While it isn’t an island per se, the Kitsap Peninsula offers the casual resort-town lifestyle we often associate with the islands. Kitsap is actually part of the Olympic Peninsula, but is separated from it by Hood Canal. Bremerton, population around 39,000, is the largest city on the Kitsap Peninsula, accessible by land or by a 55-minute ferry ride from Seattle. Bremerton’s business district, which was in a down cycle for some years, is going through a revitalization. The Bremerton Harborside and Louis Mentor Boardwalk make for a lovely waterfront stroll, and you can go aboard the USS Turner Joy, a Vietnam-era destroyer that is now a floating museum. Respected Northwest architect Kenneth Branch designed quite a few residential and commercial mid-century Modern structures in Bremerton, (including parts of Olympic College).
Kitsap Peninsula has miles of saltwater shoreline and many picturesque towns worth visiting. Two of my favorites are Poulsbo and tiny Port Gamble. Poulsbo, proud of its Norwegian heritage, is celebrated for its art galleries, bakeries, restaurants, and boutiques and specialty shops. Port Gamble, population about 900, is a former mill town that’s now a National Historic Landmark District. The town thrived in the late 1800s, so its residential inventory is mostly Late Victorian. I’m afraid you won’t find any Modern architecture here. However, on a bright, blustery day—when you look out over the harbor, the wind is blowing in off the bay, and you feel all’s right with the world—it’s easy to excuse those long-ago Victorians their lack of a Modern sensibility.
Most Modern architecture on the Kitsap Peninsula tends to be high-end, custom-built homes, often on acreage or waterfront property. There is a fair amount of Northwest Contemporary that was built in the 70’s and 80’s however and depending on the layout, it’s a style worth considering. The expansive windows often found in NW Contemporary homes are perfect for water views and eagle watching. If condo living is what you are after, the Harborside Condos in Bremerton, have a few Modern units currently for sale.
If you are interested in this area or have a home you want to list, contact Mark Lowder, our Bainbridge/Vashon/Kitsap specialist.