I love Victorian houses, with their elegant porches, dormers, scrollwork, and spindles. I particularly love the Queen Anne style, because towers and turrets make my imagination run wild. I can see myself living in one of these magical manses, wearing high-collared, full-length dresses. I just can’t picture me paying the heating bill.
One of my favorites is the Gaches Mansion (rhymes with “mashes”). It’s in La Conner, Washington, and it was built in 1891. It’s 4700 square feet with 11 foot ceilings, which is why I wouldn’t want to heat it, but oh, is it ever gorgeous. Its Douglas fir floors and trim, and its fireplaces with original Italian tile make you almost forget that there are no built in closets, which was typical of this type of architecture.
My favorite room, of all the rooms on earth, is the 3rd floor tower room. It’s circular, has windows on all sides, and the pointed roof is covered with a gorgeous turquoise blue mural which sets off the woodwork nicely. Whenever I enter that room, I never want to leave.
Over the years, this house has been many things, from a private residence to the first hospital in Skagit County to an apartment building. Unfortunately a resident carelessly set it ablaze in 1973 with his cigarette. (Damned renters!) What a heartbreaking event that must have been.
The good news is that a bunch of citizens got together and purchased and restored the building a year later. That couldn’t have been easy. It then became an art gallery. But the reason I particularly love this mansion is because of what it houses now.
Intrigued? Watch this space tomorrow.