Master Builder

September 2016

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Page 30 of 59

LOVE AT FIRST SIGHT ... The Weitzel House. It defi nitely had high ceilings. Character? Put it in a movie and it would get top billing. And since according to the records it was built during or before 1908, there was no doubt the house had a history, but what exactly was it? Way back when, before skyscrapers and condos spanned the gray Seattle skyline, before the tech boom and the infl ux of new residents, even before the Smith Tower, the Weitzel House was built on a lot 13 miles down a muddy road near some railroad tracks south of the city. The house was home to several enterprising families over the years, including its builder, I. J. Weitzel. The eccentric original owner ran a general supply store across the street where he used his own currency to serve hopeful miners traveling through the area during the gold rush. In more recent times, the house served as a candle shop; a business which left it minus a kitchen. The only obstacle: the house's location. Tawny and Ian wanted to live in Seattle. The Weitzel House sat south of the city near the West Valley Highway in Tukwila in an area previously known as Orillia—a once small but thriving rural community complete with its own post offi ce, school and voting precinct. One man's trash is defi nitely another's treasure and Tawny and Ian weren't going to let this small detail of location rob them of their historical dream house. It was too perfect and they were smitten. So they decided to move it. All of it. The entire house. 31 09.16 master builder

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