At Seattle Refined, we love checking out incredible real estate. From the quirky - like this Hobbit inspired house in Port Orchard - to the Insta famous, like this quintessential beach cottage near Gig Harbor.
When you think of magnificent houses, it would be tough to top the majestic Rucker Mansion in Everett. At more than 100 years old, it's listed in the National Register of Historic Places and may be the most notable property in the area. For over two decades, Bob and Brenda Kerr have been living in the mansion and meticulously restoring it. From overseeing major renovations to painstakingly doing projects to perfection themselves, they have been the heart of this historic jewel.
The Kerrs recently put this amazing property on the market. Now they're giving us a tour of this one-in-a-million mansion - and sharing some of their favorite memories.
Seattle Refined: Bob and Brenda Kerr you guys are the current owners of The Rucker Mansion up in Everett. It’s a completely amazing property and it’s for sale! Before we get to that - I am hoping you will give us the scoop on the mansion itself.
- Bob Kerr: Sure, it was built between 1901-1905 in Everett by The Rucker Brothers who moved from Ohio and bought out John D Rockefeller’s timber rights in the Northwest.
- Brenda Kerr: The main house is just about 10,000 square feet. In addition, there’s a carriage house that’s about 4,400 square feet, and it’s on just under three acres.
- Bob Kerr: I think it’s estimated that it was about $44,000.
Seattle Refined: That’s quite a bargain by today’s standards! Can you guys describe the style or styles of the home and the property?
- Brenda: It’s a combination of Queen Anne, Italian Villa and Edwardian.
Seattle Refined: When did you guys buy the house and how much was it?
- Bob: We bought in in 1997 shortly after we were married. We were looking for “our house” and we were just fortunate this came on the market at at about that time and we bought it for $650,000.
Seattle Refined: And Brenda - I understand this was actually your “starter home” is that true?
- Brenda: This is actually the first home that I’ve owned and it’s been a great starter home!
Seattle Refined: It literally is enthralling! If we could just go room by room, there's so much there. Tell us about the entrance...
- Bob: The entrance - comes in and and the walls are covered with cut velvet that were designed by Sloan's of New York - they’re still in business. The woodwork is quarter-sawn white oak, birch ceiling and a staircase that goes up to the next level.
Seattle Refined: And how about the Parlor?
- Brenda: The Parlor used to be one of the rooms that I did not like. It had green silk and the green silk originally was beautiful but it has really deteriorated over the years from the UV light. We sewed and hung new fabric over the original fabric. And Bob had years ago sourced a beautiful old marble fireplace surround.
Seattle Refined: And how about the Smoking Room? You don’t see those being made so much anymore!
- Bob: No, the Smoking Room is my favorite. It starts with a granite fireplace that is magnificent that covers one wall entirely with arches on both sides. The woodwork Bird’s Eye Maple trim and Honduran Mahogany. And it has leather wall covering.
Seattle Refined: That’s pretty incredible. And how about the Dining Room?
- Brenda: You know I think what I like most about the dining room is just the memories we have had and the great dinner parties with wonderful people.
Seattle Refined: Now the kitchen is stunning and there are some really special features in there that are probably one of a kind!
- Bob: The kitchen was an interesting remodel that lasted for a year and a half. We had an absolutely excellent cabinet maker that made each cabinet look like it’s own piece of furniture. with appliances that are hidden behind the furniture. The woodwork. The floor is Rojo Coralita Marble that came off the floor of the Seattle Opera House when it was remodeled.
Seattle Refined: There's a special kind of piece of art in there as well!
- Bob: We commissioned a Russian artist to make a rendition of the house - he used a hammer and a little pointed chisel. And it took him three and half months.
Seattle Refined: Talking about the bedrooms and the master bath - can you tell us a little bit about those?
- Brenda: The master actually has incredible views. Then the master bath - Bob did a fantastic job - he actually decided he wanted slab marble on the floor and not only did he want slabbed marble he wanted bookmarks. So all the veining traces throughout the floor, it’s really incredible. Some of the great things in that room - is that marble is heated. Bob just thought of all the details. There’s a hidden TV in there so when I’m sitting in my Killista tub - and Michelle Obama actually put that same tub in The White House. So I can watch the ferries from Mukilteo, I can watch HGTV and it is - I love that room!
Seattle Refined: How many bedrooms are there and how many bathrooms are there?
- Bob: There are 6 bedrooms, 6 and 3/4 baths and 6 fireplaces.
- Brenda: The original bathroom [is on the lower level] and we think it was down there because of water pressure issues - but it has a cage - a rib cage shower water comes out of each one of the rungs around you so it is like a car wash!
Seattle Refined: How about the Billiard Room?
- Bob: The Billiard Room features hand cut, hand laid tile on the floor. And the Billiard Table itself I got a call from the neighbor one day said ‘Bob, there’s a Billiard table in my garage that my grandfather got out of a bar in Everett in 1903. And I’m gonna throw it away if you don’t take it. And I’ll deliver it!’ And so he did.
Seattle Refined: And if people aren’t playing Billiards that can be dancing up in the Ballroom. Tell us about the Ballroom!
- Brenda: The ballroom, I convinced my wonderful husband to crane in a piano. So there is a piano in the ballroom so we have had great parties in there.
Seattle Refined: The entire home just has incredible views right?
- Brenda: Off the Ballroom there’s actually three balconies so one facing west, you cans see the Olympic Range, the one off the east you can see the Cascade and two the North you can see Mount Baker.
Seattle Refined: So you guys have been living in this home and working on the home for how many years now?
- Bob: We’ve been here 23 years. It really has been a labor of love. We feel [like] stewards - caretakers if you will of the history and the charm of this house, and we hope that the next people that live here will enjoy it and be as good of stewards for the house and the community.
Seattle Refined: We're talking about The Rucker Mansion because you guys are selling it - what is the asking price and what about the piano - is the piano thrown in?
- Brenda: All sales are negotiable (!) so if they want the piano we could negotiate on that. We have it marketed for $3.5 million.
- Bob: It’s been a remarkable journey. And the secret is to enjoy the journey.
Seattle Refined: Bob and Brenda Kerr - thank you so much for sharing your wonderful memories of The Rucker Mansion and congratulations on your next adventure!
For more info on The Rucker Mansion check out their website. You could be the next owner of this beautiful property.