Admiral's House earns landmark status

For decades, Magnolia residents knew that the Admiral's House was grand. Now, they know it's a landmark, as well.
Seattle's Landmarks Preservation Board voted unanimously on Aug. 26 to designate the Admiral's House as a historic landmark. The eight-bedroom, two-story house that sits on the hill above Smith Cove is currently owned by a public-private venture between the Navy and the military housing management service, Forest City. Previously, the house had belonged to the U.S. Navy.
"The Admiral's House is truly a unique, historically significant Seattle property," said Kathleen Brooker, executive director of Historic Seattle.
Members of the Preservation Board said that the Admiral's House featured several designation standards that influenced their decision. They cited its unique location, cultural and political heritage and distinctive architectural characteristics that reflect a specific period through style or method of construction.
"As a partner with military communities across the United States, Forest City recognizes the national treasure represented by some of the nation's unique military homes. We saw the Admiral's House as a standout example of a structure whose exterior design, location and history combine to raise it to the level of a landmark," said Michael Nanney, vice president of Forest City. Forest City Military Communities works in partnership with the Navy to manage and provide military housing in the Northwest.
The house was not only home to the admiral and his family, but also played host to many visits from government officials and foreign dignitaries until it closed in 2006.
Forest City has plans to sell the house to a private party who will be charged with its maintenance and upkeep as stipulated by the landmarks ordinance.
"We were pleased to work with Forest City on creating a preservation easement on the home, which will ensure the home's historic preservation in perpetuity by all future owners," Brooker said.
Historically, the house serves as a symbol of the role of the U.S. Navy in Seattle during the time period between World War II and the 1990s.
"It's been a thrill to contribute to such an important and visible project," said Mimi Sheridan, local historian and preservationist as well as author of the Admiral's House landmark nomination. "As a Magnolia resident myself, I know how much this building means to Magnolia and Queen Anne. The community has really been behind us."[[In-content Ad]]