Video: Making new memories at Nickels family’s century-old home

August 19, 2013 at 8:02 pm | In West Seattle history, West Seattle news | 10 Comments

Think politicians tend to live in fancy mansions? Some might. But for more than a quarter of a century, Greg Nickels, two-term mayor of Seattle, and wife Sharon Nickels have resided in a humble Craftsman bungalow in North Admiral, where they hosted a party on Sunday afternoon. The benefit for the Southwest Seattle Historical Society celebrated the 100-year history of the Nickels family’s home, as well as its restoration, and the concept of restoring and researching any not-so-new home. We were there for the early going, with dozens there to look, listen, and learn:

We also recorded video of the warm introduction by SWSHS executive director Clay Eals, and then Greg Nickels’ remarks, humorous and informative:

He had many memories to share, including dealing with the rust-colored shag carpet you might remember from this photo shown in some of the pre-event previews:

But as Eals said, the event wasn’t just a look back – it was also meant to create new memories, and new history at which attendees and others will look back, years down the road. Also featured was Greg Lange from the King County Archives; we weren’t able to stay to record what he had to say, but you can learn a lot about property research – current and past information – via the county website.

Watch the SWSHS website for more on Sunday’s event and other frequently updated content; you can even go there right now for details of SWSHS events coming up, including a West Seattle-centric 9/11 commemoration on Sunday, September 8th, at Alki Arts, displaying the bags from the luminarias that were displayed at the Alki Statue of Liberty starting the night after the attack 12 years ago – details here. (The day before that – September 7th – is the next informational session for potential volunteers; read about that here.)

10 Comments

  1. Ok, we live just around the block and dealt with parking challenges as well a commotion…:-). We missed enjoying it all for a variety of reasons, but love our ‘hood…thanks to all stewards of old homes….so many our many
    ‘hoods!!! WS rocks!!!!!!

    Comment by PDH — 10:13 pm August 19, 2013 #

  2. Incredible that in today’s world a $732+k house (Zillow estimate) is considered “humble.”

    Comment by WSNimby — 8:40 am August 20, 2013 #

  3. Humble craftsman bungalows in Admiral are 600K-800K. :)

    Comment by evergreen — 9:02 am August 20, 2013 #

  4. well it was certainly not $600-$800k when they bought it as a very-much-in-need-of-fixing-up in 1986; they have put a ton of work into this home, keeping with the historic character; I learned so much at this event, about history of the neighborhood, their home, history of local politics….Greg’s office is like a mini-museum; it was so fun to hear all his stories about various mementos
    ~
    I was very grateful for the opportunity to volunteer, and thrilled to see how many people showed up; Greg and Sharon were incredibly generous hosts, patiently answering the same questions over and over and over for hours; thank you to all who put on this wonderful event
    ~
    perhaps most surprising to me; that area of Admiral used to be a golf course; and the much larger home next door, to the north, was the golf clubhouse

    Comment by Diane — 11:15 am August 20, 2013 #

  5. Man, sorry to nitpick WSB..I love ya, but I’ve got to wonder why you’d use the word humble to describe this beautifully renovated(and I’ll bet he isn’t a really DIY kinda dude), million dollar home, in one of the most sought after neighborhoods of WS? I’m now at a loss as to what I should call MY humble craftsman…Maybe an “EXTREMELY humble craftsman”? :)

    Comment by KMH — 11:51 am August 20, 2013 #

  6. Sorry, I try not to use adjectives, but really, valuation aside (which I didn’t know nor factor into my assessment), guess I could have said “relatively humble” … Although Zillow may be a little inflated; now that someone mentions it, I looked, and our 2 bedroom/1 bath 1941-built neglected warbox hovel, purchased 20 years ago, is tagged with a $350K-something valuation that it’s absolutely not worth … it will make someone a lovely teardown someday. Most folks would walk in and run back out screaming. Yet, relatively speaking, our hovel, I suppose, would be another person’s castle. – TR

    Comment by WSB — 12:00 pm August 20, 2013 #

  7. and as Greg told the story of their first visit to this home; it was so bad/ugly, they walked right out; they went back 3 times before realizing potential

    Comment by Diane — 3:28 pm August 20, 2013 #

  8. Sounds like they had the same decorator who did our house, which is around the corner and is 104 years old. Rust colored shag carpet, gold flecked mirror tile, diagonal cedar siding, Z-brick. All gone now, thank heavens. Really enjoyed this video.

    Comment by mtr — 11:39 am August 21, 2013 #

  9. I completely blame this redneck for the loss of the Sonics. The worst mayor Ever! McShwinn won’t get a chance to sell us out, but he’s a close second trying to force me onto a bike with a knee replacement such an idiot!

    Comment by carlton — 12:41 pm August 22, 2013 #

  10. Would have liked to have been there as we’ve got a craftsman fixer for 13 years. Thanks for covering this, WSB!

    Comment by Miranda — 6:06 pm August 24, 2013 #

Sorry, comment time is over.

All contents copyright 2014, A Drink of Water and a Story Interactive. Here's how to contact us.
Header image by Nick Adams. ABSOLUTELY NO WSB PHOTO REUSE WITHOUT SITE OWNERS' PERMISSION.
Entries and comments feeds. ^Top^