it looks mildewy to me. Sorry.

Mistress Maddie said...

Now JP, I hope you and Guido are doing well and safe, sure do miss you. But Dynasty. I'm sad to tell you, your part of Crystal is going to be recast. I looked so forward to working with you too.

Bob said...

@MM
I could tell this was you.
I like the Old World and the New Industrial look, plus I'm a sucker for a rooftop garden.

@Six
It really is the best of old and new.

@TDM
I love when they save these old places.

@JP
I would switch up some of the furnishings, but I could take it and livewith it first!

@Deedles
Mildewy? MILDEWY??? MILDEWY? =)

@MM
I always thought of JP as an Alexis!

Deedles said...

Yep, Bobulah, mildewy! I can almost smell it. I think I may come from a different perspective of things.

Dave R said...

Yes, I could live there. Is it for sale?

NW MAN said...

Seattle native here, I have admired this classic since childhood. It has a perfect setting and now a beautiful interior. Lovely.

Mitchell Block said...

Love the original house. Love the spaces. I'd be replacing A LOT of the furniture and fixtures! (But would definitely keep some of the art.)

Bob said...

@Dave
I believe it was in 2016. I don't know about now ... you got the coins?

@NW Man
It is a beautiful home, inside and out!

@Mitchell
Yeah, I'd lose some furnishings, but, oy, the space and the rooftop!

VRC-Do You! said...

This will do...Carlos could be the queen of the manor, the children will have free rein- of course-and you will be setting in a prominent location receiving your guests...I heard back in the day rich folk would receive guests on certain days of the week...I will be tucked away on the top floor...

Travel said...

I am in Love, when can I move in?

Bob said...

@VRC
Carlos says it's big;he likes to be queen of a more petite manor!

@Travel
I think if we all scrounge for coins we might turn it into a LGBTQ timeshare thing!