Scene in Edmonds: Going, going, gone

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This turn-of-the-century home at 860 Caspers Street was demolished Wednesday to make way for a new seven-home development. The home, built in 1913, was located just east of the Edmonds United Methodist Church.
This turn-of-the-century home at 860 Caspers Street was demolished Wednesday to make way for a new seven-home development. The home, built in 1913, was located just east of the Edmonds United Methodist Church. (Photo courtesy Carolyn Douglas)

30 COMMENTS

  1. More houses, more people, more starbucks, more traffic, more noise, less trees, less solitude….when is it gonna be enough.

  2. Sad to see this home demolished to make room for big development. Further, looking at the photo, it appears there was no effort to re-purpose or recycle before the wrecking ball arrived. Hope I’m wrong about that.

  3. I always enjoyed looking at this old house as I drove by on my way to town. The house and large yard were a peaceful sight.

  4. It seems to me it was not that long ago that they painted and spiffed up that beautiful little house. They shared their garden space with the church members. I am very disheartened to learn about this. A real sad comment on the times in Edmonds. Soon it will cease to be a quaint seaside town. Sad!

  5. In 1976 Harvey Manning spent two years up close and PERSONAL, on the ground, on the beach, 150 miles, walking our native Puget Sound……”to learn alot about a little”

    “in a grain of sand and a heaven in a wildflower” 150 miles, on the beach from nearby Seattle to the Canadian border

    Walking The Beach To Bellingham by Harvey Manning…….

    We are there, Richmond Beach to Edmonds and Edmonds to Picnic Point. Picnic Point to Mukilteo……our grand Puget Sound, right there, land, beach, sea and our up close and personal natural environment.

    A lot of development has gone on in the past 38 years since Harvey Manning walked our beach…… an area developed by many and supposedly for all for the greater good of Edmonds. We lost more than half of a rare and ecologically important marsh….. whats left must be cleaned up as it appears it was polluted…… we’ve lost our salmon……we’ve lost many of our trees that clear the air we breathe, etc. We’ve lost much classic architecture because of take the money and run tear down philosophy of many short sighted developers only interested in their own profits and benefits…..

    Can we stop now

    A couple years ago I wrote in about money coming here to our little city from entities half way across the country…..big city places that at that time had shootings and murders, drug busts, etc., big city crime EVERY day!

    Well, after only a few years, this area has devolved into having shootings every day, murders often and now this area is listed by the Feds as the heroin hub for the state of Washington. Is this our legacy for our children? For all the futures generations?……We can make a difference…..

    We need to pay attention to who ALL we are really electing…..Again, we need those that have always asked the big, important questions.

    Its a real stretch to believe that us becoming the heroin capital of our whole state just happened to skip by anyones radar……and if it did just slip by, maybe because until recently I only saw 2 people asking the big, hard questions of whats really going on here………..this big thing didnt just fall out of the sky

    and one of our main high schools located not far from the hub of the action of the drug trade around here. Do we want this for our children any more than we want toxic waste tires on our childrens playfields?

    Lets celebrate and preserve what we can of what Harvey Manning saw here in 1976…… lets bring back our environment as number one and work to elect government people that care about everyones safety and not just tge business of their select groups………..not those that handily go along with those that created a not safe environment here, all around
    Some people are really good at branding themselves to be something else or something they are not. We dont need that……again, proofs in the pudding

    “the ten year olds were straddling logs…..lllittle kids paddling innertubes, the littlest were building castles. Girls were running in bekinis, splashing and squealing, and boys were running beserk after…..Dogs were chasing frisbees and gulls and barking at young women galloping down the creek on a white horse High schools students had skipped classes and were sitting on logs…..the air was rich with the chemical of driftwood smoke……There neverless be parties tonight……..first beach parties of the year”

    “where did I come from?……let others ask themselves the question, “Where am I going?”

