Seattle’s Historic “Grande Dame” Estate Comes Available For $4.795 Million

By RSIR Staff |

Laura Halliday, Senior Luxury Real Estate Advisor with Realogics Sotheby’s International Realty, Lists Esteemed Estate that Combines Pedigreed History, Fabulous Location & Excellent Value per Square Foot

Laura Halliday, senior luxury real estate advisor with Realogics Sotheby’s International Realty (RSIR) has listed Skinner Mansion, a gracious estate sited prominently upon the legendary “Millionaires’ Row,” for $4.795 million on the Northwest Multiple Listing Service. At $460 per square foot, it carries one of the highest values per square foot among currently listed homes in the Central Seattle area.

  • Built in 1905, the 5 bedroom, 6.5 bathroom residence comprises 10,416 square feet.
  • Prominently sited on “Millionaires’ Row,” this grande dame fuses a pedigreed history and classic details with a home that exudes comfort and warmth.
  • Park-like grounds include mature gardens with several century-old trees, water fountains, and bluestone patios and walkways.
  • Great Capitol Hill location provides a Walk Score of 89 with an eclectic mix of local eateries, boutique shops, and art galleries, all just minutes from the downtown core.
  • Magnificent views of the Olympic Mountains, downtown Seattle and the Space Needle.

Reverend Edward Lincoln Smith of Pilgrim Congregational Church purchased the land in the early 1900s and enlisted architect W.W. Sabin of Cleveland, Ohio, to design the Colonial Revival home from 1903 to 1905. Clad with wood shingles with quoins, the residence gives the appearance of a brick exterior, a more traditional material used in this architectural style. The large expanse of surrounding land heralded to the colonial concept, while the circular portico was recognized in Homes and Gardens of the Pacific Coast. The home originally sat on six lots, going through the block to 13th Avenue East.

“Millionaires’ Row is an exceptional stretch of mansions that was home to many of Seattle’s prominent early business leaders. It attracted dignitaries such as President Harding, along with busloads of tourists en route to Volunteer Park. At the time, the street had a spectacular view and it was a logical place to build after the west slope and First Hill were developed,” said Laura Halliday, listing broker with RSIR. “Skinner Mansion hearkens to this storied past while remaining positioned for today’s modern buyer. It is rare that an opportunity for ownership such as this arises within the city of Seattle.”

The residence served as a rooming house for some years before it was purchased in 1913 by David E. Skinner. Skinner was the head of the Port Blakely Mill Company and the Skinner & Eddy shipyard, which played a critical role in Seattle’s World War I industrialization. Skinner also acted as director of the Metropolitan Building Company, which developed the University of Washington Metropolitan Tract, and is the namesake of the Skinner Building, the site of the Fifth Avenue Theater.

When Skinner acquired the mansion, he undertook a series of renovations that included the addition of a semi-circular driveway, the replacement of the portico with a flat-roofed porte-cochere, a smoking porch on the northeast corner (that now serves as the master dressing room/closet) and enclosing the main floor western porch into a sunroom.

The home was meticulously remodeled and restored between 2000 and 2006. Restorations included the 7 original fireplaces; original mahogany and oak woodwork; original light fixtures in the entry, living and dining rooms, and grand staircase; a sunroom with original black and white tile, custom-designed accordion windows, and in-floor heat; 3 original baths with subway tile and cornice detail; and a second floor Juliet balcony with city and Sound views.

“The current owners honored the history of Skinner Mansion while bringing it into a modern lifestyle with technological appointments to create a truly fabulous offering,” Halliday added. “At $460 per square foot, there is truly nothing like this available at this price point in Seattle.”

To be sure, Trendgraphix data from the fourth quarter of 2018 indicates that homes within Area 390—which comprises coveted communities within Central Seattle, Capitol Hill and Madison Park—averaged just over $541.05 per square foot.

Additions to the home include a Linn sound system and fiber optic wiring; a dual natural gas boiler system; a custom-designed oak-paneled English pub with a bar, billiard/pool table and hidden flat screen TV; a custom-designed, brick-lined 4,000+ bottle wine cellar and tasting room; an apartment with a full kitchen, walk-in closet and separate entrance; an owner-designed dressing room with an innovative clothing storage system; a mini-kitchen and coffee nook in the master; and an owner-designed master bath with a large soaking tub, Carrara marble and art nooks. A new foundation was constructed in 2001.

The ample grounds include extensive, mature gardens with several century-old trees, two water fountains and extensive landscaping that reintegrates the estate’s original south lot. A grand entrance on the east gives way to an entertaining and sitting area. Wind bluestone patios and walkways to apple orchards, vegetable gardens and a parking court with New York tumbled cobblestones.

“You’d be hard pressed to find a home that offers such great value with amazing history in a location as fabulous as Capitol Hill,” Halliday said. “It’s impeccable!”

Additional property information can be found on a dedicated website at