Period Correct

Property Watch: On Capitol Hill, a Historic Mansion Worthy of an Olive Oil Baron

This Georgian-style home looks like it belongs on a stately college campus...right down to the ample bookshelves.

By Haley Shapley April 26, 2023

When Seattle architect Victor Voorhees designed this home in 1915, it was for olive oil importer John Vittucci, who we have to assume was pretty good at what he did, given the grandness of it all.

In a bit of a full-circle moment, the current owners are selling the home to move to Italy, specifically to a villa with 400 olive trees. Will they become the next great olive oil exporters and really close the loop? Whatever the case, the Vittucci Residence is on the market, ready to share its historical charms with new residents.

The brick façade includes grandiose details like a balustrade, corbels, and columns. As impressive as the exterior is, the interior holds its own. This is especially true in the entryway, with its circular oak staircase. Hand-carved woodwork, decorative paneling, and period lighting fixtures abound throughout the house.

This living room is accented by substantial crown molding and anchored by a large fireplace. Below tulip-design stained-glass windows, the built-in cabinetry contains leaded-glass cabinet doors and original hardware. You’ll see the tulip motif again in the dining room, where it pops up in the chandelier.

On the second floor, a primary suite bathroom remodel established a white-on-white-on-white European luxuriousness. Circa-1910 or -1920 wall sconces bring in a touch of history, while heated towel racks nod to modern-day nice-to-haves. There are radiant-heat marble floors below and a stained-glass skylight above, crafted from a combination of kiln-fired art glass and etched glass. From that skylight hangs an antique Czech glass pendant light fixture from 1910. Admire the mother-of-pearl finish while taking a bath in the six-foot cast-iron clawfoot tub.

Off the primary bedroom through a set of French doors—made of crystal panes that are original to the house—a library/sitting room has built-in bookcases surrounding a cast-iron fireplace insert. All the materials in here, like Italian marble tile and milk-glass hardware, are historically consistent.

In 2017-18, what was previously an attic space became a light-filled living area, with vaulted ceilings and period-style millwork to help it integrate with the rest of the home. Several skylights bring a sense of airiness, and a sliding bookcase acts as a cover to access ample storage space. From the gable windows, catch peekaboo views of Lake Washington.

Downstairs, a rec room features a beautiful back bar the owner found at an old hotel in Ocean Shores. New lighting illuminates the stained-glass designs. There are also tons of built-in bookshelves down here (a running theme in this home, no matter the room), plus two bedrooms, a kitchenette, and two bathrooms.

Outside, the patio framed by a wisteria-covered iron pergola provides the perfect setting for alfresco dining. There’s also a Tuscan herb garden and a play area covered in organic cedar chips. On the northwest corner of the property, a Heritage Tree—a coast redwood—is a favorite of bald eagles and Pokémon Go players alike.

This home also contains some eco-friendly features, including solar panels on the roof and a laundry system that requires no detergent for washing clothes.

Listing Fast Facts

2105 E Highland Dr
Size: 6,500 square feet, 5 bedrooms/4.5 baths
List Date: 4/4/23
List Price: $5,250,000
Listing Agents: Beth Toomey, Coldwell Banker Bain

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