Significant Salvage

Property Watch: Treehouse Style in West Seattle

This West Seattle home has pieces of Seattle history—including the Kingdome—and killer views built right in.

By Sarah Anne Lloyd May 5, 2021


Image: Derrick Louie

This West Seattle hillside home looks plain on the outside, but it holds all sorts of secrets. The structure and design are both reminiscent of a treehouse: Salvaged fir poles from a marine project hold up all three stories, and it has no traditional foundation other than poured concrete. Around them, a playful floor plan makes use of more reclaimed materials from key parts of Seattle’s history.

The airy third story is the centerpiece of the home, with a vaulted exposed-beam ceiling that holds a fun piece of history: The largest beams were originally from the construction of the Kingdome, where they were used as framing for pouring concrete.

Image: Derrick Louie

These beams interact with the support poles and floor layout to create a dynamic shape that helps define individual gathering areas. It reaches a dramatic high point above a living area with a wood stove and an east-facing balcony. Under a steep slope, another small gathering space gets its own row of skylights. Up a half story, a gable holds a more secluded lounge with an even larger deck.

The windows up here were designed around views, with a unique spread of mountains that includes both Mount Rainier and Mount Baker, with celestial sights at night. One window was designed to frame the moon as it moves across the sky (although it doesn’t always match up; that's astronomy for you).

Image: Derrick Louie

Those Kingdome parts weren’t quite relics when the home was built in 1977, but other materials date back even further. Builder Gordy Cole salvaged the wood floors—originally milled in 1898 at Henry Yesler’s mill—from an old candy factory in Pioneer Square. The industrial-vibe rec room on the first floor below it has a good view of them on its ceiling.

The middle floor, although it has an abundance of those Yesler hardwoods, is the most straightforward: It’s where the bedrooms and bathrooms live, including a suite with a jetted tub.

Image: Derrick Louie

While its proximity to the West Seattle Bridge would be a major selling point at any other time, it doesn't mean much while the crossing is closed—though for cyclists and transit-riders, being close to the low bridge is pretty nice.

Listing Fast Facts

4135 32nd Avenue SW
Size: 2,850 square feet, 3 bedroom/2 bath
List Date: 4/28/2021
List Price: $960,000
Listing Agent: Nancy Chapin and Matthew Skeel, Windermere

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