Seattle is a city with a rich treasure of historic homes in its older neighborhoods like Queen Ann, Capitol Hill, Madrona and Montlake (among others). But like all cities with such an architectural heritage, it is under threat from development and skyrocketing land values. Homes built in the 19th and early 20th centuries were smaller than the preference today. With the enormous value of the land on which these homes sit and the added fact that the homes are undersized for the lots they sit on–you have a built in incentive for builders to come in, buy the home and land, tear down the house and build a big box in its place.
That’s what’s happening all over my Madrona neighborhood. I’ve already written a post on a teardown on 38th Avenue (A Seattle Craftsman Comes Crashing Down). Within a block of my home, a spec builder bought a small old house, tore it down and is erecting this monster (see right) in its place.
I’m happy to say that all is not lost in this war. Some homeowners actually make good, tasteful decisions that involve restoring their homes even as they remodel and update them to modern standards. I’ve enclosed a photo of a beautiful remodel on 36th Avenue in Madrona. This owner should be proud of the decisions he/she made to restore this home and add luster to its exterior and yard.