    “I needed mountains, Olympics west and Cascades east to lean on, lest I fall down”

  6. This property was owned by Edmonds United Methodist. It’s on the county website that it was sold for $1,855,000. This makes me sick. Why couldn’t someone have purchased the home and had it moved some place? Couldn’t it have been made a historical site since it was 1913? Just makes me sick to my stomach.

  7. On the other hand, 6 additional places for people to live. More property taxes to support county & city and more $ spent at local businesses.

  8. It is truly sad that Americans have no respect for History or Historic places. All anyone is interested in is how much money they can make off of the property. Just like this entire area, (Seattle, Kirkland, Ballard, etc.) no one cares any more about the ‘Feel’ of a place. Its just about tearing down anything that is over 20 years old and putting up a cheap box building that can hold more people and make more money. This is what our ‘Elected Officials’ are promoting and pushing down our throats as well. They have no concern, respect, or interest in keeping Edmonds as the Nice, little ‘Hometown’ place that it has been for decades, or the great old buildings/houses that give Edmonds that ‘Charm’.
    I just read an article about the upcoming election that concerned me. First of all, why is Mayor Earling the Leader in Campaign contributions when he is running unopposed?! That seems kind of odd. Also, why is the Mayor making campaign contributions to a Candidate running for City Council?! Isn’t that just a little bit unethical? It may be allowed by the letter of the Law, I don’t know, but I personally feel this wrong. It makes me feel like there is an ‘agenda’ here for someone to make a lot of money. For some reason, the Leaders of this fair City want to make Edmonds some kind of ‘Destination’ City? I think it already is. I talk to people all the time who love to come to Edmonds for an afternoon or evening and enjoy the small town atmosphere, the great little restaurants and the Waterfront. (The City Leaders are still quietly trying to develop the waterfront and build multiple story, multi-use, cookie-cutter buildings even though the Downtown has empty storefronts). I was at a meeting a while back RE: the Westgate intersection (and make no mistake, this is an intersection! NOT a ‘Walkable Neighborhood” destination as the Council and Developers would have us believe!) and some of the City Representatives in attendance stated that there are plans for a Hotel close to downtown and that the State has mandated that City grow by a certain percent over the next so many years. They want to bring the Young Couples from Seattle here to live in apartment complexes that they plan on building along 104 and at Westgate Intersection.
    As with this Nation today, it all hinges on greed. I for one will be leaving Edmonds in a matter of years since I will no longer be able to afford to live here at this rate not to mention, I seriously doubt I will want to spend any time in a town full of ’20 somethings’ using up whatever resources are available then moving on to ‘Greener Pastures’ (I know not ALL of these young people are like this) and the only places left to enjoy an evening will be overpriced Hipster Bistros and Sports Bars. I do not want to sound like the ‘Constant Curmudgeon’ here but I love Edmonds as Edmonds is. I love having an ‘Edmonds Kind of Day’ and I do not want that to cease to exist. However, it appears the writing is on the wall.

  9. I see comments about keeping the older homes from being demolished and wonder what year the house was built that these people live in. I grew up in a home (small town, not Edmonds) that was built in 1902. I now live in a home that was built in 1952. My home was built by a builder that built many of the homes on the street. In other words, it was a development back then. I imagine it didn’t please some of the people to have the heavily-wooded area turned into half-acre housing plots. Sort of makes me wonder what year was supposed to be the cut-off year for building in Edmonds.

  10. While we may all wax nostalgic for small town Americana, we cannot turn the calendar back to 1950. I would rather see development take place on urban lots where the supporting infrastructure is already in place than see the plowing up of more farm land or the cutting down of more forests for new subdivisions that require the construction of new infrastructure and extend urban sprawl.

