Patti Payne’s Cool Pads: The late Burl Ives’ Anacortes waterfront showplace on the market for $2.1 million
June 2, 2017 – Puget Sound Business Journal
The late Burl Ives’ sprawling waterfront estate in Anacortes is on the market for $2.1 million. Ives was an Academy Award–winning actor, author, and renowned folk singer who made 32 movies and more than 100 record albums in his lifetime.
He appeared on Broadway in 13 productions and was well known for his performances on TV and radio. Best known for his role as Big Daddy in “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof,” both on Broadway and on the silver screen, Ives’ earthy voice made hits of folk standards like “The Blue Tail Fly,” and “Jimmy Crack Corn,” and holiday tunes like “Frosty the Snowman” and “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.”
His 1.7-acre estate, like the man himself, is larger than life. On Oakes Ave. in Anacortes, the 7,944-square-foot manse has seven bedrooms — three of them are master suites — eight bathrooms, a massive great room, large garage, sauna, library, gazebo, heated greenhouse and a beautifully landscaped grounds with steps that lead to 200 feet of waterfront and 125 feet of tidelands.
Ives’ granddaughter Samantha Burton has many memories from that house. The eldest of Burl and Dorothy Ives’ seven grandchildren, she remembers her grandmother’s talent as an interior designer and how beautiful the house always looked.
“She was an interior decorator in Beverly Hills when he met her,” she says.
Burl and Dorothy had four children between them. The couple lived in Southern California but came up to Anacortes for a visit with Dorothy’s best friend who had bought a home there. “They fell in love with Anacortes,” Burton says.
They bought property that had an empty retirement home on it in the late 1980’s and lived in Skyline while they remodeled that structure, changing it so much that it was like another house — a stunning manse — when they finished. They moved in after the project was completed and loved it.
“He was big sailboater,” Burton said. “He loved his sitting room and his deck and he loved to watch the sailboats go by and the beauty of it all.”
There was always energy and creativity between the two, said Burton, even though they came to Anacortes to retire. The estate was very much a part of at least two weddings of the grandkids, that she can recall, including her own.
“He was a great family man. He loved his children and grandchildren,” she said.
It was a showplace and the Ives family shared it with the community. They opened their home to the city’s annual Home and Boat Tour, benefiting Seattle Children’s Hospital.
An article in “Anacortes Now,” reveals how the Ives family is fondly remembered for their generosity: “Closer to home … as a debt of gratitude for the wonderful care he’d received as a patient at Anacortes’s Island Hospital, Ives presented a benefit concert — attended by over 800 people — that raised $20,000 for the hospital’s pediatric services. He also lent his clear tenor voice to two ‘On the Old Front Porch’ concerts in support of the Greater Skagit Community Foundation. The Ives helped found the Foundation, which Dorothy served as president, to build a world-class community arts center — the gem now known as McIntyre Hall.”
Going through the pictures, it’s hard not to hear Burl Ives’ unforgettable voice echoing through this storied Anacortes estate.