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West Seattle history: Updates on two city-landmark houses

Updates on two of the three West Seattle residences that also happen to be city landmarks:

(WSB photo)

SATTERLEE HOUSE: The “Painted Lady” at 4866 Beach Drive SW has been on and off the market for years but finally has found a new owner. According to county records, it was sold in late July for $1,025,000. Some exterior work is under way, as you can see in our photo, taken last weekend; it was also an agenda item for the Landmarks Board last month, with approval sought for exterior-paint colors. The house’s history includes a tussle over a proposal to build three houses on its “front lawn,” denied by the city and taken by its former owner all the way to the State Supreme Court, as covered here 2008-2010. The lawn remains platted as separate lots, but no development proposals are pending.

HAINSWORTH/GORDON HOUSE: On the market for just under $2 million is the Hainsworth/Gordon House at 2657 37th SW.

(King County Assessor’s Office photo)
County records show it has changed hands four times in the past ten years, most recently a foreclosure sale at the end of 2013. Read some of its history here.

TO SEE ALL THE CITY LANDMARKS IN WEST SEATTLEexplore this map.

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West Seattle scene: Not the ‘sold’ sign you thought it was

This story is from the “looks can be deceiving” file. Messages/questions we’ve received suggest that more than a few people who have seen those two real-estate shingles in the 4800 block of Beach Drive believe the “sold” sign means the historic-landmark Satterlee House/”Painted Lady of Beach Drive” finally has a buyer, after years on the market. No, the 107-year-old Satterlee House has NOT been sold; it is still on the market. The “sold” sign is for the house to the south, 4872 Beach Drive; we confirmed that with its selling agent, Dan Mullins, who tells WSB that while that house is not an official landmark, it has a long history of its own: “It was built about 100 years ago for the Chinese consulate.” He says the family buying it wants to “restore it to its original beauty.”

Meantime, a couple of people who e-mailed us also wondered about the work crew you see on the Satterlee House’s front lawn in the background of our photo, recalling that the “lawn” is actually on the books as three separate lots (which was part of the subject of the long court fight that ended at the state Supreme Court’s doorstep three years ago). According to the permit shown in online city records, it’s side-sewer-repair work.

P.S. Here’s the current listing for the Satterlee House, on the market right now for $1,595,000 (down more than $600,000 from its 2008-2009 listing price).

WEATHER/TRAFFIC UPDATES: Soggy Monday; water woes everywhere

(SCROLL DOWN for newest updates – we’re out checking on trouble spots too)

(Live view from the only WS Bridge camera currently in operation; see other cameras on the WSB Traffic page)
6:33 AM: Rain is the big challenge this morning – and deep water is causing trouble on at least two ramps, according to Twitter reports – Delridge to the bridge, and bridge to 99. Lots of water on the roads everywhere we’ve driven. We’re monitoring trouble spots as always.

6:54 AM: A commenter says the ramp from the bridge to I-5 is developing deep-water trouble too. And even if you’re just walking outside your home, beware – our crew just back from an early-morning fire scene found a parking strip with ankle-deep, shoe-filling water. An urban/small-stream flood advisory is in effect all day – into the evening commute – for the entire county, with the possibility of up to 2 inches of rain.

7:33 AM: More reports in comments about water woes around the peninsula – including Fauntleroy and Raymond, a perennial trouble spot, and 35th/Avalon. Our friends at KING 5, who have had crews roving, mentioned a 35th/Barton puddle too.

7:55 AM: From onboard a bus:


8:24 AM: Out roving now. Delridge has many spots with serious puddling, including at Myrtle and just south of Webster. Mary just sent us a photo of someone working to clear out the ramp “lake” by the bridge:

8:39 AM: Another sign of a serious storm: The combined-sewer overflow at Barton (north of the Fauntleroy ferry) is discharging. You can check the CSO status in ‘real time’ on this county webpage. Around the area, efforts continue to reduce the need for those overflows by catching stormwater in other ways. We were reminded of that while just passing the stretch of 26th SW in North Delridge that is getting bioswales – not ready in time for this storm, but some of the holes are dug.

(Minutes later …) We’re checking Longfellow Creek by the Allstar Fitness lot, where water is spouting up from one manhole on the south side.

9:18 AM: Along Alki, some curbside overflow, and downtown is hard to see from Seacrest:

Along Alki and along Delridge (where the next photo was taken), we’re continuing to see people braving the rain to clear the storm drains and reduce puddling:

Seattle Public Utilities is responsible for the storm drains but can’t do it all, so citizen help is appreciated if you can do it safely. If not, or if you see a big road problem that only the city could address, here’s the number to call: (206) 386-1800.

