Built to Fit

Property Watch: A Midcentury Architect’s Home on Three Tree Point

An architect's imagination, Kubota landscaping, original details, and private tidelands combine in a waterfront dream home.

By Sarah Anne Lloyd May 18, 2022

Burien’s Three Tree Point is a spit reaching out into the Puget Sound with dramatic views of the water, Mount Rainier, and the Olympics. The high-price homes there typically take full advantage of the landscape, but this midcentury time capsule stunner goes the extra mile.

This is both the work and personal home of local architect Einar V. Anderson (no relation to Ralph), and it’s been in his family since it was first built in 1963. Anderson was born in Seattle to Swedish immigrants and remained entrenched in the city’s Scandinavian community throughout his life—perhaps most notably as the architect for the Swedish Club on Dexter Avenue North. Together with his partners at Steinhart, Stanley, Theriault, and Anderson, he built many commercial, community, and government buildings. He designed schools, libraries, and modern churches like the A-frame Saint Paul’s Episcopal Church. The firm’s most notable building was their own office, a cantilevered box of windows on Eastlake Avenue East.

After moving to this Burien home, many of Anderson’s projects seemed to move along with him. Post-1963 projects include three Highline School District buildings, the Burien Library, and the Cove Building in the Normandy Park Community Club.

The kitchen still has the original 1963 coppertone range and wall oven and a paper-filtered skylight for diffused light above. Past that, an open stone hallway with secret wood-panel closets leads to a floating staircase, and wraps around a den that’s just as fancy as the living room. A shallow conversation pit gathers around a sculptural stone fireplace with wood-slat ornamentation. A low teak bench runs along one side, lining a large window that frames a perfect view of the courtyard.

The first-floor bedroom also faces the courtyard, and, like the den window, has a sliding sōji screen for privacy. Upstairs, two more bedrooms occupy either side of a pitched roof, one with a porthole window. Both lead to a shared enclosed porch that provides both roof access and an uninterrupted view. 

For all those midcentury bathroom fans out there: The two full bathrooms have been perfectly maintained with their original finishes. One has classic blue square tile, the other with a pink countertop and green shower tile. Both have original wood cabinetry and paper-screen skylights.

Out back, there’s a green lawn framed in concrete with a path running down one side and a boat launch down the other. Below, find a sandy beach and 40 feet of your own private tidelands.


Listing Fast Facts

3735 Southwest 171st Street, Burien
Size: 2,290 square feet/0.18 acre, 3 bedroom/2 bath
List Date: 5/4/2022
List Price: $2,995,000
Listing Agents:
Veronique Hval and Angie Hall, Windermere


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