Haddaway Hall, the former Weyerhaeuser mansion, is an artifact from a time when Tacoma had a legitimate claim to being the “Lumber Capital of the World.”
Built by Weyerhaeuser Lumber Co. President John P. Weyerhaeuser in 1923, the mansion occupies a North End Tacoma promontory at the end of North Stevens Street. That promontory commands a panoramic view stretching from the Olympics to the west to Mount Rainier on the east.
Weyerhaeuser wasn’t the first prominent Tacoman to build a home on that spot. Tacoma pioneer Allen C. Mason had built a large house on the site. Ultimately, that home became part of Whitworth College. But Whitworth didn’t prosper in Tacoma. It moved to Spokane, and Weyerhaeuser bought the site for a new home.
The structure was built in an architectural style that mimicked English manor homes. Its cost: $100,000 in 1923, a princely sum at the time.
The family account of how the house acquired its name was that Anna Weyerhaeuser had strong ideas about the way the home should be built, and in the end she “had her way.”
The home was occupied as a family residence for only two decades of its 90-year history. The Weyerhaeusers lived there until 1936 when John Weyerhaeuser died at 57 of cancer. The home was subsequently sold to a grocery chain owner for $26,000 and back taxes. He lived there until 1942.
Dominican nuns lived in the home for a quarter century using the mansion as a convent and training school for young nuns.
The order sold the home to the Northwest Baptist Seminary in the 1960s for $250,000. The Baptists used the home, an education building and a chapel added to the site as a seminary. Corban University of Salem, Ore., merged with the seminary in recent years.
As enrollment fell, the university put the campus on the market three years ago for $8 million. The most recent listing price was $5.4 million. The Blue Ribbon Cooking School won’t say how much it is paying.
The house itself is replete with features from the Gatsby era. Among those features are a pipe organ, a servants wing, a five-bedroom carriage house, a prep kitchen, a plating kitchen, a flower room, an ice room, a butler’s pantry, a scullery, a VIP suite, a massage room, a silver vault, a conservatory, a large greenhouse, a billiard room, a cinema room, an office, a library, a laundry room and large basement rooms set aside specifically for storage of holiday decorations and for canning and games storage.
Multiple elevators and public and hidden staircases allow passage among the three above-ground floors and the basement. One elevator was designated specifically to move wood from the basement to the main floors to feed the fireplaces.
The landscaping scheme, designed by the Olmstead Brothers of New York, was only partially completed by the time the timber family moved out.
John Gillie: 253-597-8663