  11. When people built up Edmonds starting at the turn of the century the only thing they destroyed were first growth trees that they used to build their houses, churches, businesses and those trees also provided them with an income This house was of that vintage, it was historic inasmuch as it represented the beginning of the town and just for that should have been respected. It should have been given for someone to have the opportunity to move it, save it for posterity so the children that will grow up in Edmonds in the future will not think that cheaply made chicken coops are the norm. they will find out when they go away from Edmonds that the rest of the country is doing a lot to preserve its heritage. I loved living in Edmonds and on Walnut street/ We moved back to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in 2011. My Highland Park neighborhood started in 1778, you can look it up if you are interested.(https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Highland_Park_(Pittsburgh). We have homes built from that all eras since then as the parcels filled in including a brand new Platinum certified home built in a vacant lot. I found that Edmonds is like its own little kingdom where the king (the 2 mayors whose rules I lived under) seems to be driven by the developers. It is all done in very insidious ways in my opinion and under the guise of what is good for Edmonds. Untold amount of citizen’s money can be spent to assuage one person who happens to be a developer as we saw with the Sunset walkway fiasco but lots of kids don’t have sidewalks to walk on to go to school and the city ‘s police does nothing to protect its walking citizenry from being injured or killed. Citizens are allowed to vent during their 3 minutes in front of City Council but nothing much changes and I see the beat goes on and on. Prospective council members profess to feel the way I do about the history and the soul of the town while they are campaigning but not many resist drinking the official Kool-aid once elected. A lot of the time things (like the pending sale of this home) are not made known. The fault here is really mostly the greed of the church and I am certain the help of the city leaders as the city truly has no sense of the value of its own history. Future money gains trumps everything in Edmonds. I attended years ago a meeting of the ADC where it voted unanimously against its own rules. I was told by their chair that the ADC was there “to help the developers”. When I objected I had to actually fight this ruling (with the help of my husband and two friends) and put together an appeal in front of the city council who justly voted to deny the permit to put in a huge monotonous potentially block size 5 story building where the Old Mill town used to be, one of the very first businesses of Edmonds. It took me 3 years of pleading with the city council under my leadership as the Edmonds Floretum Garden Club President to get the city to buy the little garden (I think Ron you voted in my favor) as was suggested once by a member of ACE during a meeting and that so many people enjoy today as the Hazel Miller Plaza. Edmonds charm, its soul really is slowly being destroyed as I have witnessed during my stay and the town itself eventually will be devalued by outsiders as one more busy and characterless town that was once charming and nice to live in, Ballard comes to mind. The only power you have is your vote and to make your leaders accountable for what they do with YOUR money. Do your homework and put in the time to vote wisely.

  12. Yes, it is a shame to see a piece of the past disappear. However, it’s equally sad to read all the bashing of the United Methodist Church. When the property went up for sale it was well advertised (so, it isn’t a surprise ). The reason given was much needed funds for their Missions, which include the Food Bank, free medical care and an affordable childcare center. The Church gives freely to the greater Edmonds area, regardless of income or religious affiliation. I’m not a member of this church but I simply cannot stand by and watch as people pile on because their favorite dog walking field is developed. I’m sure many of you have never needed a Food Bank, or were down on your luck and needed medical care but thank God those who do need help can find it right here in our community. Yes, towns change and empty lots aren’t always going to stay empty. Instead of moaning about it, be thankful the Food Bank, childcare center and medical clinic will continue to be around for those who need it. Let it go.

    • Agreed! People criticize churches when they sit on assets, now this church gets criticized because they sold off unneeded land so they can help people? It is a shame about the house, but where were all the people concerned about the house when the church announced it was selling the land? I don’t recall anyone stepping up and volunteering to move it.

  13. Thank you Betty Larman for your insightful history of the effort you put forth to help this city understand the need for restoration and preservation. This doesn’t seem to be happening on a great scale. Did the the developers put the word out that there would be wood floors and windows to salvage along with fixtures and probably so much more? One could only hope. If not, what a waste.

  14. Thank you Erin Dale. Let’s get real: one could not expect the Methodist church to hang on to the house and land for aesthetic purposes. It was a very small, very old house occupying a very large parcel of land located on the edge of a residential neighborhood.

