Tour of Homes Brings History to the Present

Imagine moving to Mirrormont in 1963 when there were gravel roads, smaller trees, and only 18 homes scattered over 600 acres. Several of these were chalets originally designed by the developer, Rod Loveless, for a Snoqualmie Pass project.

To celebrate our architectural heritage, the MCA sponsored a Tour of Historic Homes on September 18th. Historical displays about Mirromont’s developers and homes built in 1962-63 were set up in the clubhouse for “tourists” to view while they enjoyed coffee, tea and snacks. Owners of six chalets graciously opened their homes to 32 tourists for a wonderful day of sharing and community. For security reasons, only Mirrormont residents were allowed on the tour.

One of the unique features of Mirrormont is the diversity of architectural styles: chalet, split-level, tri-level, rambler, Cape Cod, Colonial, English, Mediterannean, Spanish, modern, and Frank Lloyd Wright-inspired Prairie style. Built from 1962 to 2016, each house has a story. Some have been carefully tended, others were neglected for a time and then lovingly remodeled. Each home was a joy to tour.

“Most of the interesting architectural homes were built in the 60s and 70s, so the most diverse architecture is from the older homes. It doesn’t mean there weren’t any other real interesting styles built later, but they became fewer and farther between as the cost of building continued to rise and builders looked for less expensive ways to built homes (hence the splits and tri’s). Also built during the 70s and 80s were some Lindal cedar log homes, and then you have some custom designed homes, which really don’t have a specific style unless you want to call it Pacific Northwest.” – Kellie Batali, Windermere realtor and Mirrormont resident

Steve and Christine Sample’s daughter Gabbie has my idea of a dream bedroom with her wall of butterflies. Tom and Dianne Cole had Dianne’s wonderful paintings hung throughout their cozy rooms. Heidi Kayler and Steve VanHuss’ display of 1960s memorabilia encapsulated the style of those times when Lyndon Johnson was in the White House. Madalon and Rod Lalley’s charming rooms culminated in Madalon’s enviable office nestled in the trees with its peaked roof and big windows.

I was excited that the most famous house in Mirrormont was included on our tour. The House That TV 7 Built was advertised for six months on the J.P. Patches Show (Mr. Rogers for the 60s), toured by 3000 people one weekend. Streams of people continued to tour it until it was auctioned off to the highest bidder in 1964 to pay for TV and radio ads and the house. It was the first chalet in Mirrormont built by developer Rod Loveless (although not the first chalet in Mirrormont). Later, it was later owned by a Buddhist nun and used for services, with the gong ringing throughout the neighborhood. Now, Daryl Hawkins is doing an amazing job of single-handedly modernizing and repairing damage from the 2001 Nisqually earthquake.

The tour ended at the marvelously remodeled chalet of Kevin Price and Rachel Wright, who generously hosted a wine and beer social, while we expressed our gratitude for the way they gave new life to a distressed property, both inside and out. I loved their use of native plants!

If you have an unusual or historic home you’d like to share with Mirrormont neighbors on next year’s tour, please contact me at president@mirrormont.org.     

Since 1962, some streets have been extended past the original plat, giving a current total number of homes between 600 and 628, depending on how we define Mirrormont.

Homes Built within Mirrormont’s 1962 plat of Divisions 1—5:

  • 1962-65: 45
  • 1966-70: 69
  • 1971-75: 65
  • 1976-80: 218
  • 1981-85: 50
  • 1986-90: 38
  • 1991-95: 18
  • 1996-2005: 25
  • 2006-13: 8
  • 2014-2016: 4