Thursday, April 19, 2012

South Denny-Blaine Waterfront Mansions

McCaw, Kurt Cobain, Blume, Boeing, Robbins et al.
Left (So) to Right (No) - K. McCaw, Blume, Tong/J. McCaw, Robbins
The mansion is on page 35 and is 7,060 sq ft on 0.8 acres with 120 feet of waterfront. This is the former home of Richard Robbins. The mansion was purchased 7/11/11 for $9 million by LD and LAI LLC whose members are Aileen Dong and Alice Shen. Robbins was President of Kent-based The Robbins Company from 1958 to 1993 when it was acquired by Sweden-based Atlas Copco AB. He is a famous engineer in the tunneling industry, he has received numerous awards and his and his company’s innovations have enabled projects such as the English Channel tunnel. The property was listed for sale for $10.8 million (Bob Bennion and Bob Deville, Windermere): “Exquisite 1932 Tudor Revival home with lake and mountain views, privately situated on .9+/- acre lot w/ beach house and 120' waterfront w/ dock. Available for first time in 40 years! Elegant dayrooms with pine-paneled walls; 2005 kitchen designed by Nils Finne and built by Schultz Miller; view terrace; 5 bedrooms; 5 baths; 4 fireplaces; office; rec room; wine cellar; 2-car garage. Beach house with kitchen, fireplace and 2 baths. Lovely grounds with sweeping lawns, mature plantings and tram.” More information is in a 4/18 Seattle Mansions post.
Up the hill above this and the next home, Kurt Cobain, a famous Seattle musician, rented a house in the 1990s. He committed suicide in the house’s greenhouse April 5, 1994 and afterwards the greenhouse was torn down. A bench in Viretta Park also just above and across the street from these homes, is host to a makeshift shrine to Kurt. Thousands of fans of the music of Cobain’s band, Nirvana, have come here to pay tribute and guidebooks list the (Viretta) park as the “Kurt Cobain Park.”
This is the former home of William E. Boeing Jr., son of the Boeing Company Founder. This is also the former home of John McCaw, Jr. He is the third born of the four famous McCaw brothers. He was Executive VP for McCaw cellular. John and his three brothers, Craig (3/2/11 post), Bruce (2/13/11 Seattle Mansions post) and Keith (2 paragraphs below), were pioneers in cellular communications. (The McCaw family story is on page 152 of LW 130 Homes). John now owns property in Seattle and numerous other areas along with a large luxury yacht. He has been a part-owner of the Vancouver Canucks NHL franchise and the Seattle Mariners where he was also a member of the Board. He had also been listed by Forbes as one of the wealthiest people in the world but has not been on its recent lists. This is now the home of Richard C. and Constance Tong. Richard is a founding partner, along with other former executives of Microsoft and McCaw, of Ignition Partners of Bellevue. Ignition started in 1999 and invests globally in emerging communications, Internet and software businesses and has become one of the largest venture-capital companies in the Northwest. Prior to starting Ignition he was with Microsoft for twelve years and was Vice President of Marketing for MS Office and BackOffice. The mansion is 10,390 sq ft on 0.7 acres with 100 feet of waterfront.
This home was built over a period of three plus years for Bruce and Anne Blume by Charter Construction. Bruce is a prominent commercial real estate developer. His firm, The Blume Co., is a major developer in the South Lake Union and University of Washington districts. He founded the company in 1982. The company owns 16 buildings on 10 acres in 6 centers. The centers are Yale Campus, 1100 Eastlake, Eastlake Center, University Center, 45th Street Place and Northlake Place. The mansion is 13,300 sq ft on 1.0 acres with 160 feet of waterfront. This is the former site of the Canadian Consulate. Blume acquired the property from Canada 1/18/05 for $7.8 million and, in 2006, demolished the consulate and started construction on the current mansion. The seller is listed as “Her Majesty Elizabeth II – Queen of Canada.” This is the way Canada lists its foreign properties but the Queen was never here. Some tours incorrectly tell their groups this was the site of the Seattle vacation home for the Queen. The Canadian Consulate is now located in downtown Seattle in the 30 story Century Square building at the corner of Pike and 4th Ave.
This was the home of Keith McCaw. Keith tragically died at home of natural causes in 2002 at the age of 49. Keith and his three brothers, Craig (3/2/11 post), Bruce (2/13/11 Seattle Mansions post) and John (2 paragraphs above), were pioneers in cellular communications. (The McCaw family story is on page 152 of LW 130 Homes). Keith had been listed by Forbes in its 2000 list as one of the wealthiest people in the world with a net worth of $1.6 billion. Earlier in the year of Keith’s death, the four McCaw brothers gave $20 million to rename the Seattle Opera House after their mother, Marion Oliver McCaw Garrison. The Keith and Mary Kay McCaw Family Foundation has given millions of dollars to Seattle area charitable, educational and artistic causes. Keith was survived by his wife, Mary Kay McCaw, and their two daughters. The mansion is 19,840 sq ft on 1.81 acres with 240 feet of waterfront.
The tour of Seattle’s Emerald Coast waterfront mansions continues with a Madrona post.

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