10:46 AM: Beach Drive has a huge “pond” in the 4800 block, alongside the historic Satterlee House’s big front lawn, and a few blocks south, Lisa Dawson tweeted this mini-geyser photo from the 5400 block:

Keep us posted on what you’re seeking – we’ll be watching it all day long, and today we will likely open a separate story for the PM commute around mid-afternoon, rather than keeping this one running.

10:58 AM UPDATE: There’s now a power outage reported in the heart of the White Center business district – 65 “customers” (one customer = one business or home) affected so far. Meander’s sent word they’re affected; we’ll be checking on the range. (Added) Here’s how it’s shown on the City Light map:

11:53 AM UPDATE: Brian sends word that if you’re going to Westwood Village, “Bring your life raft… or at the very least rubber rain boots. The parking lot isn’t draining in Westwood”:

He took that photo in the lot by Starbucks and Big 5. Meantime, after a few other quick news updates, we’ll be launching afternoon coverage shortly.

California SW ‘upzone’: Plan for next week’s hearings outlined

August 11, 2010 6:15 am
|    Comments Off on California SW ‘upzone’: Plan for next week’s hearings outlined
 |   California Ave upzoning | Development | West Seattle news

One week from today, the proposal to “upzone” a block-plus of California SW (map) makes its final stop before City Council consideration: A public hearing before city Hearing Examiner Sue Tanner, in her chambers downtown. Also to be heard that same day – Wednesday, August 18th – is the appeal filed against an environmental “nonsignificance” ruling issued in connection with the city’s recommendation that the rezoning proposal be approved. How will that day play out? We have an outline, after covering a pre-hearing conference on Tuesday with Tanner presiding, mostly focused on the appeal – read on:Read More

Alki Homestead’s owner: “You always want to keep hoping”

Two weeks from today is the 4th of July, the day the Southwest Seattle Historical Society plans a rally of sorts outside the Alki Homestead to take a group photo to publicize how many people are concerned about the landmark’s future. Its owner Tom Lin, meantime, says concern is great, but contends nobody’s contacting him directly to help save it from sitting, idle, indefinitely, as it has for a year and a half since the electrical fire that charred its interior and closed the restaurant. As noted in our original report on the Historical Society’s plan, we asked him for comment – to respond, he sat down with us this past week at an Alki coffee shop:Read More

West Seattle weekend scene: Log House Museum’s summer prep

Right in the middle of West Seattle’s bright beautiful Saturday morning, its headquarters for history – the Log House Museum – got some love from a small but dedicated cleanup crew – below, that’s Southwest Seattle Historical Society president Judy Bentley and a young volunteer in the next photo, checking out the “to do” list.

For the latest roundup of what the Historical Society is focusing on – including a current pledge drive – you can check out their most recent newsletter (PDF) here. And expect to hear more soon about the Alki Homestead awareness event announced by board member Jim Del Ciello at this past week’s Southwest District Council meeting. Meantime, the museum’s open Thursdays-Sundays, noon-4 pm, 61st/Stevens (map), and well worth a visit.

Alki Elementary student Vanessa Radke to be on national TV

10-year-old Vanessa Radke of West Seattle gets to “skip school on Monday,” as her mom Sara Satterlee put it, for what you’d probably agree is a good reason — she’s flying to New York to be on NBC’s nationally broadcast TODAY show. Sara says her daughter – an Alki Elementary School student and former West Seattle Hi-Yu Festival Junior Princess – has made it to the final 16 in the show’s “Kid Reporter” contest, and will be interviewed live on the show Monday. Contestants were asked to put together a video report and mail it in; we asked Sara about Vanessa’s entry:

Her submission was videotaped with her father a few weeks down at Alki Beach. She did a quick one minute bit on how to conserve water. The video starts out with her intro about water with the back drop being Puget Sound on the sandy shores of Alki Beach. She then cuts to her in her grandma’s kitchen telling her viewers that there are just three simple steps everyone could follow that could help everyone. Scene fades to her brushing her teeth, and her explaining the importance of tuning off the water while brushing It then fades into a dishwashing session and Vanessa tells her audience that they need to fill the sink, turn off the water, wash the dishes, and then rinse. For the final few scenes it is apparent from her wet hair and that she is wrapped up tight in a robe that she is fresh out of the shower. As she walks across the living room she describes to her viewer that by cutting your shower back by only one minute, saves water. As she wraps up her video she recaps how three simple steps can help so much.

