Sunday, February 7, 2010

It’s a Wonderful Day in the Neighborhood

If you live in the Pacific Northwest you know that we seem to be experiencing an early Spring. I walk to work (I am a lucky girl) and every day I notice more and more plants sending up shoots, as well as, buds turning to blossoms on trees. Last weekend my husband and I (and our dog) took advantage of the unseasonable warmth and sunshine and went out for a nice long walk around some historic neighborhoods in Tacoma. I took along my little point and shoot camera to capture houses that I find inspiring.

This lovely house is just a few blocks away from our own. I just love the colors. We are constantly contemplating what we should do to our exterior. I am drawn to blues, but I just don’t know if our block could handle another blue house (there are currently 5!).

You know what makes this house even better? It is next to this fabulous Tudor. Sigh, the Tudor was on the market two year back, but far out of our price range. It just slayed me though, as it was on the route I walked from work to the bus (back when we lived in an adorable little apartment near a zoo). I’m glad that the house found a buyer and that they are treating it well. Also visible is my husband (and supposed blog co-author) and our dog.

Here is the front of the house:

It has a really good sized fenced yard, with a sort of overgrown English garden look to it. There are a good amount of trees on the lot too.

It is just crazy to have trees flowing so early! I can hardly believe it is early February, let alone that these photos were taken at the tale end of January.

Anyway, on with the house!

This mansion is insane! I am so curious about its history. You can’t really tell from this shot, but it has sweeping views of the Puget Sound, the Cascades, and Mt. Rainer. The other thing you can’t really tell from this shot is that the house seems to be falling into disrepair (or, hopefully, a very slow repair?). The other side of the house is missing a bunch roof shingles, among other things. In the 4 years I have lived in Tacoma I have yet to see any exterior improvements. Of course, I have no idea what the interior is like, but, boy, would I love to find out! I would love to see this place be turned into a bed and breakfast. I’d book a room even though it is only a mile away.

I really enjoy the Corinthian columns on this house, as well as, it being a double lot. We have Doric columns on our house, which are also great. I guess you could say I am just a big fan of columns in general. Also, you can see the backside of the mansion behind the blue house.

Originally our house was a double lot, but it was parceled off sometime after the 1920s. It would have been so glorious to have a huge yard and garden on the North side of our house instead of a duplex. Yet, then again, if it was a double lot we probably wouldn’t have been able to afford our house anyway.

Here is another exterior color scheme I really enjoy, the view of the Sound isn’t half bad either. Bonus, there are no green houses on our block! Okay, there is one really pale gray green house, but it barely even counts, plus, the owners were mentioning how they plan on painting…

Fake Bernini in Tacoma! I enjoy this way too much.

The last house of the day is directly behind our favorite bar, The Parkway Tavern. It it so unique and urban looking. The dense shrubbery out front kind of obstructs the view, but trust me, it is fantastic. Its look is very unexpected in Tacoma. I imagine it fitting in a much larger city, maybe in a block or row houses or something of that ilk. I don’t know if that is logical or not, but, whatevs. I adore this house.

My batteries started going low on me pretty early on in our walk, so the quality (and quantity) of images is not what I wanted it to be… Oh well, I can assure you, we will take more walks and Tacoma has many more beautiful houses. Perhaps, I will even take the time to wade through my photos from a weekend spent last year in Port Townsend (a town known for its Victorian architecture) and our honeymoon in ‘08 to Victoria, BC. After all, I am pretty much house bound for the next two weeks, as our big bouncy dog had major surgery this last week and he has to stay pretty much immobile for the next two weeks and needs a lot of care and attention. So, expect a lot of posts… or, at least, one or two more.


  1. Wow. The next time we come up I would love to see the mansion. That is impressive. I don't know that I've ever seen a house that grand in real life. I'm from Scappoose, y'all!

  2. Just keeping looking for a fabulous house for sale with a really terrific price. One of these days we'll get there. Maybe the mansion and we can open the B & B and that'll be our retirement income :-)

  3. Mom, I believe we already found you the perfect house. I just checked and it is still for sale!

  4. Joy, Tacoma has an impressive amount of historic mansions (or near-mansions... I wonder at what point a house is no longer a house, but becomes a mansion.) and they are totally within in walking distance.
    Oh, and I'm pretty sure your fine city has more than its fair share of awesomeness in homes.

  5. Noticed you don't like green houses. Figures, since I do. I also looked at the listing and it looks nice. Have you been inside?

  6. We like green houses! There is one represented in the post...
    We have not been inside the house- That would be up to you guys!

  7. I remember this place. Hard to believe it's still for sale and at such a low price! Wish we could afford two mortgages. I'd be up there negotiating. Too bad they laminated the floors and that it's two stories, but you should go see it for us sometime. Find out if it's possible to have a bedroom on the first floor for when we can't go up & down the stairs.

  8. The early spring is incredible! Lovely neighborhood you live in, love your house!

  9. Don't remind me of what I left to withstand winter storm after winter storm! :) We've been freezing down here!