Got a house you’d like to see saved?

From the WSB inbox, sent by Kelsey Diller:

I am writing to ask your help to save homes in West Seattle from being torn down. I was inspired to start a company, Orbit Homes LLC after watching my neighbor’s home get scheduled for demolition. After compiling a competent team of specialists I am now looking for a charming home located in West Seattle that is 18 ft. high or less and no more than 27 ft. wide to fit on a property I bought to move a house onto. If you know of any homes that may be within this size range please call me at 206 554-1622 and become a part of saving the environment and preserving West Seattle’s flavor.

19 Replies to "Got a house you'd like to see saved?"

  • ephonk March 6, 2008 (2:05 pm)

    Good for you Kelsey. I wish you the best of luck on this. Seems like I see several houses a year matching your description – but none now.

    On a related but irrelevant note, I wouldn’t mind all the teardowns-to-townhouses *quite* so much if the new places had ANY character at all, if they didn’t look like they were all stamped out of the same ginormous Xerox machine… Not that there aren’t a (very) few decent examples around.

  • Lisa March 6, 2008 (3:00 pm)

    try 4516 42nd Ave. SW
    We lived there as a rental for 6 yrs. It is a fabulous house and a shame to see it demolished for condos.

  • fiz March 6, 2008 (3:58 pm)

    It is a beautiful house. It’s sister was moved to the 4400 block of 39th SW to make way for the medical clinic.

  • Indaknow March 6, 2008 (4:28 pm)

    I am a horrible judge of dimensions, but there is a house on Thistle between 27th and 28th Ave SW (just above Highline Mental Health Hospital) that looks pretty cute from the outside. I have no idea of the condition on the inside. Might be worth a drive-by. I would love to hear how this works out for you. It is an idea that I have considered myself, but my plate is too full. Good Luck!!

  • Pete March 6, 2008 (4:41 pm)

    you might contact Homestead Community Land Trust as they have done this before in Delridge and they might have some leads for you.

  • WSMom March 6, 2008 (5:42 pm)

    Hope Lutheran will be taking down the kindergarten house this Spring to make room for more classrooms. It’s a sweet house, but not in the best of condition inside.

  • bn March 6, 2008 (6:16 pm)

    If you are planning a house move you may know this already, but there is a great company called Nickel Brothers that specializes in this. They actually list houses that are slated for demolition and try to find them new sites. Check out or contact West Seattle resident Jeff McCord. Jeff has moved several houses slated for demolition in West Seattle including one saved from behind West Seattle Thriftway and another from California to a site down Graham.

    4502, 4506, 4512 and 4516 42th Ave SW are all slated for demolition. As are 4532 and 4536 in the same block.

  • Indaknow March 6, 2008 (6:20 pm)

    That house is not on Thistle, but on Holden. SORRY!

  • GenHillOne March 6, 2008 (6:54 pm)

    I’d love to see this kind of venture become profitable – a win-win. I assume that it isn’t always easy to find vacant land, but if a house is truly demolition worthy, why not replace it with a recycled one worth saving? Good luck!

  • Alvis March 6, 2008 (7:03 pm)

    The white single-family house and its gorgeous evergreen trees at SW Lander & 42nd SW, on the southeast corner of the Admiral Safeway block. Safeway has owned the parcel for several years now and, to its credit, has kept it looking good as a rental instead of having it demolished, but I’ve no doubt the house and yard are doomed when Safeway redevelops its grocery store and parking lot.

  • miws March 6, 2008 (8:55 pm)

    Kelsey, I don’t have any leads for you, but would like to wish you best of luck in this venture, and to thank you for whatever you can do to save some of West Seattle’s beautiful, classic homes that will no longer be able to remain on their original lots.



  • JD March 6, 2008 (9:19 pm)

    I agree 4516 42nd Ave SW is a beautiful house. We just lived there for a couple years too. I think it may be too large for the purpose of moving it as it needs TONS of work. I’m pretty sure it would collapse if anyone touched it.

  • Forest March 6, 2008 (10:13 pm)

    Alvis –

    Redevelopment of the Admiral Safeway block would have to wait until Safeway can get the house and yard at Lander & 42nd upzoned from single-family to commercial. Hopefully, the neighborhood can negotiate some design or constructions amenities in return for the upzone, and those amenities might include preserving the big evergreen trees.

  • WSB March 6, 2008 (11:00 pm)

    The county and city pages don’t seem to call those lots single family – they’re described in use as “single-family/c-i zone” but in zoning on the city parcel info page it’s “L3,” as is the block to the east. More than SF but certainly less than the NC2-40 of the store site …

  • miws March 7, 2008 (4:24 am)

    ……and those amenities might include preserving the big evergreen trees.”


    And a luxury apartment for Jan with a view equalling, or better than, what she currently has. Plus, rent would not be higher than what it is at her current apartment. :P



  • Gina March 7, 2008 (9:37 am)

    I don’t think there will be much of a problem getting a permit to tear down the house by Safeway. The whole neighborhood was proclaimed an ‘Urban Village’ back in the day to encourage multi-use development.

    The urban village cutoff is the alley behind my house. I plan to be like the woman that lived on Alki, and they had to build the condos around her.

    It will remain residential behind me, to the west, so I can continue to garden, and to the east is the school, so there will still be pockets of light when the condos come.

    Currently Jan and I have the same view, opposite sided, four avenues apart. It would be sad to see the cedars go.

  • Near Alki March 7, 2008 (11:59 am)

    Does anyone know…when you move a house does the City of Seattle require the old home be brought up to current building codes? Like plumbing, wiring, insulation, HVAC, windows, etc? If so by the time one gets done with all the updates, what’s left of the original character of the home?

  • Martha March 7, 2008 (1:50 pm)

    The Hope Lutheran kindergarten house was my grandmothers. She bought it in the 20s when it was a day care and converted it to multiple units, mostly rented rooms with shared baths. Then to a 4-plex by the 50s. It has come full circle. I would love to see it saved!

  • Kelsey Diller March 21, 2008 (11:31 am)

    Thank you all for your encouragement and leads. I have looked into each one and am pursuing the homes with the most promise for success and will keep you updated on progress. The difficulty seems to be in getting permission to move the homes so if anyone knows the owners of these homes, please pass on my contact information. I am excited about preserving West Seattle and am indebted to you for your help!
    Keep up the good work!

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