Seattle’s surging real estate market and a stunning redesign have just catapulted a classic piece of architecture to the city’s highest listing price. “Sam Hill Mansion,” a neoclassical mansion once owned by its namesake, businessman and philanthropist Samuel Hill, is now the most expensive listing in the evergreen state’s most populous city.
According to Curbed Seattle, while Hill only spent a fraction of his life in the city, the intrepid businessman made an indelible impact on the region during the early decades of the 20th century. His most notable projects include the Maryhill Museum of Art and Maryhill Stonehenge. His most well-known building, however is the iconic Sam Hill Mansion at 814 E. Highland Drive. The sprawling residence was designed by architecture firm Hornblower & Marshall around 1908.
During his time in the growing city, Hill would use the property to host globe-trotting dignitaries, and while the exterior looks approximately the same as it did back in the early 20th century, much of the interior has changed significantly. The interior of the mansion has undergone an extensive overhaul thanks to its current owners. Thanks to Stuart Silk Architects and interior design from Garret Cord Werner Architects and Interior Designers and landscape design by Richard Hartledge, the modern version of Sam Hill Mansion represents a slick and cohesive fusion of Old World styling and deeply modern touches.
This new design philosophy can be seen in every room of the renovated mansion. In the dining room, the home’s original steel beams have been exposed throughout the length of the property, giving the room a touch of modernity. Elsewhere, in the home’s master suite, the original floors and fireplace remain, giving residents a warm link to the home’s storied past. Moving outside, gas-lit lamps illuminate the grounds with a warm, sepia glow similar to what Samuel Hill experienced when he himself traversed the property.
This latest renovation has helped the property attain its new title as the city’s most expensive listing. In 2008, when the house was last on the market, it was listed for only $4,750,000 before being delisted. Right now, the property is asking an incredible $15,000,000, easily seizing the crown as Seattle’s most expensive listing, besting its nearest competition by a healthy $3 million.
One of the biggest eccentricities of the the home is its gym, which was converted from the old horse stable. One can still see where the huge stable doors once stood and the tall openings in the wall from which the horses looked out. The gym also includes a spa room with a steam shower and sauna.
Also included with the house is the oldest working sundial in Seattle, an artifact that’s also listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The house itself also enjoys a spot on that list.
Images courtesy of NWMLS/Coldwell Banker Bain