For the Birds

Property Watch: A Habitat for People and Wildlife in Ravenna

This park-like property has a little bit of everything: woodland paths, a meditation room, two homes for people, and countless homes for birds.

By Sarah Anne Lloyd May 25, 2022

Image: IM3rd Media

From some angles, the corner of 21st Avenue Northeast and Northeast 73rd Street just looks like a small, dense forest. In some ways it is—there’s just a house or two in there too. The property is a certified wildlife home, a designation given by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife indicating sustainable landscaping and four elements that make a habitat: food, water, shelter, and space to raise young. It’s not too shabby for the human occupants, either.

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Current owner Lars Pardo has been living here for 23 years, and ushered in much of the landscaping. Squirrels did some of the work, though: At least a few trees on this land are “volunteer trees,” meaning they came up all on their own without human intervention, including a walnut and a chestnut tree. There are so many trees on both the property itself and the parking strip that even the sidewalk around this place feels like a trail.

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The front path takes you through the foliage, branching off into different trail-like walkways that wind up to the top of the property, sometimes lined by large, resonant bells. There's a meditation building that the owner built himself. Nearby, a waterfall is a sort of collaboration. The previous owner, an artist and potter, made a set of steps out of leftover stone blocks, which Pardo made into a waterfall. 

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Arbors shade the path to the main house, which has gone through some serious transformation since it was first built in 1946, including a massive addition in 1982. The interior is about as winding as the exterior, with multiple entrances depending on where you’re going.

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A few of them connect to an enclosed porch, and the closest thing to a “main” entrance brings you right up a staircase that connects both sections. To the right are the living and dining rooms, which are part of the newer construction and have striking woodwork, with trims and casing in vertical-grain fir. The living room is airy and open, with a vaulted ceiling and fir rafters. Tucked into one side and separated by a divider, the dining room has a functional jacob’s ladder, here a creative, nautical shortcut to a bathroom a half floor up.

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A landing on the way up to the upper-floor bedroom is see-through, providing some light to the entryway below. It’s also the access point to the balcony nestling into the roof shape, providing both a sunny spot and an area to reach some of the home’s solar panels. They don’t power the whole house, but according to listing agent Maynard Wagner, they do knock around 15 to 20 percent off electric bills.

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The bedroom, the highest point of the home, has several sun-catching windows above a long row of built-in drawers. Down a half-floor on the other side, find the top of the dining room jacob’s ladder and a door to a big concrete expanse. Pardo meant to put a solarium here, but now it’s just open to whatever project the next owner wants to do. 

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The kitchen is just inside the original house, with a compact size and polished woodwork. Down a long, narrow hallway lined with built-ins is another large bedroom that encompasses both an original bedroom and the original living room.

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It’s connected to the best bathroom in the house, featuring cabin-like wood-beam walls and a soaking tub lined in blue tile, and has its own door leading right outside to a patio off the enclosed porch for one of many full circles in this layout. A bottom-floor office or bedroom, accessible from both inside and outside the house, could be a suite with a few changes. (It already has a water tap.)

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Outside, find a few more houses—two for birds, one for people. By the waterfall, a small bridge leads to a serene courtyard and a tidy, spacious backyard studio with its own water heater, bath, and small kitchen.

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The entire property is around 5,000 square feet and, according to the agent, more than 80 different varieties of plants were identified by Swansons. The owner reports seeing more than 33 different varieties of birds, including hawks, owls, eagles, and chickadees—one of which lives in one of the birdhouses.

Despite looking like a tiny park, the home is just one long block off businesses and buses on 75th. It’s three long blocks to even more amenities on 65th (the block-math is irrelevant here), including shops, restaurants, and coffee.

Image: IM3rd Media

Listing Fast Facts

7302 21st Ave NE
Size: 2,035 square feet/0.12 acre, 3 bedroom/3.5 bath
List Date: 5/19/2022
List Price: $1,100,000
Listing Agent:
Maynard Wagner, Wagner Real Estate Group, RE/MAX Northwest

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