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Ivar Haglund’s former waterfront compound listed for $5 million

Homes on land, homes on docks, homes everywhere

Courtesy of Windermere

This sweeping waterfront compound with 50 feet of shoreline and six homes in four buildings, including two homes on a dock, is impressive on its own. But it’s made more interesting by its famous former owner: Ivar Haglund.

Haglund is best-known now for starting the Ivar’s chain of seafood restaurants. During his heyday, though, he permeated all aspects of Seattle’s culture: He started the city’s first aquarium. He was an accomplished folk singer. He even had a role on a popular children’s show on KOMO.

Haglund bought the property back in 1957, just over a decade after opening his first Acres of Clams restaurant. Today, the property includes those two dock homes, plus a triplex, and a 1937 Cape Cod home, plus a two-car garage, a shop, and storage.

With all that living space, much of the property is composed of rental units, with tenants that stretch back decades. Multiple tenants rented back in Ivar’s day, too.

One tenant, Roger Jones, rented there back in the 1970s, and recalls an appropriately-whimsical scene: Two Abyssinian cats “patrolled the pool,” which is mostly filled in today. A ping-pong table bordered the pool on one side with a basket full of balls so nobody would have to fish them out of the pool.

One time, he did recall seeing Haglund on the property stomping down a garbage can. Haglund also moored a tuna boat there, Jones said, but he didn’t see much of him in general. “He was at his restaurant so much.”

The Cape Cod, which sits the farthest back from the water, features a multi-gabled roof and its own gated yard.

The triplex, which stacks three levels of decks for water views from each floor, was originally a single-family home.

The dock homes in particular are distinct; rather than floating, they’re built on pilings. They’re “among only a handful of homes on pilings in the entire city of Seattle,” listing agent Kyle Rose told Curbed Seattle, “so, while not, technically, floating, they are known as rare ‘homes over water.’”

Perhaps the best view in the compound is from the end-of-dock home, which has a living room that opens directly out to a dock along Portage Bay.

Living along the water, said Rose, has been especially fun during the holidays. The owners “look forward to Halloween when kayaks, canoes and cruise boats pass by with dressed up revelers and they get to throw candy into the boats,” he told us. “They also enjoy other holidays from that specific spot such as Christmas time, when a concert is held right in the middle of the bay and ‘feels like they are singing right to us.’”

The whole compound is listed for $5 million.