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Property Watch: 3 Acres, a Mansion, and a Pipe Organ on a Burien Bluff

What's an 8,000-square-foot mansion without a theater-style pipe organ or ornate ballroom?

By Sarah Anne Lloyd October 19, 2022

This home just south of Seahurst Park in Burien started its life under the ownership of JB MacDougall, a Gold Rush–era merchant whose Pioneer Square shop MacDougall and Southwick would eventually become a popular department store. However, it was as the mansion of Hollister Sprague, a high-society Seattle attorney and an early partner in the firm that would become Perkins Coie, that would gain it its most significant feature.

A noted patron of the arts, Sprague always had tickets to the latest concert or dance performance, typically with guests in tow, according to the Seattle Times' society pages from the 1930s and 1940s. Meanwhile, Sprague had his own massive musical undertaking: a pipe organ, fully installed in a large, ornate addition to his home.

Sprague’s organ, built in the 1930s, was a theater organ—the kind prevalent during the silent film era, but far less common today. According to the Puget Sound Theater Organ Society, a preservation group devoted to such organs, Sprague’s organ combined multiple instruments: A Wurlitzer organ from the Liberty Theatre in Lewiston, Idaho, salvaged elements from an Estey organ removed from the Irvington Theatre in Portland, Oregon, and both new and salvaged elements from Gottfried and Wurlitzer, all integrated with a new Estey organ that Sprague had obtained for the home. 

The organ’s custom ballroom is intricate and beautiful, with a cathedral ceiling and rafters ornamented with large arches reaching up into its peak. The echo chamber is above and behind a large, brick fireplace. One wall is all window, allowing musical gatherings to spill into the patio, lawn, and firepit outside, with a big water view.

In a curved corridor between the organ hall and the library—which, with cherubic accents and latticed windows, looks somewhat medieval—frescoes pay tribute to the organ’s original elements. In the library itself, which can open to the main house’s living room, more pipes bookend a wall of latticed windows.

Legend has it that the organ has been used by rock 'n’ roll royalty throughout the years, which tracks; Alice in Chains drummer Sean Kinney even owned the place briefly in 2008. The home’s current family has been putting the organ and ballroom to use with private concerts and silent film screenings.

There is, of course, an entire house attached to it, all on more than three acres, high on a bluff above Puget Sound with water views. According to listing agent Veronique Hval, the rest of the home was originally built in 1912, but after remodels in 2013 and 2021, its look favors the current century. The whopping six-bedroom, nine-bathroom home includes a semi-open kitchen, living area, and dining room, delineated by ceiling shape and a cased opening. There is a large back porch, a larger patio with a second firepit, and the view lawn. Two bedrooms are tucked away on the main floor: one just off the dining area, and a long, narrow one off a fireplace parlor just outside the ballroom.

Upstairs, find a variety of unique spaces: the largest of the bedrooms has a handsome brick fireplace, private access to a balcony, and an in-room jetted tub in addition to a generous en suite bath, all behind a set of double doors. It provides a template for a second suite next door, sans fireplace and in-room tub.

Things get a little more wild in the addition. Down its own little hallway of closet doors from the suites, one bedroom has private balcony access and an alternate entrance up a narrower staircase from just outside the ballroom. A smaller bedroom, only accessible from that back staircase (or through the previous room), has a built-in bed, its own small fireplace, and shuttered windows that peek out at the organ. It’s either the best or the worst room in the house.

Listing Fast Facts

14645 25th Ave SW
Size: 8,270 square feet/3.36 acres, 6 bedroom/9 bath
List Date: 9/28/2022
List Price: $3,880,000
Listing Agents:
Veronique Hval and Angie Hall

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