The spectacular view from "The Crown Jewel of South Hill" in Bellingham, WA. Click photo for listing.
A room with a view. No, not the 1986 classic starring Helena Bonham Carter. I’m talking quite literally about houses with spectacular vistas. Whether you’re a city person, a country person, or a little bit of both, that’s typically the goal, right? Views of Central Park. Views of the valley. Mountain views. Ocean views. Skyline views. Views are as much a selling point as granite countertops and walk-in closets dedicated entirely to shoes. As has already made completely obvious in this introduction, today’s Historic Properties for Sale post is about the views. From Bellingham, Washington, to Boyds, Maryland – these houses can wow and inspire “Honey, look!” conversations in even the most stone-hearted of basement-dwellers.
First up is “The Crown Jewel of South Hill” in Bellingham, Washington. While looking through the pictures, I had to google “Goonies film location” because this house overlooks a very similar perfectly-Northwest landscape of faded pastel and rusty-rooftop homes, evergreens, and the Americana grit of small town industrial waterfront as in the pre-teen 80s adventure. But it turns out “The Goonies” was filmed in Astoria, Oregon. Anyway. Built in 1906 by the wealthy owner of a local shingle mill, this neoclassical home is outfitted with modern kitchen and baths, awesome porches and decks (see above), and even a wood-paneled attic ping-pong room. Truffle Shuffle worthy if you ask me.
Moving on down the coast to, well, just off the coast, this next house is listed as “The Jewel of Catalina Island.” Hold the phone – another “jewel of” listing? Yes, and with these views it’s hard to argue with that name. Once the home of American author Zane Grey, this pueblo-style home is just 15 minutes by helicopter and an hour away by boat to Los Angeles.
This next house does not *collective sigh of relief* have the word “jewel” in its name, but boy does it have views. Built in 1878 by the niece and nephew-in-law of Elias Howe, inventor of the sewing machine, the home – named Winderborne - is surrounded by the 500-acre Seneca Lake in Boyds, Maryland, just 30 miles northwest of Washington, DC. Unlike the first two properties, this house is in need of substantial interior and exterior work. Try to think of it more as an investment in “making it your own” rather than any sort of Tom Hanks in “The Money Pit”-style venture. Yes, there really is an 80s movie reference for everything.
David Garber is a member of the Ditigal and New Media team at the National Trust for Historic Preservation. The first house he bought had an amazing view of the National Cathedral. One only had to squeeze through a hatch in the attic, climb up to the roof, and wait for all the neighborhood leaves to fall to really see it.