A Kirkland couple has purchased the historic Joshua Sears Building in downtown with the intent of preservation.
Local attorney Sim Osborn and his wife Monica Hart completed the purchase in December. They stated they plan to keep the current business and residential tenants.
Osborn said they have always wanted to own the building but it was only recently the opportunity presented itself. Selling a building in downtown Seattle, he looked for a place to reinvest the money and discovered the building was on the market.
“When it came up for sale I saw a chance to purchase and preserve this historic local building and had to make an offer,” Osborn said in a release. “I’m very happy I was able to complete the purchase and be a steward of its elegance moving forward.”
Located at the northwest corner of Market Street, the red brick Italianate style building has been a feature of downtown Kirkland since 1891, costing Joshua Montgomery Sears $18,000 to construct it 1889, making it one of the most expensive built in Kirkland at the time. Sears was invested in Peter Kirk’s Great Western Iron and Steel Company. The building bricks came from Kirk’s brick works. Sears had planned a bank and steel mill, but those plans died after the Panic of 1893.
The building was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1982.
“It’s just an iconic building,” Osborn said. “We want to be stewards of that building. You never know what’s going to happen, even though it’s an historical building they could go inside and change the whole inside and paint everything purple, and nobody wants that. I was born in Kirkland, we’ve lived here pretty much all our lives, and we want to keep it for our community.”
Hart, a lifestyle design specialist and owner of La Famiglia Design LLC, plans to lead the restoration of the building.
“It’s a jewel in the community,” she said. “It’s a beautiful structure. It’s a cool shape and it just sits there proud.”
“We’re just going to make sure everything is up to code and perfect,” Osborn said. “It’s a nice building and we want to hang onto it for the community. We don’t want somebody to come in and change it around.”
Osborn is a personal injury attorney and a partner at Osborn Machler PLLC in Seattle, where he’s helped run a legal practice for more than 30 years. He’s served on the board of trustees for the Kirkland Boys and Girls Club, Providence Hospital Foundation and the Make-a-Wish Foundation. He is also the president of the Kirkland Merchants select baseball club and on the Whitman College Board of Overseers.