The MHN Blog is a companion to the Maritime Heritage Network, a not-for-profit, comprehensive website of maritime heritage organizations, attractions, and activities in the Pacific Northwest. The blog highlights news, activities, and resources useful to the entire maritime heritage community. All views expressed are the author's own. Opposing views are welcome.

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Friday, May 19, 2006

Seattle Lighthouse Neighbors Worry About Possible Sale

Neighbors of the Alki Point Lighthouse have written to Maritime Heritage Network with concerns about the potential sale of an apartment building next to the lighthouse. A neighbor, who wishes to remain anonymous, wrote to MHN and Seattle Parks Department Superintendent Ken Bounds, saying that the Rip Tide Apartments (map), which have a spectacular view of Puget Sound and the Olympic Mountains, are very close to the lighthouse. The assessed value of the property is $2.76 million (King County Assessor record). The potential sale price may be in the range of $3 million to $5 million.

The neighbor worries that the apartments may be torn down and replaced by condos, or otherwise converted into property inappropriate for the neighborhood. Seattle is undergoing a high-end housing boom at the moment. The neighbor, retired from public service, suggests the property would be a wonderful place for a maritime park.

The neighbor writes: "It is right at the junction of many lanes of shipping and ferry traffic. The viewing opportunities of our marine environment are wonderful. At various times, there are the mighty Olympics, eagles, sea lions, orcas, sea hawks, cormorants, foxes and many other forms of wildlife. It is also a great place to watch storms, and the change of the tides. There are strong inshore currents to study, and many things to see at low tide, to say nothing of the lighthouse next door. There is a lot of foot traffic on the point every day. A park would be well-used by everyone in the city, not just residents. I can't tell you how many people come by my place every sunny day looking for the lighthouse."

If you have any information about a pending sale of the building and/or its potential conversion or new use, please write to me at


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