Construction of the Egan House began in 1958 and was completed in 1959, at a cost of $10,762. The house was designed by architect Robert Reichert for Admiral Willard Egan. Located between Seattle’s Eastlake and Capitol Hill neighborhoods, the arresting, controversial, and unusual Egan House is one of Reichert’s most notable residential designs. Considered an outstanding example of Washington state residential architecture, its notoriety is based on two factors—the advanced design and the house’s relationship to the surrounding property. For these same reasons, the wooden triangular form on a rectilinear plane sitting atop a pier block is an easily recognizable landmark within the city.
In 1989, the homeowner proposed to raze the house and replace it with a triplex. Faced with resistance from the selected architect (Jeffrey J. Hummel) of the new project, the owner chose to sell the house. In the subsequent decade, the house was bought and sold three times.
In an attempt to preserve a green belt along the east side of the Capitol Hill, the Seattle Parks and Recreation Department purchased a large swath of land below St. Mark’s Cathedral in 1998. The Egan House was located on one of these pieces of land. After numerous threats of demolition by the City, Historic Seattle worked with the Parks and Recreation Department to acquire the Egan House and the rights to use the immediate surrounding land. With the goal being preservation, Historic Seattle raised funds to start some initial repairs. In 2001, under the direction of architect, Lee Stanton, and with the technical assistance of Docomomo WEWA, Historic Seattle proceeded with plans to upgrade and stabilize the roof and structural elements and paint the building. Electrical, heating, and plumbing systems were also upgraded. Today, the Egan House remains in residential use as a rental property and continues to draw attention as one of the most unique Modern residences in the state.
Docomomo WEWA prepared a landmark nomination for the Egan House in 2009. The Landmarks Preservation Board voted unanimously at a designation hearing on April 15, 2009, to designate the Egan House as a Seattle Landmark. Download a pdf of the nomination. Egan House Landmdark Nomination (620KB)