You’d be hard-pressed to find a houseboat as fancy as Aurora, a majestic craftsman docked by the bridge of the same name. Houseboats typically have to make do with smaller spaces, but not this one. At 4,850 square feet, it has enough room for landlubber luxuries, including a home theater. It’s even been host to a rotating door of celebrity guests, including Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis on their first wedding anniversary.
The hyper-detailed craftsman was custom-built for Mike Sherlock and Patti Bishop, owners of Fremont Mischief Distillery, in 2012, and a weeklong trip with the builders to Pasadena to take in the iconic architecture, including iconic Gamble House, was part of the process. Sherlock, who owned a ship-repair business before his second career as a distiller, played a key role in the design—and he even built the hull and barge beneath.
“Mike drew her to scale by hand, into the wee hours of the morning, and would show me the drawings the next morning,” says Bishop. “We'd talk and he would re-draw her again at night. This went on for months.”
Eventually, the house had to be carted up the Ship Canal, and its journey under the Ballard and Fremont bridges aired on DIY Network’s Massive Moves. (The house has also appeared on the Travel Channel and Discovery Channel.)
While this home wouldn’t look out of place off the water, it has a nautical sensibility to it. Rich, polished wood beams cover the ceiling in each room, matching stately wainscoting throughout. Shake cedar shingles outside give beachy vibes. The aesthetic blends well with the classical craftsman look, filled with bold cased openings, contrasting wood window treatments, and moulding custom-milled by Seattle’s OB Williams. A sunroom connected to the kitchen and living room fits right in.
Creative nooks and playful floorplans are a mainstay of houseboat design, and this house is full of them: A reading alcove in the living room. A mini sunroom up a half-floor from the master bedroom. A window-filled breakfast nook off the kitchen.
And of course, it would be a waste of a home on the water without a whole bunch of decks. There's a massive one on the first floor, with railings separating smaller patios and lounge areas, plus a larger balcony up top connected to an indoor wet bar.
While the home has had its share of illustrious guests—the Today Show’s Meredith Vieira is another one—the most exciting might be a heron family of three that Bishop says regularly comes to visit. “We get to know the family,” she says. “The male is four feet high [and] he comes to my waist; he is so intent on fishing I can walk behind him.”
Listing Fast Facts
907 N Northlake Way
Size: 4,850 square feet, 3 bedroom/2 bath
List Date: 5/14/2021
List Price: $3,950,000
Listing Agent: Jay Kipp, Realogics Sotheby's International Realty