Jerry O’Leary has lived in Guatemala, Costa Rica, England, France and Italy. However he by no means absolutely left Seattle, the place he maintained his main residence starting in 1980. When he lastly made the choice to remain for good, he was stunned to find that Seattle not suited him in addition to it as soon as did.
“I’m an older individual now, and I simply needed one thing barely quieter than Seattle,” mentioned Mr. O’Leary, 71, an avid artwork collector who labored as a lawyer and helped handle his household’s enterprise pursuits in natural-resources corporations. “I used to be not capable of exit and entry all the things that Seattle has to supply, so it appeared that paying the premium of residing in Seattle grew to become much less and fewer worthwhile.”
He tried close by Bainbridge Island, however discovered it a bit too quiet. So he settled on Tacoma, a smaller metropolis about 35 miles south of Seattle with a vibrant arts scene.
He was intent on shopping for a condominium reasonably than a home, however discovered few interesting choices accessible, so he recognized 5 buildings he preferred and waited for one to open up. It took a few 12 months, however ultimately a 2,200-square-foot condo went available on the market in a 1980 constructing designed by Alan C. Liddle, a prolific native architect who died in 2009. Mr. O’Leary purchased it for about $700,000 in March 2020, initially of the pandemic.
“It has a good looking view of Puget Sound and Vashon Island, and I can see the ship site visitors,” he mentioned. “It’s a good looking place to dwell.”
Mr. O’Leary preferred the bones of the house, however the four-decades-old inside wanted a whole refresh. For that, he known as on Hoedemaker Pfeiffer, a Seattle-based structure agency, and made two primary requests.
“The very first thing was that I’ve by no means been capable of get greater than half my artwork out of storage, so I wanted a spot that might let me deliver out as a lot of my artwork as attainable,” he mentioned.
Even so, he didn’t need his new residence to resemble a chilly gallery. “I needed one thing that was fantastically made, that had first-class supplies, however the place anyone might stroll in and really feel comfy,” he mentioned. “No one would stroll in and really feel like they couldn’t sit down in any chair, they couldn’t contact any wall. It needed to be completely livable.”
Tim Pfeiffer, a accomplice at Hoedemaker Pfeiffer, and Hana Schooley, a venture supervisor on the agency, aimed to protect the unique spirit of the condo whereas making some surgical enhancements. They left many of the partitions intact, however changed a couple of with oak-slat screens to deliver daylight into darkish corners.
“It’s a extremely lengthy rental unit, so it was a problem getting gentle to penetrate from one facet to the opposite,” Ms. Schooley mentioned. “Our idea didn’t contain huge strikes — they have been small strikes to enhance the sunshine and create an area particularly for Jerry.”
One of many screens connects the lounge and the den, the place built-in cabinets present a spot to show sculpture. “It’s positively a collector’s residence,” Mr. Pfeiffer mentioned, “with nice sightlines to particular items, and collections of items in different areas.”
Extra screens dissolve the boundaries between the kitchen and a hallway resulting in the first suite, in addition to between the first bed room, rest room and dressing space.
For visible heat and a welcoming feeling, the architects selected a palette of textured supplies in impartial hues: Sandalus quartzite with a leathered end across the fire, two varieties of limestone for the first rest room flooring and vainness, grass-cloth wallcovering with a refined sample round Mr. O’Leary’s mattress, and buff-colored paint for his main artwork show partitions.
They furnished the house with classic items heavy on character, together with a sculptural Sixties Guillerme et Chambron wooden armchair in the lounge; a eating desk and chairs from the identical furnishings maker; and textured linen materials and woolly rugs.
However none of it occurred shortly.
Mr. O’Leary had purchased the condo from an older vendor whose transfer right into a nursing residence was delayed amid the pandemic, so he allowed her to proceed residing there for 9 months after closing. It wasn’t till she moved out on the finish of 2020 that Mr. Pfeiffer’s brother-in-law, Tom Treleven, of Treleven Challenge Administration, was capable of begin development.
Mr. O’Leary moved into his new residence in March 2022, after spending one other $700,000. “It’s extraordinary,” he mentioned. “It’s a beautiful place. The rooms work precisely as I’d hoped they’d, in a really comfy, pure means.”
To date, he estimates that he has managed to show about 70 % of his artwork assortment — way over in his earlier residence.
Mr. Pfeiffer, who grew up in Tacoma, was simply as taken with the completed condo and its environment. “I discussed to Jerry,” he mentioned, “‘You realize, when you ever resolve to promote this place, it’s received my identify on it.’”
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