The Puget Sound used to be littered with coastal artillery forts, and many of the old bunkers still stand today, largely as state parks. Bainbridge Island’s Fort Ward both a park and a historic district today, but some of those old bunkers live on private land, integrated into homes.
This modern house just southeast of the park is one of them, cantilevered over an old bunker—specifically, the fire control station for Gunnery Nash, built in 1904. According to Seattle architects Eggleston Farkas, the land had been sold bearing in mind the cost of removing the bunker. Instead, they added a concrete garage at bunker level, and got to work building around it. The house was completed in 2005, 101 years after its downstairs neighbor.
The same positioning that gave soldiers a view of Rich Passage translates into much calmer water views now, viewable from a deck or floor-to-ceiling windows. An open staircase serves as a kind of hub between the living areas below and bedrooms above.
The bunker, meanwhile, didn’t become a basement or a filled-in foundation. It was restored and left in its original shape—you can even still climb into it from the outside—although it’s now, as Eggleston Farkas put it, “the world’s coolest play fort.”
1577 Parkview Drive Northeast is listed for $1.74 million through Realogics Sotheby’s International Realty.