    It would have cost far more to relocate the house than what it was worth, not to mention the cost of a lot on which to place it. The best use for the resulting vacant land is the construction of property tax generating single family residents amidst a pre-existing urban infrastructure.

    For those who are concerned about the loss of open spaces in Edmonds, I suggest you get involved in the process to determine the future of the Edmonds marsh and the Unocal grounds.

  15. looks like that house had a basement not sure how easy it would have been to move its an old house asbestos lead paint bad old wiring poor insulation poor construction thats what you get with a lot of old houses and there a pain to work on i know cause i got one but this place looked ok from the outside with the building codes and the materials we are using now homes are better then they ever have been. I remember somebody said to me they dont build them like they use to my responce was your right they build them a lot better

    • They really don’t build them as they use to. Yes, there are better materials now but I think far less craftsmanship. Come see my 1959 home with the ‘swirl’ in the plaster over all the walls. They took pride in the work they did. I have no doubt that there are many trades people who take pride in their work now but I bet not as many as in the day of craftsman homes. Then, I assume for the most part, it was about building for families. Now, it’s about building for as much prophet as possible with as little time and material cost as possible. I find nothing wrong with wanting to make a profit but everything wrong with mowing down history. Reclaim, recycle, reuse. How great it would have been if the developer of the property in question would have kept that home; remodeled it, kept a decent size lot and built the new homes in the same style with new and quality products. So many citizens of Edmonds and beyond who have traveled past that home untold times and admired it would have been so impressed and respectful of the developer. Who knows – maybe part of that scenario will happen.

  16. Well the old houses Ive worked on are pretty much a joke as far as structure is concerned i mean 2×4 exterior walls 2×6 floor rafters 2×4 or 2×6 cut roofs give me a break the houses today just with the codes are so so much better if you don’t get the quality with the finish thats your fault its there you just have to find it do you realize how much bad stuff is in that 1959 plaster i would hate to guess, at anyrate that house probably could haved been moved somewhere without too much trouble be interested what is going in there what “the city” is letting the developer do. So I do have a beef payed my property taxes yesterday and am looking at this thing that says 42.65% of my taxes goes to the school district hey i don’t even have kids why should I have to pay for all that and I went to a private school, I think thats a bunch of crap and then the school district takes my money and does whatever they want like those stupid fields at the old woodway high school and when somebody complains they say oh you have to be nice to us if your going to complain but we will still take your money and do what we want and if you dont pay the goverment will take your house.

    • Well said…fear not, there is new Education replacement levy in Feb and we all know that Education replacement levies= replacement + INCREASE…

      The School District works for the taxpayer, not the other way round!

      Our chance to Vote NO!

  17. Thanks bill there you go wasnt strong enough to be moved what was I telling everybody about old houses, So when they going to start hauling it away hope project moves along at a quick pace its nice property hope the huskies show up today

  18. This lovely old home was enjoyed by my parents for at least 10 years while my father was employed by Edmonds Methodist Church as their handyman and security person. They had attended the church since 1963. It was in very poor condition upon their move in but my Dad was a craftsman and remodeled it over the years making it a special place to live. In the late 90’s I moved my Dad to Idaho when my mother passed away. Our family always felt blessed the church provided this safe place for them as my mother’s health was poor and she loved her church being so close. She always cherished her puget sound view from the kitchen window. We always knew the property was of value and would one day be sold for development. Yes, I wish the home could have been saved but the cost to restore was probably quite high. I’m glad the church has benefited from their original purchase of the land and will always be grateful for their generosity towards my parents.

  19. I think certain folks on this post should show their mistaken rush to condemnation by volunteering at the food bank this month! Now that would be POSITIVE community involvement!

  20. Mike, so right and if you don’t live in Edmonds how about voluntering where you do live. I am sure most will If they don’t already do so

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