Old mansion gets new owners

Chris Tucker, ctucker@ptleader.com
Posted 3/28/17

After being on the market for 12 years, the historic Ann Starrett Mansion has new owners. Port Townsend residents Christian and Cima Andrews purchased the landmark 1889 building last week.

The …

This item is available in full to subscribers.

Please log in to continue

E-mail
Password
Log in

Old mansion gets new owners

Posted

After being on the market for 12 years, the historic Ann Starrett Mansion has new owners. Port Townsend residents Christian and Cima Andrews purchased the landmark 1889 building last week.

The Andrews were busy outside their new home with a moving crew and a box truck last Friday after closing on the sale March 20.

“It’s a beautiful house. We fell in love with it the moment we walked in the door,” Christian said. “The staircase … the whole entrance is amazing. It takes my breath away every time.”

The couple plans to renovate the 5,796-square-foot house, which has from eight to 10 bedrooms, depending on how the rooms are used. They plan to use the building as a private residence. Former owners Bob and Edel Sokol had operated the mansion as a boutique motel for years.

“It’s a 130-year-old house. It requires continual upkeep,” Christian said.

The mansion, at 744 Clay St., was built for $6,000 by George Starrett as a wedding gift for his wife, Ann VanBokkelenn. The Port Townsend landmark is renowned for its architecture, frescoed ceilings and a mysterious three-tiered, free-floating staircase, which leads to a rare solar calendar that’s illuminated by the sun four times a year.

ON THE MARKET

The Sokols bought the mansion in 1986 and ran it as a boutique motel until putting it on the market in 2005.

Bob Sokol recalled how he and Edel were visiting Port Townsend in 1986 when they saw the mansion on the cover of a real estate magazine.

“We were on a trip out here from Iowa City, looking. We’d been in Port Townsend once before and thought it was a nice place to retire,” Sokol said. “We called the broker who was where John L. Scott is now, and he said, ‘Yeah, I’ll show it to you.’ I had a feeling a lot of people wanted to look at it to take a tour. But we were looking at it for a way to make a living.”

Sokol said the property had been owned by a couple who had tried to make a go of the house as a bed-and-breakfast, but it hadn’t worked.

Sokol said the mansion was in decent shape when they bought it, but it was totally empty.

“Over the years, we’ve furnished it and did a lot of maintenance and upkeep, like the frescos at the top of the tower. We totally redid those,” he said.

“It’s a classic, classic Victorian with a gorgeous tower and stairwell and solar calendar,” Sokol said.

In the past few years, there has been more interest in the property, with more showings.

“Then this couple came through with a Realtor, and they liked it and wanted it,” Sokol said. He said he was delighted that one of the new owners was born and raised in Port Townsend.

The property was listed for sale for $850,000 and sold for $775,000, according to the Jefferson County Assessor’s Office.

“It was a decent offer. They made some concessions and we made some concessions. Even at the list price [of $850,000], it was a good deal,” Sokol said.

“It’s been on the market so long, the neighbors are tired of looking at the ‘for sale’ sign,” said Sokol. Sokol noted that he took the sign down as soon as the deal closed.

The mansion is the second historic property to sell in the past year.

Manresa Castle, which was built in 1892 by Charles Eisenbeis to resemble a castle in Prussia, sold for $1.9 million on Nov. 1, 2016.

Comments

No comments on this story | Please log in to comment by clicking here
Please log in or register to add your comment