What wizzardry could turn this
My friends Brian and Peter bought this uninhabitable shack in 1993.
It sits on five beautiful acres on Vashon Island. Who wouldn't fall in love with pristine property that looked like this?
The first six images are property of Brian Fisher/Peter Chris and used with their permission.
Here is some interesting information provided by Peter and Brian:
"We bought this property in September 1993. The advertisement caption in the Beachcomber [Vashon's local newspaper] read "This house is not without problems." In fact we bought the property as land because the structure though fairly well built could not legally be considered a house. A hand dug well supplied water to an outside shower and a kitchen sink on the second floor. I think there were two outhouses.
It was built as a garage and had tarp openings to a work bay at the front which is now my print studio and another opening which is now the kitchen and dining area. A huge hoist hung off a column in that area. There was also one of the biggest welders I have ever seen where the fireplace is now.
The structure had no insulation and only three windows, although on the second floor there was a doorway that opened out onto air. It was heated by a huge steel handmade furnace. We had to have someone in with a torch to cut it up into movable size chunks. Things like that took forever. The property was covered with metal. I came to think of the man who had made this mess as a giant magnet. He had quite a reputation as a mechanic and welder and I guess made many custom hot rods. We hauled off; 24 cars, 2 busses, a Reo dump truck, two big boat trailers and a miscellany of chest freezers, barrels full of scrap metal and steel appliances. Oh I forgot the 50's panel van with electric too it that stood about where the water feature is now and was fitted out as another little shop. There are still several cars with trees growing through them at the top of the property. There were 100s of tires.
It took a couple years to get the big stuff off but in that time we had the well dug and septic put in and started the remodel. I think we finally moved here in September 1995 though we still did not have kitchen cabinets or sink. I remember every week when I talked to my parents my father would ask. Do you have a sink yet? How can you live without a sink?"
So, I guess the answer to the original question is that a lot of hard work transformed this property! Or did they simply get a box of "Shack Be Gone" and liberally apply it? Recently a friend and I visited what is now a gorgeous garden and home. Here are some current images.
If you've attended the Vashon Island Tour of gardens or Vashon Island Artist Studio tours, this garden and home may look familliar to you.
You are being watched!here. When walking the garden, you'll notice some of his "Threshold Guardians."
Every garden needs a fierce watchdog! Be careful, you may be snuggled to death!
The elaborate pergola which you've no doubt been admiring was designed and built by Brian. I don't think there is anything this man can't do. I'm always in awe of his abilities.
Our gracious hosts enjoying their morning coffee in their gorgeous garden.
Faboo metal crows.
Much as I'm a fan of big metal yard art, I think this looks much better without the trucks, appliances, and tires. Am I right? Peter for many years hauled the annual legal limit of used tires to Vashon's landfil, causing an attendant to advise him that commercial entities were not allowed this privilege.
The more structured garden gently transitions into the lovely wooded acreage which, with it's paths and hillside gullies, invites exploration.
The television's changing images become part of this work. Brian has created many of these "Telemones." For more images of these go here.
The bad news is that we had to leave, the good news is that we went to have brunch, view Brian's latest show and do some nursery shopping. What a spendid way to spend a day!