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Meet Blanc Villa, Vashon's $895K French Estate

From the era of The Great Gatsby, a French Country estate includes a rotunda, a covered pool, and a great location for grand galas, or at least really good views.

It is good that they made the house long, tall, and skinny because otherwise the rotunda on the end wouldn't be as prominent and the pool building wouldn't fit in as well. You've got to consider these sorts of things when building a French Country estate on Vashon Island (actually Maury Island.)

The style is distinctive. The 3,500 square feet are stretched out into a low row of arched windows under a steep-pitched roof. At the end is a large circular room that looks onto Quartermaster Harbor, an inlet that's much quieter now than when the house was built in 1933. The marble floors and iron chandeliers are reminders of the time, just after The Great Gatsby. It is easy to imagine grand parties of finely dressed people who traveled as far as Vashon for a party.

Now, it is a large, period estate with 3 bedrooms and 2.5 baths sitting on 3.75 acres with 275 feet of medium-bank waterfront. Evidently, even the tideland rights are included. That's something hard to buy except via established properties. They're asking $895,000, a price that's under a million for a place that looks like it should be hosting galas.

Gather guests on the large patio around the large outside fireplace that looks big enough for yule logs or large roasts. If the weather doesn't cooperate, take refuge in the pool building where there's a pool that looks more like a massive hot tub. Re-floor one of the main rooms in the house and have a ballroom for folks who'd rather wear tux or gown. And, think about the courage of someone who built such a regal place four years into the Great Depression. That's confidence, and probably the source of a great story.

· 24801 Dockton Rd, Vashon [Windermere]