Sara says a producer interviewed Vanessa by phone yesterday and then extended the invite to them to fly to NY for the show – they’re flying out Sunday, then returning right afterward on Monday. You’ll get the chance to vote for her to make it to the next round: Checking TODAY online, looks like this is the second week they’ll be featuring a group of four semifinalists on Monday, opening the voting by text message, then announcing the winner from that group on Wednesday; then in early November there’ll be another round of voting after the group of finalists is set. Besides getting to report for TODAY, the winner gets a Caribbean cruise. (Here’s the first group of semifinalists from last week; an Oklahoma girl got the most votes in that group.) TODAY airs on KING 5 here in Seattle, 7-11 am weekdays (we’ll be checking to see what time Monday you’re likely to see Vanessa).

Today/tonight: Landmark fight; tunnel talk; candidates; HPIC

Highlights from the WSB Events calendar:

LANDMARK COURT FIGHT: This morning in the Court of Appeals, 1st Division, both sides in the Satterlee House court fight get 10 minutes each for oral arguments in the two-year fight over proposed homebuilding on the landmark Beach Drive home’s lawn.

TUNNEL TALK: 6-8 pm tonight at Madison Middle School, it’s your next chance to comment on the future of the Highway 99/Alaskan Way Viaduct corridor. Specifically, the city, state and federal governments want to hear what you think should be included in the “environmental” studies before the deep-bore tunnel can be built – but that doesn’t just mean ecological impacts. The open-house format meeting also will include displays of the latest information on the project and people who can answer whatever question you have about what’s on the drawing board and how it’ll affect the way you get around.

CANDIDATES’ FORUM: 7 pm tonight at The Hall at Fauntleroy, West Seattle’s biggest political group, the 34th District Democrats, will host candidates for every major job except County Executive (since they faced off last week across the street). It’s a prelude to their endorsement vote at next month’s meeting, but it’s your best chance this summer to get a look at the candidates in the crowded races that will be narrowed down to two in August.

(added 10:56 am) HIGHLAND PARK IMPROVEMENT CLUB: HPIC meets tonight at its HQ, with potluck/social hour at 6:30 pm, meeting including installation of new officers at 7 pm.

Also from the courthouse: 59th/Admiral shooting trial update

October 13, 2008 4:36 pm
|    Comments Off on Also from the courthouse: 59th/Admiral shooting trial update
 |   Crime | West Seattle news

While at the county courthouse for the Satterlee House arguments (see previous report), gavel.jpgwe checked on the trial of the 18-year-old accused of second-degree murder in the 59th/Admiral shooting that happened exactly one year ago today. The judge’s staff told us that motions were heard today and jury selection is scheduled to begin Wednesday morning. The suspect contends that he was sexually abused for years by the man he is on trial for shooting dead in a car that day; his lawyer told WSB last month that he had no intention of plea-bargaining this case (as was done in West Seattle’s other two 2007 murder cases, the beating death of Benny Reside at Cal-Mor Circle and the fatal shooting of Dewayne West at 37th/Findlay). The 59th/Admiral suspect has been jailed, in lieu of $200,000 bail, since his surrender within a few days of last year’s shooting.

Update: West Seattle side note in school-district tree tussle

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Reading citywide-media coverage regarding the latest developments in Seattle Public Schools‘ plan to cut trees to make way for an Ingraham High School project, we were startled to see the reports featuring a line about alleged unauthorized district tree-cutting as Denny/Sealth construction/renovation work begins on the Chief Sealth HS campus. Certainly the West Seattle project has had more than its share of controversy, but we hadn’t heard about any tree trouble, so we started digging around. Here’s what we found out:Read More

More West Seattle weekend scenes: Readiness; representing

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If you live in the Fairmount area – should disaster strike, that spot by the flagpole in the southeast Providence Mount St. Vincent parking lot is your neighborhood gathering spot for information. Sunday afternoon, Fairmount Community representatives (led by Sharonn Meeks, center in shades) set up this table there …

fairmounttable.jpg

… for the latest West Seattle drop-in event to get out the word about neighborhood gathering places and disaster-readiness info. (Read more here, and see the map of other neighborhood spots that have been designated so far.)

Meantime, the West Seattle Hi-Yu Festival crew coped this weekend with the semi-disastrous float woes, by riding instead in convertibles so they could represent West Seattle in the Port Townsend Rhododendron Festival parade:

convertible.jpg

That’s Carol Winston driving Queen Danica and Queen Sivona. A few more photos shared by Hi-Yu president Tim Winston, including a young court member showing off a tiny friend, ahead:Read More

West Seattle Crime Watch: 1 more break-in report

Also from Upper Fauntleroy – thanks to Steve for the note:

There was also a burglary reported in the 8800 block of 38th SW, occurred around 9AM Thursday 3/13. Apparently a glass door was broken to gain entry.

