Stone Cottage near Alki Beach faces the wrecking ball – rescue efforts underway
December 17, 2020 | 10:59 am
from the community
The stone-studded cottage at 1123 Harbor Ave SW has been a beloved and legendary landmark for 90 years. The wrecking ball is looming and we need your help to save this piece of West Seattle history.
The Stone Cottage is surrounded by condos and townhouses and is slated for demolition in January of 2021. For more than two years, a group of West Seattle neighbors, Save the Stone Cottage LLC, has joined forces with the Southwest Seattle Historical Society and Historic Seattle, to develop a plan to save the 90-year-old beach home. These community volunteers, working in conjunction with the new property owner, Chainqui Development, have developed a three-phase, adaptive-reuse plan, and have until mid-January 2021 to move the house off the site before the wrecking ball arrives.
The story of the Stone Cottage is inextricably tied with the story of Eva Falk, who built the home with her mother, and were among some of the first settlers to build homes on Duwamish tribal land on Harbor Avenue. Eva was a free spirit, her life extraordinary, and she was a fixture of this beach community.
The Stone Cottage is a symbol of the Admiral and Alki community during the 1930s. Eva and her mother didn’t have much money during the depression, and used their resourcefulness to build the house. Eva bartered with the residents of Hooverville — the temporary community of out-of-work, homeless Seattleites across Elliott Bay — to do the masonry work in exchange for meals. The family salvaged the stained glass windows and the front door. This home is a representation of the resourcefulness of the women who lived there and of their working-class community during the depression.
Eva and her mother came up with its unique façade of more than 15,000 beach stones, carried from the beach near the Alki Lighthouse, and each stone was thoughtfully placed by hand on the exterior of the building. As the decades passed, Eva welcomed all manner of strangers to the Stone Cottage, turning them into friends. She told her daughter that “This house is for giving shelter to anybody and anything”. For good reason, one stone placed prominently near the cottage’s front door bears the shape of a heart. Eva died in 1997 at age 92.
Save The Stone Cottage LLC has formed a gofundme account and the goal is to raise $110,000 in donations to execute Phase I of the plan to rescue, relocate and restore the Stone Cottage.