Seattle’s Gaslight Inn is more than just a house for sale for many folks — it is, in fact, more than just a conveniently located bed and breakfast, something it’s been known as for decades. No, the Gaslight Inn — now being listed for $3.5 million — has a much longer history.
The house itself dates back to the early 1900s, when the grand house was first built by Paul Singerman, a business owner and philanthropist in the budding Seattle scene, according to listing agent John Fox.
By the 1920s, the building had become a rooming house, and in 1983, Stephen Bennett bought the home and worked to restore it to its original grandeur.
Over the years, he accomplished much: The home now boasts bold colors and dark woods, stained and beveled glass windows, and stunning tile work. It’s the sort of touches that Fox says would be taken away or played down for a normal sale, but make up all that the Gaslight is.
“It’s the originality of the house is really, what sets it apart,” Fox said. “The Gaslight is all dark woodwork and period colors; most houses you see an agent say, ‘We want everything painted white, beige,’ and bring in the stagers. But with the Gaslight it’s just perfect as it is.”
Fox should know: Though he’s now a real estate agent, he worked at the Gaslight Inn from 1986 until 2001, and worked to help get it nominated as a historical landmark four years ago. (The building received landmarks protections in October 2015.)
A big part of that designation was its history after Bennett acquired the home: After he opened the house as the Gaslight Inn in 1985, it assumed an iconic spot in the city’s LGBTQ community, becoming a refuge for families traveling to the area to bury loved ones during the AIDS crisis.
It would also be used for political events, for both Cal Anderson, the state’s first openly gay legislator, and Ed Murray, the city’s first openly gay mayor.
“It provided a lot of us with comfort. The last 35 years have been the most important for that house,” Fox said, noting that it’s a feeling that the house still has in abundance. “It’s like anybody’s family house feels like home to me. We’ve had a number of repeat guests and it’s obvious why — they just feel comfortable there. Safe.
Click through the slideshow above to see some of the restoration and details of the Gaslight Inn. The home is at 1757 15th Avenue, and is listed for $3,500,000. See the full listing here.
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