A year ago a local locksmith told me it was highly unusual for burglars to break glass to gain entry, seems like that is changing.

We are just back from today’s half-day-only testimony in the Satterlee House case (that writeup to come) and will be checking with the Southwest Precinct shortly for more on what’s going on – stand by for updates.

“Painted Lady” development appeal hearing: Mid-afternoon update

March 10, 2008 3:04 pm
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 |   Development | West Seattle history | West Seattle news

Just a few running updates (see earlier coverage further down the page) — In addition to the Landmarks Board witness who testified at midmorning, she was followed by the supervisor of the city’s Landmarks Preservation program, Karen Gordon. She reaffirmed the unusual nature of this hearing – saying she’s worked for the department for more than 20 years and only seen a few cases like this where applicants have challenged the board’s decision on economic grounds. (House owner William Conner’s contention is that he has to build larger houses on the site because that’s all that makes economic sense.) More on the afternoon testimony later. This is all moving slowly and general chatter is that it’s going to be difficult getting all the testimony done in the day and a half allotted before the Hearing Examiner. ADDED 4:09 PM: It’s looks like beyond the prescheduled time on Thursday, this may continue Friday morning as well, and possibly March 18 all day if needed. Those who are here, by the way, include Conner and his lawyer Richard Hill at the table across from the two city lawyers, and a few spectators, here in the Hearing Examiner’s chambers on the 40th floor of the Municipal Tower. Some of this afternoon’s testimony has included details about the condition of the Satterlee House itself – more on that in our full writeup later.

Beach Drive “Painted Lady” hearing under way

March 10, 2008 11:11 am
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 |   Development | West Seattle history | West Seattle news

We told you last week about the first testimony in the hearing about whether the owner of the Satterlee House, aka the “Painted Lady” of Beach Drive, can build three houses on its expansive front lawn. Since the property is a city landmark, the Landmarks Board had to grant a Certificate of Approval – but last December said no, and this hearing is about the property owner’s appeal of that ruling. Last week’s testimony involved the previous owner of the property, David Satterlee. Today, both sides are presenting the bulk of their case, with time scheduled on Thursday for continuation. The major witness so far this morning has been the staffer for the Landmarks Board, who revealed one reason this is significant beyond West Seattle:Read More

First round in “Painted Lady” front-lawn development fight

It wasn’t criminal court, but at times it felt almost that contentious — with occasional interjections of OBJECTION! — as the city Hearing Examiner heard the first witness today in the fight over whether homebuilding will be allowed on the expansive front lawn of Beach Drive’s “Painted Lady.” The home — an official city landmark — is also known as the Satterlee House, and its former owner David Satterlee was the first witness to testify, several days before lawyers on both sides will present the bulk of their cases. We went to the Hearing Examiner’s windowless room on the 40th floor of the Municipal Tower downtown to see how this would unfold:Read More

Stand by for more news

March 5, 2008 4:01 pm
|    Comments Off on Stand by for more news
 |   West Seattle online

Sorry for the dearth of updates today, have just spent four and a half hours away from the keyboard (remote connectivity temporarily not available) at two events, including key testimony in the Satterlee House (Beach Drive “Painted Lady”) development appeal. Will file shortly; also checking out an Alki Crime Watch update and what one tipster describes as a “tree massacre” in Gatewood. Stand by and thanks.

Real-estate updates, Beach Drive and beyond

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That’s yet another new sign on the big lawn in front of the “Painted Lady,” SatterleeHouse2DON.jpgaka Satterlee House (inset right), in the 4800 block of Beach Drive, this time for Ewing and Clark, at least the third time it’s switched listing agents since we started watching it a year and a half ago. Current price, $2.2 million. As we reported earlier this month, the proposal to build three houses on that lawn is going before the city Hearing Examiner in a few weeks; the Landmarks Preservation Board has a say because the Satterlee House is an official landmark, and its ruling is what’s being appealed. One more Beach Drive real-estate note: The fourplex at 4131 Beach Drive is up for sale, $3,050,000, and the listing says it’s in the process of condo conversion. And regarding real-estate in general – it’s been reported that prices are falling more slowly in Seattle than the rest of the country; if you want to track West Seattle real estate, WS realtor (and WSB sponsor) Bill Barna is now offering a regularly e-mailed “market tracker” report. Click here to e-mail Bill for the Market Tracker; or you can see a sample version here. (He also has an automated “new listings e-mail” service that we find useful to monitor for local listings which might be worth noting here.)

