For Sale: Fort Lawton

Exterior of one of the Fort Lawton buildings.  Photo: Fort Lawton Homes

If you’ve ever frequented historic Fort Lawton, located within the 534 acres of Discovery Park, one can imagine how it must have felt to live there over 100 years ago when the army base served as an outpost to protect Seattle from outside naval threat. And second, ironically, to protect Seattle from itself: by curbing rampant lawlessness in newly-formed Seattle.

Panoramic aerial views of Fort Lawton.  Photos: Fort Lawton Homes

The panoramic views are still incredible today, and the beautiful old homes, which are registered as national landmarks, have been fully renovated inside while retaining the character of the original build: the original windows, woodwork, fireplaces, and often a roomy three stories + a basement. As many Magnolia natives know, Fort Lawton is also very convenient to the downtown Seattle core: only 15-30 minutes away.

Historic photo of Fort Lawton and soldiers.  Photo: Museum of History & Industry. All rights reserved.   Neg# SHS7164

In 2011, the last military presence occupying the site, the Army Reserve, relocated to Marysville, WA. The U.S. Navy personnel who were then living in the dwellings were moved. And the historic residences, built in 1900, went on sale in 2015. Many people have applied to buy these 26 homes: well over 2,000 people, in fact. As of this writing, the somewhat smaller homes located along Montana Circle and the larger Officers’ Row homes have all sold with the exception of two: 4002 & 4216 Washington Ave. W. (plus an additional one pending). The remaining two are priced at $1.79 million and $1.975 million.

Fort Lawton, in the course of its long history, has seen many things. 20,000 U.S. soldiers were processed through, whether embarking or returning from four different wars. It held German and Italians prisoners of war during World War II. A riot against Italian prisoners’ privileges erupted, resulting in a murder and numerous injuries. African-American soldiers were accused of the murder on shaky grounds, and years later the army publicly apologized for these soldiers’ imprisonment, reinstating honorable discharges, and provided back pay to their families. Native Americans protested their rights to the land and encamped at the site when the surplus land was decommissioned in 1970, which resulted in the formation of the Daybreak Star Indian Cultural Center. A fire broke out in one of the buildings being renovated only a year ago. And our city’s largest park (and most pristine in this writer’s humble opinion), Discovery Park, began when the military gave the rest of the surplus land to the city.

Interior of Fort Lawton home.  Photo: Fort Lawton Homes

Many of Fort Lawton’s Colonial Revival buildings have withstood the test of time. And now you can tour the restored homes, in-person (at least for the moment), or vicariously peruse the photos below.

Photos and video of the Fort Lawton homes:
http://ownfortlawton.com

http://seattlerefined.com/the-home/the-most-unique-new-neighborhood-in-seattle

https://seattle.curbed.com/2016/9/16/12938138/fort-lawton-officers-row-homes-4002-washington

The Fort Lawton Riot

Fort Lawton Riot

The Fort Lawton Riot was a tragic event that took place during World War II, and involved late-night violence between Italian prisoners of war and US soldiers at Fort Lawton in Magnolia.

On the night of August 14th, 1944 a group of African Americans and a group of Italians came across each other after a night of drinking, and words were exchanged. One thing led to another and a fight broke out between the two groups. After the riot was over, Italian prisoner of war Guglielmo Olivotto was found dead. The result of this riot was the court-martial of 43 soldiers–all of whom were African American. 28 US soldiers were ultimately convicted and imprisoned.

In 2005, Jack Hamann wrote a book called On American Soil which played a significant role in helping convince the U.S. Army Board for Correction of Military Records that there were extreme errors committed by the prosecution and and that all convictions should be reversed. Hamann called the Fort Lawton Riot the “most overlooked civil rights event in American history.”

In 2008, President Bush signed a decree ordering the Army to compensate the defendants or their family for the errors made throughout the investigation.

This event has a ton more information, twists, turns, etc…we just tried to provide a brief summary, so if you’d like to learn more please check out Wikipedia for an overview, The Seattle Times article on the apology to the soldiers, or possibly even the book On American Soil.

 

Preschool Will Once Again be Offered at Daybreak Star

Daybreak Star

Daybreak star will once again be home to a preschool at the Native Cultural Center.

After 27 years, Daybreak Star and the United Indians of All Tribes Foundation lost their program in 2013. Since that loss, they have been trying to get a preschool back to the community of Magnolia to support Native American families.

The program will consist of about 40 children, all around four years old. Most likely, the classes will be held Monday – Thursday, for 6 and 1/2 hours a day. This model of classes was chosen in favor of a half-day preschool, because it makes life easier on parents that are working.The hope is that the preschool will be up and running by 2015.

