Last week I wrote about Mercer Island. This week, we’re exploring a peninsula—specifically, the Magnolia neighborhood in Seattle. Hilly, winding Magnolia is located just west of Queen Anne Hill. It’s one of the largest neighborhoods in the city. To the north, it’s bounded by Shilshole Bay and Salmon Bay; to the west by Puget Sound; to the south by Elliott Bay and Smith Cove.
To get to Magnolia, you have to cross any of three bridges that carry you across tracks owned by the BNSF Railway. Magnolia is about ten minutes to Downtown, five minutes to Queen Anne, and five to ten minutes to Ballard (depending on whether the Ballard Bridge is up or down.)
First-time visitors to Magnolia are often pleasantly surprised by its relaxed, small-town feel. The heart of the community is the business district, nicknamed “Magnolia Village.” There’s not much traffic in the Village, and the sidewalks are planted with Magnolia trees. Village services include a post office, hardware store, gas station, garden center, supermarket, coffee shops and restaurants, and numerous retail shops.
In summer, Magnolia Village is home to the Magnolia Farmers Market. There you’ll find fresh produce, flowers, baked goods. This year, the market opened in June and runs every Saturday from 10am to 2pm, through October 8. The nearby Magnolia Community Center offers sports activities and classes. The adjacent Lowery C. “Pop” Mounger Pool—open May through September—is one of only two public outdoor pools in Seattle. And of course, Magnolia is home to the city’s largest public park, Discovery Park, with its many trails, breathtaking views, and quiet beach.
Magnolia has been part of Seattle since 1891, but was largely developed post-WWII. Therefore, Magnolia features a large number of mid-century Modern homes. The Seattle Public Library’s Magnolia Branch is a mid-century gem. Originally opened in 1964, the building was designed by Paul Hayden Kirk. A plaque attached to the landmark structure says it is “recognized as a quintessential example of Northwest design with distinct influences of Japan.”
At the southwest edge of the peninsula, you’ll find an abundance of beautiful, high-end properties ranging in style from Craftsman and Colonial to the steel beams and sculpted concrete of mid-century and contemporary Modern dwellings. Most homes in that part of Magnolia have underground wiring and spectacular views of Puget Sound and the Olympic Mountains. Several contemporary Modern homes are currently going up in and around that area.
In the past two years, our own Heidi Ward has listed twelve Magnolia homes—ten of which were either mid-century Modern or newer contemporary Modern homes. In just one example of how a knowledgeable, experienced broker can help give you an edge, Heidi recently sold a Modern home in Magnolia “off market” (that is, she represented both buyer and seller, and the home was never even listed on the MLS).
The power of 360Modern!