City hearing set for homes on “Painted Lady” property

While the “Painted Lady of Beach Drive,” aka the Satterlee House, remains listed for sale after a year and a half, city hearings are now scheduled for a proposal to build three homes on its sprawling front lawn. According to the city Hearing Examiner’s Office website, proceedings are scheduled to start March 5 with what the site describes as “testimony from David Satterlee on the appeal of William Conner from a Denial by the Landmarks Preservation Board for a certificate of approval for construction of 3 homes on property known as 4866 Beach Dr. SW.” (David Satterlee sold the property to William Conner in 2000.) The HEO site says March 10 and March 13 also are set aside for proceedings in the appeal. The short plat for the land was granted in May of last year; last word we had of Landmarks Board involvement was in July of last year. The house is one of a handful of officially designated landmarks in West Seattle (full list here).

Where the signs are hung by the curb with care …

Maybe too soon for the Christmas phrase-turns; blame the decorations that already have sneaked into some stores … But we digress. This post is about real estate — always a Sunday pastime as “open house” signs pop up on corners around WS. A couple noteworthy offerings, not necessarily brand-new, but they just hit our radar. First, 4315 SW Stevens, across the street from PCC , across the alley from McDonald’s, $725K:

sunnysalonhouse.jpg

This is notable because the property was home to a hair salon that some neighbors were upset about (as reported here last March). Thanks to WSB reader Luckie for the tip that it’s now for sale; she sent the photo shown above as well as a photo of the flyer posted in the window, which touts “beautiful extended family home … also has a fully running hair salon … you can work from home!” Here’s the official listing page, though it currently appears to be displaying the wrong photos. … Now, to another up-for-sale home, with almost twice the price ($1,499,000), almost twice the age, and countless times the history:

cityphotoherrenhouse.jpg

That’s the Herren House at 1603 45th SW, shown in a photo from the city Department of Neighborhoods’ page detailing its history, which DON says dates back to 1891, though King County property records say 1900. Interestingly, the official listing website calls this house “The Painted Lady,” same as the still-apparently-unsold “Satterlee House” on Beach Drive.

3811 California landmark-nomination update

October 6, 2007 10:03 pm
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 |   Development | West Seattle history | West Seattle news

Since our report yesterday quoting a 3811 California tenant as saying the endangered 80-year-old brick 4-plex across from Charlestown Cafe 3811cali.jpgwas apparently being evaluated for city landmark status, we’ve found out more from the city Landmarks Preservation Board. Coordinator Sarah Sodt tells WSB that the board has “asked the property owner to submit a landmark nomination … as part of the MUP-SEPA process.” That’s Master Use Permit and State Environmental Policy Act, both aspects of the development process. According to the city website, “All buildings over 50 years old that are proposed for redevelopment are referred to the Seattle Landmarks Preservation Board as part of the city’s SEPA policies.” However, Sarah also said the board has not “been in communication” with the owner, and has not arranged for a site tour (contrary to what the tenants were led to believe, apparently), but believes the owner is “working on preparing the nomination” paperwork. The bar for landmark status seems pretty high; the list of official city landmarks in WS contains only two residential properties (the Hainsworth House on 37th, sold earlier this year for $1,490,000, and the Satterlee House, aka Painted Lady, still on the market for $2.2 million). The process is explained here; looks like the next step after the nomination application would be a public meeting. The board’s website says it takes up to a month to determine if an application is “complete,” and it wouldn’t be scheduled for consideration at a public meeting until it is. Here’s the board’s schedule for the rest of the year. If a landmark designation does happen, a whole separate process begins regarding setting guidelines for what can be done with the property and which of its features must be preserved; that’s all outlined here. We’ll keep checking with the Landmarks Board to see how this progresses.

Painted Lady, the next step

July 26, 2007 10:00 am
|    Comments Off on Painted Lady, the next step
 |   West Seattle history | West Seattle housing

SatterleeHouse2DON.jpgAccording to Beach Drive Blog, the city’s landmarks board has a meeting tomorrow to talk about what’s going on with the Painted Lady, aka the Satterlee House, on Beach Drive. As we have reported in recent months (May 30, May 12, September) the house and its huge front lawn are for sale, and if they’re not sold together, the front lawn could become home to three other homes.

Just in from Land-Use Land

-Now we know why the “for sale” sign on Beach Drive’s “Painted Lady” (aka the Satterlee House) has moved all the way to the front of the house: The city just issued a permit for the short-plat that will allow three homes to be built in what’s currently the historic home’s front yard. We’re working to find out what happens next and when.

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A land-use permit’s also been issued to allow a new commercial development where the burned-out Schuck’s store shell now sits, kitty corner from Charlestown Cafe.

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