There are 21 gold-plated chandeliers at 1214 Warren Ave. N. The original Corinthian columns were restored by the homeowners after they purchased it in 1996.
There are 21 gold-plated chandeliers at 1214 Warren Ave. N. The original Corinthian columns were restored by the homeowners after they purchased it in 1996.

Downsizing can be hard, especially for a Queen Anne couple that has spent nearly three decades restoring and improving upon their 1902 colonial mansion.

As they plan a move to Renton, they’ve put their 10,000-square-foot property on the market with an asking price of $11 million, which is $10.4 million more than what they purchased it for in 1996.

Listing agent Janice Cai of Hometown Advisor Real Estate connected Queen Anne News with a tour of the home with one of the owners.

While working in a small town in Michigan, paying off medical school debt, the couple began looking at homes in Seattle. They first saw the colonial mansion listed in the Seattle Times for $2.5 million. At that time it was a mix of Queen Anne style and 1975 contemporary, the homeowner tells Queen Anne News.

They later discovered that the Queen Anne home had been built by W. J. Whitney and Anna Whitney for their daughter to live in. W.J. Whitney owned the Seattle National Bank, which would later merge with two other banks to become Seafirst.

The price on the home kept dropping, and they ended up acquiring it for just $635,000. The couple had considered converting the property to condos, selling two and keeping one for them.

A friend sent over a talented architect, who changed their minds and exposed the building’s true potential.

“At the end of it, he said, ‘These columns are not for support. Do you mind if I poke a small hole?’” the homeowner said of the columns at the front of the house.

Then the architect asked for permission to make a larger hole, exposing the original Corinthian columns visible on the front exterior and in the entryway. After confirming there was original facade that needed to be uncovered, the architect drew up three configurations for how the house could be renovated on a napkin, and the homeowners began the long restoration process, which included removing the ‘70s from their new home.

The homeowner tells Queen Anne News they spent more than 20 years restoring and modernizing the home, taking on one room at a time.

A small room where servants would wait to serve the next course outside the dining room is now a music room, for example. An inset fridge replaced the large smoker in the ground-floor kitchen; there’s a breakfast kitchen on the second floor, close to the first master bedroom, and another on the third floor.

Artisans brought in for everything from rockwork to furniture-grade moldings were told to take their time.

“It’s tough,” the homeowner said of selling the property. “A lot of our lives went into this house. Our daughter grew up here.”

A few original chandeliers were preserved, while 21 were custom-made in Italy and gold plated, as were the bidets and bath fixtures; there are 7 1/2 bathrooms.

An original stained glass window can be found above the stairway landing between the first and second floor.

The best vantage point is on the third floor, providing unobstructed views of Seattle Center and the Puget Sound. The homeowner proudly informed Queen Anne News that it was featured during the 1990 Goodwill Games.

“The view they used behind Larry King they shot from the third story of this house,” he said.

That view is found in the “Party Room,” which includes a lot of space for entertaining, a wet bar and kitchen.

Heading back down the Queen Anne mansion to the basement, there’s a movie theater, game room and gym. The homeowners used what was left of the quarter-million pounds of granite and marble imported from a quarry in China for the stairs.

Much more information about this home at 1214 Warren Ave. N. is available at The listing agent can be contacted at 425-691-6998 or