Semi-monthly news and updates about the homes, people, businesses and communities that are featured in Lake Washington 130 Homes. This covers the Lake Washington waterfront in Seattle’s Madison Park, Denny-Blaine and Madrona neighborhoods, Mercer Island, and The Eastside communities of Bellevue, Medina, Hunts Point and Yarrow Point.
(The above home belongs to Charles Simonyi. See 5/31/11 post.)

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Ragen Seattle Mansion Sells for $9.6 Million

This estate in the Denny-Blaine neighborhood of Seattle (page 30 in Lake Washington 130 Homes, sold for $9.6 million in December 2009. This is one of Seattle’s fine old waterfront mansions that has not been torn down for a modern home. The home buyer is listed as Janis Cunningham, a partner with the Perkins Cole law firm. She may be acting as a trustee for an anonymous buyer. The former owner and seller was Brooks Ragen.  He co-founded Seattle-based Ragen Mackenzie Group, a full service brokerage firm.  The firm grew to 300 employees with offices in Washington, California, Oregon and Alaska managing over $11 billion in assets when it was acquired by Wells Fargo in 2000.  Nearly simultaneously Brooks left the firm and co-founded McAdams Wright Ragen in Seattle and the firm is now one of the region’s largest brokerage firms. The estate has 4,020 sq ft of living space on 0.6 acres with 153 feet of waterfront.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Gould Buys Briggs Madison Park Mansion for $10.6 Million

This house in Madison Park (page 19 in Lake Washington 130 Homes, sold for $10.6 million in December 2009. The home was purchased by Frederick Beau Gould and Julie Pigott Gould. The Goulds moved from a nearby Madison Park home and their boat is named “Julie.” Frederick is a Seattle attorney. Julie is active in numerous local charities with other members of the Pigott families. The former owners, Jack and Carol Briggs, were also active in charities and the home was featured as a wonderful site for many fund raisers. The home has a pool, two kitchens and three fireplaces. The selling brochure said: “The home is wonderful for entertaining inside and outside. Inside there are large entertainment rooms with French craftsmen detailing. The outside features the pool, beautiful, well-maintained landscaping, sculptures and fountains.” The estate has 7,470 sq ft of living space on 0.7 acres with 135 feet of waterfront.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Bill Gate’s Convention Center

A – Grand Staircase – 92 feet long, descending 84 steps with roof 63 feet above the stairway.  The Grand Entrance is at the top with a 6,300 sq ft garage for guest limos.  The gate for the road to the estate is in the upper right.  The driveway continues past the Grand Entrance through a second gate to the family four car garage above the inner sanctum [D].
B – Library (hidden behind [A] and trees), 2,100 sq ft and home to Leonardo da Vinci’s Codex Leicester.
C – Guest and convention wing with reception hall, guest rooms, dining rooms, kitchens, meeting rooms, theaters, etc.
D – Family 11,500 sq ft “inner sanctum” with 4 bedrooms. A 60 x 17 foot indoor/outdoor pool is below and the lakefront building is the boat house.
E– Executive offices and main reception hall.
F – Security offices, activity center and exercise room.

Since 1997 Microsoft and Bill Gates have been holding an annual very exclusive “CEO Summit.”  The inaugural 1997 conference introduced his 50,000 sq ft, $150 million, Lake Washington estate that was near completion. Usually about 100 top-level people from around the world attend. Sessions and meetings are held at the Microsoft campus and Bill’s estate, aka his personal Convention Center.  Most of the meetings and social events are closed to the media and public and advance notices of the times and places of these are not provided. The above is a guide to his lakefront convention center as viewed from the public waters.  The estate along with more information is in my book, Lake Washington 130 Homes, on pages 118 and 119 (