Friday, December 23, 2011
Another cottage comes down
Progress or simply deplorable?
The wrecking crew was on site early this morning, and once the work got underway it didn't take long for the tiny, brightly-painted house at 2032 41st Avenue E. to bite the dust. The 590 sq. ft., one-bedroom home---now just a pile of rubble---would have celebrated a Centennial Anniversary if it could have remained on site for just another couple of years. But that was not to be. Built in 1914, the house was one of the Madison Park originals. Now it has gone the way of so many other cottages in the neighborhood, swept up in the tide of progress.
MPB reader Jana Wilkins, who sent us the above photo, describes the cottage's destruction as a "horrible event." But for others in the neighborhood the house's demise is probably is not a sad occasion. The cottage was certainly a stand-out, with its violet-and-purple hues and boldly-painted flower embellishments. Though fun and interesting, it was not precisely the kind of neighborhood attraction that adds to the property values of surrounding homes.
The house was purchased earlier this year by Isola Homes, a Renton-based residential property developer. Isola will be building a 3,219 sq. ft. modernistic structure on the site, scheduled to be completed in the summer of 2012.
The new house, which will be Built-Green, will feature four bedrooms, 2.5 baths, and a detached two-car garage on the 4,000 sq. ft. site.
Those who choose to take a positive view of the cottage's destruction and ultimate replacement can find solace in the fact that the transformation of this property represents a vote of confidence in Madison Park by an outside developer. At a time when much speculative residential development has ground to a halt and several developers of Madison Park properties are no longer in business, there are now multiple speculative developments underway in the Park, this one just the latest to come to our attention. At least in the opinion of some builders, Madison Park continues to be an attractive neighborhood with potential for major house sales.
This fact may not provide much comfort, however, to those who deplore the neighborhood's ongoing gentrification and the gradual loss of the village-like aspect of the Park's character. Unlike Madison Park's more exclusive Broadmoor and Washington Park enclaves, the area "North of Madison" began life as primarily a working-class community, one characterized by cottages and bungalows. Beginning in the 1990's, many of these modest homes began giving way to the development of megahouses, a Madison Park trend that The Stranger once termed House Bloat. While that trend has certainly slowed as the result of the real estate downturn, today's teardown at 2032 41st shows it definitely hasn't been terminated.
Though this cottage certainly has been.