Maybe the General’s House isn’t in your budget, the 6,600-sq-ft, six-bedroom home that serves as the largest of the 26 former military homes inside Seattle’s Discovery Park, but that doesn’t have to stop you from marveling over the restored military structure.
Rise Properties Trust spent a reported $9.5 million to purchase 26 homes listed on the National Register of Historic Places in the city’s largest park and former military base—it closed in 2011—and plans to restore all the homes and sell them off, all while abiding to the city’s Landmarks Preservation Board’s guidelines. The homes were “surplussed” in 2013 by the United States Navy and Pacific Northwest Communities. The sale closed in 2015.
Led by general contractor Thrive Developments, lead architect GGLO, historic preservation architect Bola Architecture + Planning, civil engineers KPFF Consulting Engineers and I.L. Gross Structural Engineers, Rise plans to start having the homes ready for the public this fall.
“We all recognize the responsibility of preserving the living legacy of Fort Lawton, while at the same time creating a distinctive residential community and transferring the stewardship of this landmark development to the new home owners’ association,” said Rise vice president Gary Blaskeslee.
The 26 residences fit on nine acres within the Magnolia park along Puget Sound and about 15 minutes from downtown Seattle. Overall, the 534-acre park, operated by Seattle Parks and Recreation, has views from its bluff, two miles of protected tidal beaches, open meadows, cliffs, sand dunes, streams and a natural beauty not often found within a large city’s limits.
In keeping with the Colonial Revival architecture of the structures built between 1904 and 1935, Rise will create two “enclaves,” dubbed Montana Circle and Officer’s Row, which overlooks the parade grounds and Puget Sound.
The homes vary in size from two-bedroom, two-bath duplex-style homes of 1,700 sq ft up to the single-family mansion known as the General’s House. The 13 homes in Montana Circle should be ready first, which includes six duplexes once used by enlisted soldiers and a single-family home. Officers’ Row has six duplexes once used by officers and the mansion. The exteriors will get expert refurbishment in their original style, while the interiors will have a more modern-day appeal.
In the already upscale neighborhood of Magnolia, there may be nothing quite as highfalutin as the General’s House.
Tim Newcomb is Engineering News-Record’s Pacific Northwest contributor. He also writes for Popular Mechanics, Sports Illustrated and more. You can follow him on Twitter at @tdnewcomb or visit his website here.