The school is located at 3801 W. Government Way in Magnolia.

Congratulations on successfully bringing back a preschool to Daybreak Star!

Seattle Parks / King County Wastewater Treatment Division Educational Event 6/28

Light house

The Seattle Parks Department and the King County Wastewater Treatment Division are teaming up to host a “stewardship educational event” this Saturday, June 28th.

Magnolia residents and Discovery Park users are invited to meet at the Discovery Park Lighthouse roundabout anytime between 11:00 a.m. and 3 p.m. to learn about how our community can help preserve the beauty and safety of the beach area.

Tours of the beach will be available thanks to the Discovery Park Naturalists, and the event will  focus on issues like uncontrolled vehicle access, trespassing, prevention of fires, graffiti, crime, etc. as the summer months bring about the most traffic to Discovery Park and the beach area.

The beach area may be accessed via shuttle bus from the Visitor’s Center between 10:45 a.m. until 4:45 p.m.

 

Magnolia Real Estate Report

school-view

The Seattle real estate market continues to be quite dynamic, including Magnolia, which has been seeing a ton of activity. According to the Northwest Multiple Listing Service, the month of May brought about 31 single family home transactions, at a median sales price of $738,000. Buyers seem to be eager to find a home in Magnolia, as the 31 homes that were for sale last month averaged out to being on the market for only 10 days. That’s good news if you’re looking to sell!

Magnolia also saw sales of four condominiums in May. The median sales price of the condos went for $538,000 and averaged being on the market for just 13 days.

Statistics continue to support that the Seattle –and Magnolia –real estate market has stayed hot, and you can bet that will continue to be the case as we get closer to the summer, which is always the busiest time of year for real estate transactions. For more information on Seattle real estate, contact your local real estate agent today.

 

Hostile Solicitor in Magnolia Near Discovery Park

Around 7:30pm in the evening of July 25th, a woman who lives on W Emerson Street near Discovery Park called police to report a hostile and suspicious solicitor that had come to her door. After hearing a friendly knock at her door, she peeked out the speak easy where she saw a well groomed, 6′ tall African American man. She opened the speakeasy and told him that she did not accept solicitors at her home. The man became agitated and upset that she did not give him a chance to tell her who he was and the reason for his visit. She then asked him the reason. He became angry and told her that he’ll just get what he came for and proceeded to curse racial slurs at her while taking photographs of the side of her house. The woman’s sister followed the man as he left and headed into Discovery park, cursing racial slurs at her as well.salesman

The Seattle Police Department wants to remind people to be cautious of solicitors. Licensed door-to-door sellers must always display their registered license on their shirt. The license will display the sellers name and picture. The license is only good for the registered product they are selling. Be sure to acknowledge the solicitor so that they know someone is home and to avoid a burglary. It is always safer to address the solicitor from a side window or behind a locked screen door. If a solicitor asks to come into your home for any reason such as to use your phone or bathroom or for a glass of water, remember that you do not know the person and you are not obligated to let them in. If a sales person is allowed in the home, do not give into pressure to buy anything. If you ever feel uncomfortable end the conversation and ask the sales person to leave. Do not hesitate to call 911 if needed.

Magnolia Craftsman Home Rental: $3,200

Magnolia

This impressive 3 bed 1.75 bath Magnolia craftsman home is now available for rent, and features hardwoods throughout the main level, with a gas fireplace, and open floor plan for entertaining. It also has a great deck on the front of the home, perfect to oversee the neighborhood, sweeping bay and mountain views and great for entertaining. The lower level has a fully finished basement with custom built-ins and finishes, bedroom and recently updated bathroom. The home also comes with a 2 car garage, and is a first time rental; and it certainly shows! The home is just blocks away from Discovery Park, and in close proximity to the Magnolia Thriftway and the Magnolia Public Library.

Status: For Rent
Bed/Baths: 3/1.75
Price: $3,200

2 People Shot in Discovery Park

Many people venture to Discovery Park, one of Seattle’s biggest tourist destinations, to catch a view of the city, or go for an afternoon hike in the Magnolia neighborhood park. But last Thursday evening, along with the tragedy of the Batman Premiere shooting in Aurora, CO, Discovery Park had another shooting occur that same evening, injuring a 16 year old boy, and a 17 year old girl.

According to the Seattle Times, police made a statement claiming the boys friend’s took him to the hospital to be treated for an arm injury, and the girl didn’t know she had been shot until she got home and realized her leg was bleeding. Police are on the lookout for three teenage boys who are said to be responsible for the boy’s injury, and apparently the boy knows who the shooter is. Gang investigators are looking into finding those responsible, who are at large in Seattle.