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Old House, New Digs: Fort Lawton Homes Undergo Historic Renovations

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sponsored by Fort Lawton

Established in 1900, the iconic homes of Officer’s Row offer a once-in-a-lifetime chance to live in the beautiful 534-acre oasis that is Discovery Park, a modern sanctuary just 15 minutes from downtown Seattle. The authentic sense of community surrounding a small circle of homeowners provides rare views and endless outdoor recreation opportunities. 

“You will find no other neighborhood like it in Seattle,” says Officer’s Row homeowner Jeanette. “Fort Lawton not only has a rich history, but provides a chance to step back in time and experience what a true community feels like in an unparalleled environment.” 

RISE Properties undertook the responsibility of preserving the history of these houses for current residents and future generations. RISE worked with the City of Seattle’s Landmark Preservation Board to develop a plan for the renovation that was authentic to the period and to the original intention of the homes, while also preparing them for the coming decades of use. A team of professionals from GGLO design and other experts in historic preservation used a holistic approach to collaborate and carefully develop a plan for the interiors, landscaping and systems for the homes, with a focus on merging the historic architecture with modern interiors.

Goals for the renovation included respecting the historic architecture of each individual residence and the stories they hold as part of the history of Fort Lawton, and preserving their relationship to Discovery Park and the natural beauty of Puget Sound. Each of the home’s “bones” were upheld along with many of their other unique features including the original millwork, moldings, stair railings, wood floors, fireplaces, doors and hardware. The flora and fauna of Discovery Park inspired their interior color palettes. 

“Being tucked away in Discovery Park is probably what we like most about the home,” says Scott, another homeowner on Officer’s Row.

Thoughtful consideration was given to “daylighting” (the illumination of buildings by natural light) and the orientation of interior spaces to views. Circulation was improved and the homes were upgraded with the conveniences today's buyers expect, like laundry rooms, powder rooms, larger closets and master bathrooms. 

The homes also feature network, TV, and phone wiring throughout (channeled through a centralized smart panel), all-new plumbing, and a hydronic heating system. The sewer and electrical systems have been updated and modernized, and the original oak and maple hardwood floors have been refinished.

The attention to detail in on display in each room, as well--the bathrooms include designer mirrors and lighting, for example, and the kitchen boasts quartz countertops, high-end stainless-steel appliances, and custom cabinetry by Belmont. 

“This will be the largest home we’ve ever lived in, and yet it is of human scale, it’s really very welcoming,” says Baird of Officer’s Row. “I love the combination of old and new—for example, the modern kitchen works well with the traditional details like the fireplaces, moldings, and intricate finials.” 

At the end of the day, buyers will experience careful restoration and thoughtful improvements resulting in a seamless continuum of modern updates blending with an extension of timeless materials and details. The exterior design restored yet maintained the buildings’ architecture, brought new focus on the landscape design, preserved breathtaking views and kept the integrity of the historic district of Fort Lawton. 

Only a handful of houses on Officer’s Row remain on the market. For more information, visit www.ownfortlawton.com and email info@ownfortlawton.com or call 206-489-3559.

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